Mick Smith and I are organizing this panel on noticings at ICCA 2018. We’re really excited to have submissions from some amazing EM/CA scholars to help us explore this questions of action formation / ascription, embodiment, multiactivity, and reference across at least three languages.

Noticings as actions-in-conversation are a ubiquitous, versatile, but under-researched phenomenon (Keisanen, 2012). Schegloff (2007b, p. 218) suggests that noticings “put on offer a line of talk” that renders something optionally relevant for subsequent interaction, although Stivers & Rossano’s (2010) study of the diminished ‘response-relevance’ of noticings leads some analysts to question whether noticings function as social actions (Thompson, Fox, & Couper-Kuhlen, 2015, p. 141) formed from prospectively paired ‘action types’ (Levinson, 2013), or whether they are organised—as Schegloff (2007b, p. 219) suggests—as a generic retro-sequence pointing backwards to a prior ‘noticeable’. Alongside these debates, C. Goodwin & Goodwin (2012) focus on how noticings point “outside of talk”, drawing as-yet-unnoticed resources into embodied social action. Without pre-specifying any one analytic characterization, this panel brings together research explores the ambiguities of noticings as social actions alongside a range of mobile and embodied practices where describing (Sidnell & Barnes, 2009), referring (Hindmarsh & Heath, 2000), and categorizing may also be at issue (Schegloff, 2007a). Alongside empirical studies, contributors also address theoretical questions that arise from treating noticings as conversational devices. How are researchers’ noticings and participants’ noticings differently constitutive of interactional phenomena (Laurier, 2013)? Do noticings emerge reflexively as part of a particular interactional environment and work towards particular interactional ends (Schegloff, 2007a, p. 87 note 17), or are analytic invocations of ‘noticing’ in CA flawed descriptions that obscure more of the action than they clarify? Drawing together diverse approaches to noticings, this panel asks how understanding noticings as actions-in-conversation may open up new empirical and theoretical questions and challenges.


  • Goodwin, C., & Goodwin, M. H. (2012). Car talk: Integrating texts, bodies, and changing landscapes. Semiotica, 191(1/4), 257–286.
  • Hindmarsh, J., & Heath, C. (2000). Embodied reference: A study of deixis in workplace interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 32(12), 1855–1878.
  • Keisanen, T. (2012). “Uh-oh, we were going there”: Environmentally occasioned noticings of trouble in in-car interaction. Semiotic, 191(1/4), 197–222.
  • Laurier, E. (2013). Noticing: Talk, gestures, movement and objects in video analysis. In R. Lee, N. Castree, R. Kitchin, V. Lawson, A. Paasi, C. Philo, … C. W. Withers (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Human Geography (2nd ed., Vol. 31, pp. 250–272). London: Sage.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2013). Action formation and ascription. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis (pp. 101–130). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Schegloff, E. A. (2007a). A tutorial on membership categorization. Journal of Pragmatics, 39(3), 462–482.
  • Schegloff, E. A. (2007b). Sequence organization in interaction: Volume 1: A primer in conversation analysis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sidnell, J., & Barnes, R. (2009). Alternative, subsequent descriptions. In J. Sidnell, M. Hayashi, & G. Raymond (Eds.), Conversational repair and human understanding (pp. 322–342). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Stivers, T., & Rossano, F. (2010). Mobilizing Response. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 43(1), 3–31.
  • Thompson, S. A., Fox, B. A., & Couper-Kuhlen, E. (2015). Grammar in everyday talk: Building responsive actions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.