Handbook of Interpersonal Communication

Front Cover
Gerd Antos, Eija Ventola
Walter de Gruyter, Dec 10, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 658 pages
0 Reviews

Interpersonal communication (IC) is a continuous game between the interacting interactants. It is a give and take - a continuous, dynamic flow that is linguistically realized as discourse as an on-going sequence of interactants' moves. Interpersonal communication is produced and interpreted by acting linguistically, and this makes it a fascinating research area. The handbook, Interpersonal Communication , examines how interactants manage to exchange facts, ideas, views, opinions, beliefs, emotion, etc. by using the linguistic systems and the resources they offer. In interpersonal communication, the fine-tuning of individuals' use of the linguistic resources is continuously probed. The language used in interpersonal communication enhances social relations between interactants and keeps the interaction on the normal track. When interaction gets off the track, linguistic miscommunication may also destroy social relationships. This volume is essentially concerned with this fine-tuning in discourse, and how it is achieved among various interactant groups.

The volume departs from the following fundamental questions:

  • How do interpersonal relations manifest themselves in language?
  • What is the role of language in developing and maintaining relationships in interpersonal communication?
  • What types of problems occur in interpersonal communication and what kind of strategies and means are used to solve them?
  • How does linguistically realized interpersonal communication interact with other semiotic modes?

Interpersonal communication is seen and researched from the perspective of what is being said or written, and how it is realized in various generic forms. The current research also gives attention to other semiotic modes which interact with the linguistic modes. It is not just the social roles of interactants in groups, the possible media available, the non-verbal behaviors, the varying contextual frames for communication, but primarily the actual linguistic manifestations that we need to focus upon when we want to have a full picture of what is going on in human interpersonal communication.

It is this linguistic perspective that the volume aims to present to all researchers interested in IC. The volume offers an overview of the theories, methods, tools, and resources of linguistically-oriented approaches, e.g. from the fields of linguistics, social psychology, sociology, and semiotics, for the purpose of integration and further development of the interests in IC.,

Topics e.g.:

  • Orientation to interaction as primarily linguistically realized processes
  • Expertise on theorizing and analyzing cultural and situational contexts where linguistic processes are realized
  • Expertise on handling language corpora
  • Expertise on theorizing and analyzing interaction types as genres
  • Orientation to an integrated view of linguistic and non-linguistic participant activities and of how interactants generate meanings and interact with space
  • Expertise on researching the management of the linguistic flow in interaction and its successfulness.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Interpersonal Communication linguistic points of view
Accommodation and relational influence across time and contexts
3 Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
4 Interactional Sociolinguistics
5 Interactional Linguistics
An interpersonal perspective
7 Functional Pragmatics
8 Data and transcription
Interpersonal communication and spatial semiotics
14 Everyday communication and socializing
15 Counseling diagnostics and therapy
16 Youth discourse and interpersonal management
17 Language and discourse skills of elderly people
18 Relational work politeness and identity construction
19 Humor jokes and irony versus mocking gossip and black humor
20 Praising and blaming applauding and disparaging solidarity audience positioning and the linguistics of evaluative disposition

9 Linguistic resources for the management of interaction
10 Dynamics of discourse
11 Facetoface communication and body language
12 Technicallymediated interpersonal communication
21 Silence and taboo

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Gerd Antos, Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; Eija Ventola, University of Helsinki, Finland. 

Bibliographic information