Published: Nov. 2, 2018

The International Society for Conversation Analysis (ISCA) has selected Grammar in Everyday Talk: Building Responsive Actions (co-authored by CU Linguistics Prof. Barbara Fox, with Sandra A. Thompson and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen) as the recipient of the 2018 Best Book Award! This prestigious award is given out once every four years, at the quatrennial International Conference on Conversation Analysis (ICCA), held this year at Loughborough University, U.K.

The committee charged with selecting the recipient of this award writes the following about the book:   

Thompson, Fox, and Couper-Kuhlen’s (2015) Grammar in Everyday Talk: Building Responsive Actions brings together both prior and novel research from Interactional Linguistics and Conversation Analysis 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. 

Congratulations, Barbara, Sandy, and Betty, on a very well-deserved honor!