It’s that time of year: after last week’s appearance at the annual conference of the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics, I’m traveling tomorrow to Bloomington, IN for NWAV 41. Very different conference, very different audience. At MCTM my main concern was to show math teachers that linguistics could be interesting and useful for them, but the NWAV crowd is made up of linguists, so that won’t be a problem.
I’m presenting a poster (my first) on a project that I haven’t blogged about, called A computational approach to conversational style. It started off as an attempt to use quantitative methods in Conversation Analysis, looking at turn-taking strategies as a linguistic variable — for example, in a given conversation, who is nominated to speak by the other participants, and who self-nominates? As I investigated this question, though, I came to feel that it wasn’t a question of who, but a question of when: people use different strategies at different stages of the interaction. I ended up using a computational model to try to find where these stages begin and end.
If you’re going to be in Bloomington, come look for me Friday evening at the poster session, and I’ll explain all the details. Looking forward to meeting people!