Stockholm university logo, link to start page

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.

My monograph about the development of interactional competence in second language French was recently published and is available as Open Access at Routledge.

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

  • The Development of L2 Interactional Competence: A Multimodal Study of Complaining in French Interactions

    2022. Klara Skogmyr Marian.


    This book presents unique insights into the development of L2 interactional competence through the lens of complaining, demonstrating how a closer study of complaining as a social activity can enhance our understanding of certain aspects of language learning with implications for future L2 research.

    The volume employs a multimodal, longitudinal conversation analytic (CA) approach in its analysis of data from video-recorded interactions of several elementary and advanced L2 speakers of French as they build their interactional competence, understood as the ability to accomplish social actions and activities in the L2 in context-dependent and recipient-designed ways. Skogmyr Marian calls attention to three key dimensions of complaining in these conversations – its structural organization, the interactional resources people use when they complain, and how speakers’ shared interactional histories and changing social relationships affect complaint practices. The volume underscores the fundamentally multimodal, socially situated, and co-constructed nature of L2 interactional competence and the socialization processes involved in its development, indicating paths for new work on interactional competence and L2 research more broadly.

    This book will be of appeal to students and scholars interested in second language acquisition, social interaction, and applied linguistics.

    Read more about The Development of L2 Interactional Competence
  • Multimodal word-search trajectories in L2 interaction

    2022. Klara Skogmyr Marian, Simona Pekarek Doehler. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality 5 (1)


    This paper investigates the temporal dynamics of bodily and vocal conduct in the course of L2 word searches. Based on a longitudinal dataset of L2 French conversations, we first identify a recurrent multimodal search-trajectory involving specific simultaneous and successive assemblies of hand movements/holds with gaze, and (para)verbal displays of ongoing search. We interpret these Gestalt-like trajectories as part of methodic practices through which speakers both account for breaks in progressivity and display their search as “solitary”, preempting recipient’s entry into the turn-in-progress. We then put our findings into a longitudinal perspective, showing how features of these assemblies change over time in the developmental trajectories of L2 speakers.

    Read more about Multimodal word-search trajectories in L2 interaction
  • Functional diversification and progressive routinization of a multiword expression in and for social interaction: A longitudinal L2 study

    2022. Simona Pekarek Doehler, Klara Skogmyr Marian. The Modern language journal 106 (S1), 23-45


    In this article, we bring together conversation analysis and usage-based linguistics to investigate the second language (L2) developmental trajectory of a linguistic construction within the complex multimodal ecology of naturally occurring social interaction. We document how, over the course of 15 months, an L2 speaker's use of the French multiword expression comment on dit [how do you say] diversifies in both form and function. Two types of longitudinal change are observed: (a) The expression expands in its context of use: “Literal” uses are observed initially to request a candidate lexical item but are later also found in requests for confirmation, (b) these literal uses become proportionally less frequent, and the expression progressively routinizes as a marker-like element used for indexing cognitive search and floor-holding, and eventually also as a preface to self-correction. This routinization entails erosion in form and meaning, in concert with systematic change in co-occurring bodily-visual conduct, in particular gaze and gesture. By documenting change over time in the functional use and the multimodal delivery of the target construction, the findings evidence the longitudinal development of L2 grammar-for-interaction and showcase how linguistic and bodily resources may interface in L2 development. They also have important implications for language teaching and learning.

    Read more about Functional diversification and progressive routinization of a multiword expression in and for social interaction
  • Pragmatic variation across geographical and social space

    2022. Jenny Nilsson (et al.). Pragmatics of Space, 611-636


    This chapter examines how pragmatic variation interfaces with several dimensions of space, not only geographical space but also social space. We approach space from a variational pragmatics perspective and conceive it as a layered phenomenon with local, regional, and national levels that are intertwined with one another as well as with social dimensions of space. We present an empirical study of greeting behavior in Swedish service encounters to illustrate how these layers of space interact and are relevant for pragmatic variation. Qualitative observations of greeting sequences combined with statistical analyses of several co-variables are used to unravel connections between the choice of a greeting form and spatial and social factors. We show that the levels of nation and region (i. e., data from a certain country and town) can account for a certain degree of variation in the choice of greeting forms, but the local levels of space (i. e., interactions in specific venues) and social variables like the speaker’s age and gender also have an explanatory force. Spaces can also bear recognizable cultural meanings to the people who interact in them, triggering certain kinds of social behavior that is symbolically represented in language use.

    Read more about Pragmatic variation across geographical and social space
  • 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.

    Read more about Assessing Without Words
  • 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.

    Read more about Initiating a complaint
  • 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.

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

    Read more about Counselors’ Claims of Insufficient Knowledge in Academic Writing Consultations
  • 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.

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

Show all publications by Klara Skogmyr Marian at Stockholm University