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Klara Skogmyr Marian

About me

My main research interest is in the interface between second language learning and social interaction. I use Conversation Analysis, typically with a multimodal perspective, to investigate how people develop their interactional competence in a second or foreign language. I also work on first-language interactions (primarily Swedish and French). During several years, I worked as research assistant and coordinator for the research program Interaction and Variation in Pluricentric Languages – Communicative Patterns in Sweden Swedish and Finland Swedish, which investigated communicative differences between Swedish used in Sweden and Swedish used in Finland.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Assessing Without Words

    2021. Klara Skogmyr Marian. Frontiers in Psychology 12


    This study investigates the use of verbally incomplete utterances in French-language complaints about third parties or situations. In these cases, a speaker initiates a turn with verbal means but stops talking before reaching lexico-syntactic completion. The utterance becomes recognizable as an expression of negative stance or as a precise negative assessment by virtue of the linguistic formatting of the turn-initiation, its position within the larger interactional context, and the speaker’s accompanying bodily-visual displays and vocalizations. Data consist of video-recorded coffee-break conversations among first and second language speakers of French. Using multimodal Conversation Analysis, the analysis documents recurrent linguistic formats of the verbally incomplete utterances and examines the interactional deployment of the utterances in two distinct sequential contexts: (1) in the initiation of complaints, and (2) at the end of complaint tellings or reports. In the first of these, the action of leaving a turn verbally incomplete and expressing stance with bodily-visual means allows the speaker to prepare the grounds for the complaint by foreshadowing the negative valence of the upcoming talk. In the latter case, the verbally incomplete utterance and accompanying vocal and/or embodied conduct are deployed as a summary assessment or upshot of the complaint which shows, rather than merely describes, the complaint-worthiness of the situation. In both cases, the utterances work to enhance the chances for the speaker to obtain affiliative responses from coparticipants. While prior studies on verbally incomplete utterances have suggested that such utterances may be specifically suitable for subtly dealing with delicate actions, in this study the utterances are sometimes produced as part of multimodal ‘extreme-case expressions’ that convey negative stance in a high-grade manner. The findings contribute to a better understanding of interactional uses of verbally incomplete utterances and of the multimodal nature of negative assessments. The study thereby furthers our understanding of how grammar and the body interface as resources for the accomplishment of context-specific actions and the organization of social interaction.

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  • Initiating a complaint

    2021. Klara Skogmyr Marian. Research on Language and Social Interaction 54 (2), 163-182


    This study documents change over time and across proficiency levels in French second-language (L2) speakers’ practices for initiating complaints. Prior research has shown that speakers typically initiate complaints in a stepwise manner that indexes the contingent, moral, and delicate nature of the activity. Although elementary speakers in my data often launch complaint sequences in a straightforward way, they sometimes embodiedly foreshadow verbal expressions of negative stance or delay negative talk through brief positively valenced prefaces. More advanced speakers in part rely on the same initiation practices as elementary speakers. In addition, they recurrently use extensive prefatory work that accounts for and legitimizes the upcoming complaint, and they regularly initiate complaints jointly with coparticipants through a progressive escalation of negative stance expressions. I document interactional resources involved in this change and discuss the findings in terms of speakers’ development of L2 interactional competence. Data are in French with English translations.

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  • Multi-unit turns that begin with a resaying of a prior speaker's turn

    2021. Klara Skogmyr Marian, Taiane Malabarba, Ann Weatherall. Language & Communication 78, 77-87


    This study examines the interactional workings of multi-unit turns that have an initial turn-constructional unit that re-says the immediately prior single-unit turn produced by another speaker. Based on cases in English, Portuguese, and French, our analysis shows that resayings do confirming and also 1) index the speaker's rights over the propositional component of the words, and 2) support the extension of the turn. In addition to confirming, resayings thus claim rights to what has been said and demonstrate an entitlement to say more. The resayings thereby have both a retrospective and prospective function, the latter being closely related to turn-taking management. Our findings contribute to the existing literature on other-repeats by considering what these do in a multi-unit turn environment.

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  • Counselors’ Claims of Insufficient Knowledge in Academic Writing Consultations

    2020. Klara Skogmyr Marian, Sofie Henricson, Marie Nelson. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research


    Contributing to academic literacies research, this study investigates how counselors at university writing centers in Sweden and Finland handle the micro-level management of knowledge in advice-giving. While writing counselors are experienced in academic writing, they are not necessarily familiar with students’ subject areas and may also lack access to other relevant information, such as specific writing instructions. Using Conversation Analysis, we examine how writing counselors address their lack of relevant knowledge through claims of insufficient knowledge (CIK). CIKs are typically used in assessment activities, to downgrade both positive and negative assessments, but sometimes also to upgrade positive assessments. Our findings demonstrate how the distribution of knowledge is negotiated in academic writing consultations and illustrate the epistemic complexity of this setting.

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  • What is in a greeting? The social meaning of greetings in Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish service encounters

    2020. Jenny Nilsson (et al.). Journal of Pragmatics 168, 1-15


    This study investigates the use of greetings in Sweden-Swedish and Finland-Swedish service encounters and the social meaning of different greeting forms. Situated within the framework of variational pragmatics, the study explores Swedish as a pluricentric language and investigates with interactional and statistical analyses to what extent the variable nation affect variation in greeting forms. While nation indeed is an important factor, the study also illustrates how social variables such as age, gender and participant roles as well as situational variables such as medium, region and venue impact the greeting choices participants make. Further, by applying an interactional analytical perspective the study contributes to the methodological development of variational pragmatics. This analysis shows how the sequential position of a greeting plays a part in the choice of greetings, and demonstrates that pragmatic variation emerges in interaction. The article suggests that greetings can be a resource for indexing the degree of social distance between interlocutors, and thereby manifest recurring cultural patterns.

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Show all publications by Klara Skogmyr Marian at Stockholm University