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Selina Schmidt

Linguistics, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Rapport management in online spoken interaction: a cross-cultural linguistic analysis of communicative strategies.

I examine rapport management in online video conferencing: means for creating and maintaining a harmonious relationship between conversation participants. I look at specific linguistic features that influence the way in which we manage relationships with others by positioning ourselfves in conversation. My analysis is based on a corpus, that is to say a large collection of transcripts of informal conversations between unacquainted non-native speakers of English. As opposed to many other larger spoken language corpora, these conversations and recordings were conducted via Skype at students’ leisure, from their home, university, and other places. The students chat about their life, studies, cultural traditions, pop culture, and many other topics. In this intercultural environment, they are often able to build rapport even after short conversations. In addition to the ways in which rapport is managed (that is to say the distinct features), I am interested in researching new ways of finding these features in large amounts of data. The corpus data is part of an international research project, CASE (Corpus of Academic Spoken English, compiled at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany, www.umwelt-campus.de/case), which has partners all across Europe and in the United States.

Research Area

  • Linguistics

Publications

  • Brunner, Marie-Louise; Stefan Diemer; and Selina Schmidt. 2018. "I mean ... we have good coffee in Italy ... why do we need Starbucks?" - "America" in the Construction and Negotiation of European Identities. "America" as intermediary in the production of transnational civic European cultures, ed. by Astrid Fellner et al. Saarbrücken: Saravi Pontes. http://universaar.uni-saarland.de/monographien/volltexte/2018/174/.

  • Brunner, Marie-Louise; Stefan Diemer; and Selina Schmidt. 2017. "... okay so good luck with that ((laughing))?" – Managing rich data in a corpus of Skype conversations. Big and Rich Data in English Corpus Linguistics: Methods and Explorations (Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English 19), ed. by Turo Hiltunen, Joe McVeigh, and Tanja Säily. Helsinki: VARIENG. http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/19/brunner_diemer_schmidt/.

  • Diemer, Stefan; Marie-Louise Brunner; and Selina Schmidt. 2016. Compiling computer-mediated spoken language corpora: Key issues and recommendations. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 21(3). 348-371. https://benjamins.com/#catalog/journals/ijcl.21.3/main.

  • Brunner, Marie-Louise; Stefan Diemer; and Selina Schmidt. 2016. "It's always different when you look something from the inside" – Linguistic innovation in a corpus of ELF Skype conversations. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research 2(2). [Special issue: Linguistic Innovations: Rethinking linguistic creativity in non-native Englishes, ed. by Sandra C. Deshors; Sandra Götz; and Samantha Laporte]. 321-348. https://benjamins.com/#catalog/journals/ijlcr.2.2/main.

  • Schmidt, Selina; and Stefan Diemer. 2015. Comments on the criticism of Anglicisms in Spain. Saarland Working Papers in Linguistics 2015(5). 8-16. https://publikationen.sulb.uni-saarland.de/handle/20.500.11880/23701.

  • Brunner, Marie-Louise; Stefan Diemer; and Selina Schmidt. 2014. "Like, Pasta, Pizza and Stuff" – New Trends in Online Food Discourse. CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food cultures / Revue des cultures culinaires au Canada. http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/1026769ar.


Conferences

July 2017. The pragmatics of laughter in conversations between unacquainted international students. Paper presented at IPrA2017 – 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

July 2017. Laughing about food in CASE – "Little green round ones" and other delicate topics. Paper presented at IPrA2017 – 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland. (with Sina Burghardt)

May 2017. Multimodal meaning making: Developing a taxonomy for the transcription of gesture in a corpus of Skype conversations. Paper presented at ICAME38 - Corpus et Orbis: Interpreting the World through Corpora, Prague, Czech Republik. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

April 2017. Laughter as a means of creating rapport between unacquainted international students. Paper presented at BELP 2017: Birmingham English Language Postgraduate Conference, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

September 2016. "... uhm Knödel ((German)) I don't know if there is a word in English for that ((chuckling))" - Context and discursive functions of code-switching in intercultural Skype conversations. Paper presented at ISLE4 - 4th Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English, Poznań, Poland. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

June 2016. "You are struggling forwards, and you don't know, and then you … you do code-switching…" - Code-switching in ELF Skype conversations. Paper presented at 9th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF9), Universitat de Lleida, Spain. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

December 2015. "It's incredible with fresh berries, in France or elsewhere" - Le discours culinaire se répand en ligne. Paper presented at the Colloque "La gastronomie à l'ère numérique," ATILF, Nancy, France. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

November 2015. "And it all started with a big bang - BANG!" - Sprache und Humor in The Big Bang Theory (Language and humor in The Big Bang Theory). Invited talk at Erfolg in Serie (Serial Success) lecture series, Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut (German-American Institute), Saarbrücken, Germany. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

October 2015. "... okay so good luck with that ((laughing))?" - Managing rich data in a corpus of Skype conversations. Paper presented at d2e - From Data to Evidence, Helsinki, Finland. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

July 2015. Food goes online – "So, Knoedel and like, pasta, pizza and stuff". Paper presented at 14th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA 14), Antwerp, Belgium. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

May 2015. "It's always different when you look something from the inside" - Linguistic innovation in a corpus of EFL Skype conversations. Paper presented at ICAME36 - Words, words, words, Trier, Germany. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

November 2014. Quality TV - Die Sprache als Erfolgsgeheimnis? Keynote at Quality TV, Saarbrücken, Germany. (with Marie-Louise Brunner, Caroline Collet, and Stefan Diemer)

September 2014. A piece of cake? - Developing a pragmatic annotation layer for a corpus of international academic spoken English. ESSE, Kosice, Slovakia. (with Marie-Louise Brunner)

August 2014. Starting Skype conversations: Pragmatic features and strategies in an English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) context. ISLE 3, Zurich, Switzerland. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

June 2014. CASE – The Corpus of Academic Spoken English. Workshop at ICSE, Santiago de Compostela, Spain(with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

June 2014. Starting Skype conversations: Pragmatic features and strategies in an English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) context. ICSE, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

May 2014. Better than the real thing? Food talk in online discourse. FaCT, Bertinoro, Italy. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)

April 2014. Starting Skype conversations: Pragmatic features and strategies in an International English context. ICAME35, Nottingham, United Kingdom. (with Marie-Louise Brunner and Stefan Diemer)



Other Research Interests

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • Discourse analysis
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Culture, Sociology, and Psychology


Scholarly engagement

Undergraduate level courses taught at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany:

Intercutural Communication for Sustainable Business and Technology 


Undergraduate level courses taught at Saarland University, Germany:
  • Introduction to linguistics
  • Corpus-assisted discourse studies
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Spoken language
  • Transcribing spoken language
  • Variation in English