Barbara A. Fox, Professor

Department of Linguistics

University of Colorado
Campus Box 295
Boulder, CO 80309


Barbara Fox is Professor of Linguistics.  Her research interests focus on language as it is used in everyday conversation.  Her journal articles and book chapters explore particular grammatical and/or prosodic practices in American English conversation, with special focus on the mutually-shaping relationship between language and interaction.   One of the main themes of her work is the emergent, embodied and sequentially-situated nature of grammar.  This theme is taken up in her edited and authored books, Discourse Structure and Anaphora (1987), Voice (1994), Studies in Anaphora (1996), and The Language of Turn and Sequence (2002), as well as in several articles.  Her work often uses tools, methods and concepts from conversation analysis in the pursuit of a deeper understanding of grammatical practices.

Fox’s work reconceptualizes linguistic “structure” as emergent, arising from moment-by-moment practices that are sensitive to action and sequence, and interactionally shared.   It also moves towards a view of grammar that is based in the fully embodied production of talk, including sound (phonetics), gesture, and bodily movements.  Grammar is thus treated in this work as encompassing several complex semiotic systems which emerge in situated concerted action among co-present participants in a socially-constructed environment.


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