Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Shakila Shayan

Social Action Formulation – A ’10-Minutes’ Task

Human actions in the social world – like greeting, requesting, complaining, accusing, asking, confirming, etc. – are recognised through the interpretation of signs. Language is where much of the action is, but gesture, facial expression and other bodily actions matter as well. The goal of this task is to establish a maximally rich description of a representative, good quality piece of conversational interaction, which will serve as a reference point for comparative exploration of the status of social actions and their formulation across languages.


You must be in possession of good quality video-recordings of maximally informal conversational interaction in your language. See Field Manual 2007 for a guide on collection.


This entry has been superceded by the 2009 version.

How to cite this resource?

Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2008). Social action formulation: A "10-minutes" task. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 80-81). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492939.