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Affect, alignment and investment in the analysis of stancetaking

Kiesling, Scott F (2012) Affect, alignment and investment in the analysis of stancetaking. In: The Linguistics Seminar Series, West Virginia University.

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Stance has been used increasingly as an important theoretical and analytical term in the study of language and social interaction. Most importantly, it has been deployed as a way to make connections between macro-level social identities and ideologies and what actually happens when people are talking to each other face to face. For all of this analytical success and fervor, stance is still a remarkably contested concept; it is still not clear that all researchers use the term in a similar way, and especially whether they agree on the linguistic resources a speaker can use to make a stance claim. In this paper I propose three main axes of stance and some linguistic resources for indicating these axes. While keeping in mind that stances are always negotiated and interactionally created in context, I propose three main axes: Alignment, affect, and investment. In order to demonstrate how these axes work, I consider how the word ‘just’ does alignment work in two conversations, considering how aspects of its contexts of use combine with its particular meaning and indexicalities to assert stance. I show how the single word modifies the three axes to differing degrees, and propose a heuristic for stance analysis, and how the phrase “I'm just sayin'” has become a conventionalized marker of investment.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kiesling, Scott Fkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING0000-0003-4954-1038
Date: April 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Event Title: The Linguistics Seminar Series
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Refereed: No
Official URL:
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 14:11
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 19:10


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