Engaged from birth: children under two talking on telephones

Gillen, Julia (2003). Engaged from birth: children under two talking on telephones. In: Schorr, A; Campbell, W and Schenk, M eds. Communication research and media science in Europe: perspectives for research and academic training in Europe's changing media reality. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 479–496.

URL: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/organisations/lingethn/...


My main research interest is the language of novice users of technologies. This falls into three main clusters of study. The area that I have investigated most is young children's telephone discourse. I've also done some work in other areas I'm keen to extend further: children's cooperative interactions, including but not limited to language, involving computers; and novice adult writing in asynchronous electronic conferencing. These fields of exploration involve me in engaging with related theoretical and empirical study across a number of disciplines.

Study of child language (development) is, I believe, a particularly fascinating nexus of interdisciplinary work at present with influences from sociocultural and semiotic perspectives among others. Although psycholinguistic approaches continue to contribute an unparalleled amount to the study of young children's language, I tend to engage above all with studies of spontaneous discourse, where diverse approaches to notions of 'context' are crucial to appreciating dynamic aspects of the situation. Interpretive approaches are challenging and at present are being informed by social theory and many developments in discourse analysis including Critical Discourse Analysis, Conversation Analysis and others. The term 'linguistic ethnography' is for me at present a term that encapsulates what I aspire to rather than anything I've yet achieved.

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