Within the social sciences and humanities, the use of video introduces two challenges:
methodologically, it radically changes the nature of the data documenting human
action; theoretically, it revisits notions concerning language, action, context and the
body. My work is situated in this innovative framework. Drawing on conversation
analysis, interactional linguistics and video analysis, it integrates within the study of
language in interaction a wide range of multimodal resources: language, gesture, gaze,
facial expressions, body postures, movements in space, and manipulations of objects.
This impacts our vision of how action is organized in context, how these resources are
mobilized in a timely coordinated and a mutually intelligible way by humans acting
Within the past 15 years, my work has contributed in a significant way to sketch a
multimodal approach to language and human action – now internationally recognized
in Europe and the USA. For this research semester, I propose to develop it further
through conceptual reflections and empirical analyses focusing on a specific kind of
action, directives and requests in ordinary and institutional settings.
This project will be realized while being hosted mainly at the Meiji Gakuin University,
Tokyo (Japan) and the University of Helsinki, with short visits to the University of Oslo
and the University of Linköping.