Perspective-taking and perspective-shifting as socially situated and collaborative actions

Anna Filipi, Roger Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we investigate how speakers jointly construct talk around route directions using a map task. A corpus of eight task-based interactions from the Map Task section of the Australian National Database of Spoken Language - ANDOSL [Proceedings of the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing 94, Adelaide 1 (1994) 97] form the corpus for this study. Basing our analysis on Taylor and Tversky's [J. Mem. Lang. 31 (1992a) 261; Mem. Cogn. 20 (1992b) 483; J. Mem. Lang. 35 (1996) 371] route and survey perspective-taking strategies in route descriptions and Levelt's [Speech, Place and Action: Studies of Language in Context, John Wiley, Chichester, pp. 251-268] study of speakers' linearisation strategies two issues form the nucleus of the study. The first is to describe the interactions as the collaborative constructions of both the instruction-giver and the instruction-follower. Here we use Conversation Analysis to examine the sequential distribution of route and survey strategies. We find that the route perspective, which is associated with the activity of route-giving, is distributed overwhelmingly in base and post-expansion sequences, while the survey perspective, which is associated with suspension of the activity, is distributed in insertion and pre-sequences. The second and related issue is to try and account for the shifts in perspective, which like Taylor and Tversky [J. Mem. Lang. 35 (1996) 371], we find is a common strategy used by the speakers in our corpus. Here an attempt is made to account for these shifts at pragmatic levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1884
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Conversation Analysis
  • Perspective-taking
  • Sequence organisation
  • Social situation
  • Spatial language
  • Talk in interaction

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