LINGUIST List 33.2414

Thu Aug 04 2022

Calls: Pragmatics, Anthro Ling, Applied Ling, Comp Ling, Disc Analysis/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 22-Jul-2022
From: Florence Oloff <>
Subject: (A)typical users of technology in social interaction
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Full Title: (A)typical users of technology in social interaction

Date: 09-Jul-2023 - 14-Jul-2023
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact Person: Florence Oloff
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2022

Meeting Description:

This panel aims to reflect on the notion of (a)typicality regarding the use of technological devices and appliances used for communicating, assisting, moving, inspecting, learning, etc. More specifically, the panel’s objective is to focus on different types of users of technologies and to investigate their routines, skills, and challenges while interacting with technology and their co-participants.

In conversation analysis and applied clinical linguistics, the notion of “atypical interaction” relates to social settings in which some of the participants have been diagnosed with conditions that result in communicative difficulties (e.g., autism or aphasia, Goodwin 1995, Wilkinson 2019). Here, the usual focus is on the specific formatting and management of social actions, and technology has not been centrally considered (but see, e.g., Aaltonen/Arminen/Raudaskoski 2014). While studies on assistive technologies in social interaction have been emphasizing the situated learning processes of participants with “communicative challenges” (Krummheuer/Raudaskoski 2016: 812, see also Due 2021), research more globally interested in technology in social interaction usually considers users who do not have specific communicative difficulties (e.g., Raclaw/Robles/DiDomenico 2016, Porcheron/Fischer/Sharples 2018, Pelikan/Broth/Keevallik 2020). What all types of technology users have in common, however, is that they systematically face pragmatic challenges and disfluencies at some point. Indeed, participants might frequently experience “frustrations in communication” (Antaki/Wilkinson 2012: 533) when introduced to a new technological tool or practice. In this respect, novices could be considered as more “atypical” than more expert users, and “(a)typicality” can also be connected to the idea of acquiring strategies, routines and standard procedures involving a specific technological tool. Digital literacy studies, for instance, looked into (mostly younger) users’ situated appropriation of new techno-digital skills (e.g., Wolfe/Flewitt 2010, Melander Bowden 2019). These learning processes do obviously not only concern very young participants (e.g., Flewitt/Messer/Kucirkova 2015, Kucirkova/Zuckermann 2017), but also elderly persons getting in touch with a tactile interface for the first time (e.g., Weilenmann 2010, Oloff 2021). Conversation analytic studies focusing on first-time encounters between participants and, for instance, voice-user-interfaces (Porcheron/Fischer/Sharples 2018, Reeves/Porcheron/Fischer 2018) give a glimpse in how “atypical” users can turn into “typical” users of a given technology. In this respect, a user-centred approach (Amrhein/Cyra/Pitsch 2016) and a longitudinal perspective on empirical data (e.g., Deppermann/Pekarek Doehler 2021, Pekarek Doehler/Balaman 2021) can be deemed particularly relevant.

Call for Papers:

We invite contributions from various backgrounds (e.g., conversation analysis, digital literacy studies, Human-Computer interaction, media studies, etc.) that empirically reflect on different facets of “(a)typicality” with regard to technology use in social encounters, such as: newcomers vs. expert users, “typical” user routines and new challenges, or assistive and therapeutical technologies in “atypical” interactions and their potentials and challenges. Accordingly, the range of technological tools can include both mundane and specialised ones. Ultimately, we wish to discuss the contribution of human and social sciences to an interactionally founded understanding of “(a)typicality” for studying technology use and skills in social interaction.

For submission info, visit:

Panel organisers: Florence Oloff (Leibniz-Institute for the German Language, Mannheim) & Henrike Helmer (Leibniz-Institute for the German Language, Mannheim)

Page Updated: 04-Aug-2022