ISCA Awards: 2018

Best Monograph

Grammar in Everyday Talk

Sandy Thompson,
Barbara Fox, &
Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen

In Grammar in Everyday Talk Sandy Thompson, Barbara Fox, and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen’s bring together both prior and novel research from Interactional Linguistics and Conversation Analysis to focus on a range of responsive actions: Responses to question-word interrogatives, informings, assessments, and requests for action. Each of the book’s chapters targets the forms that responsive actions take in a particular action environment—e.g., a particle, a phrase, a minimal vs. expanded clause, etc.—and looks at similarities and differences within and across sequence types. The authors make a profound case for investigating the use of grammar from a positionally-sensitive, action-based perspective, while simultaneously illustrating just how much light an attention to grammar can shed on unpacking sequences of action. As such, this work deepens our understanding not only of social action and of grammar—as separate, individual areas of interest—, but in so doing simultaneously underscores that these two areas of study must necessarily mutually inform one another, as both must be a part of any empirically grounded account of language use in social interaction.

Best Dissertation

The Request System in Italian Interaction
Giovanni Rossi
Rossi’s thesis makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of language and social interaction by showing that forms of requesting in everyday Italian interaction constitute a system which is organized by recurrent social-interactional concerns. In addition to shedding light on non-verbal and verbal formats for requesting practical actions, the dissertation introduces novel methods for data collection and analysis and makes innovative theoretical distinctions that will have a significant impact on the field in the future. This thesis is a milestone in research on action formation, and with the cogency of its analysis and the persuasiveness of its argumentation, it is also an exemplary PhD in the field of Conversation Analysis.

Best Journal Publication 

Recruitment: Offers, Requests, and the Organization of Assistance in Interaction

Kobin Kendrick and Paul Drew
This is a path-breaking paper that greatly enlarges our perspective on offers, requests and other means through which assistance to others emerges in interaction. It does so by breaking with the tradition of research that identifies recruitment actions with their verbal enactment. The paper's recognition of recruitment as predominantly involving embodied conduct vastly increases the scope of the domain, while forcing us to consider the ways in which assistance is recruited in the present moment and for the 'here and now', rather than for some point in the future. The paper delivers a cline of recruitment types that vary fundamentally in terms of the perspicacity and agency of the one who will deliver assistance. But above all, it makes us aware of the ubiquity of recruitment, of assistance and altruism in social life - and of the fact that we live, as Heritage puts it, "in a kind of Leibnizian ‘surf’ of assistance and accommodation, a ceaseless tide of micro-altruism, seen but unnoticed as a taken-for-granted background of human social life."

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Marjorie H. (Candy) Goodwin,
Distinguished Research Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, UCLA

Charles Goodwin,
Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus (died March 31, 2018), Department of Applied Linguistics, UCLA

John Heritage,
Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, UCLA

Anita Pomerantz
O’Leary Professor Emerita, Department of Communication, University at Albany