The MIDI Research Group focuses on the study of language and interaction as a social and/or conceptual practice as it can be observed in different interpersonal settings involving, for instance, spontaneous workplace, mundane and other social interactions, as well as research interviews and experimentally controlled face-to-face conversations.
The research group adopts an empirical, usage-based approach to the study of language, involving different methods of data collection such as the design, transcription and annotation of linguistic and multimodal corpora and fieldwork practices. With regard to data analysis, the research group's interest lies both in qualitative and quantitative methods of interpretation. As an empirical basis for its research, the group uses corpora and data sets in languages such as Dutch, English, Flemish Sign Language, French, German and Italian.
Overall, the research group moves away from a logocentric model of linguistic research: the analysis of language in interaction calls for an approach that goes beyond traditional linguistic conceptualizations. Accordingly, the MIDI research group focuses on:
(1) The social dimension of language use, which becomes visible in the participants' social categorizations, their individuality as well as the contextual, historical and institutional situatedness of their interactions;
(2) embodied knowledge and practices as well as both verbal and non-verbal interactional procedures such as gesture, posture, gaze, intonation, facial expression, object manipulation, etc. In line with this perspective, the members of the research group work with different, yet complementary analytical tools from paradigms such as Cognitive & Interactional (Socio)Linguistics, Conversational Analysis, Discourse & Narrative Studies, Pragmatics.
MIDI consists of three subunits with a specific research focus:
- Cognition and Multimodality in Discourse (CMD)
- Discourse and Identity
- Social Practices and Multimodal Resources