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Biosketch: Professor Per Linell

Per Linell (b. 1944) took his Ph.D. degree in general linguistics (Uppsala, 1974) and is Emeritus Professor of Language and Culture at Linköping University. He was professor of Communication Studies in Linköping from 1981 to 2005, and then in Language and Culture up to 2011. During the years 2005-2010 he was "distinguished researcher" at the Swedish Research Council. He is now Senior Professor in the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at Göteborg University.

Per Linell's research profile is distinctly interdisciplinary. He has specialised in two broad and related fields, general dialogical theory of human sense-making, in communication, thinking and action (Linell, 2009), and institutional communicative activities, in contexts such as legal, health-care and educational institutions and professions (Linell, 2011). He has also contributed to various fields of linguistics, including phonology and the grammar of conversational language. He wrote an influential monograph on the dominant written-language-based perspective in the language sciences, and its dialogical alternatives (Linell, 2005). "Dialogical" theories oppose extreme individualism in psychology and linguistics, and stress the interdependences between individuals and "others" (other individuals, groups, generalised others, cultures, artefacts, etc.). This overlaps with, among other approaches, socio-cultural theories of knowing, thinking, languaging and coping with the world.

Current research activities

Per Linell participates in the LINT program (Learning, interactive technologies and the development of narrative knowing and remembering), integrated with the LinCS centre. More generally, he is engaged in international cooperations regarding the further development of dialogical theories of language and the mind.

Some recent publications


Linell, P. (2013a). Distributed language theory, with or without dialogue. Review article based on S. Cowley (ed.), Distributed Language. (Amsterdam. John Benjamins). Language Sciences. 40: 168-173.

Linell, P. (2013b). Are Natural Languages Codes? In: Proceedings from Symposium on Language Acquisition and Language Evolution, PERILUS 2011 (Working Papers from the Phonetics Laboratory at the Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University). 39-50.

Linell, P. (2013c). The dynamics of incrementation in utterance-building: Processes and resources. In: Szczepek Reed, B. & Raymond, G. (Eds.), Units of Talk - Units of Actions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 57-89.

Andrén, M., Sanne, J. & Linell, P. (2010). Striking the Balance between Formality and Informality in Safety-Critical Activities: Train Traffic Control Calls. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 220-241.

Book chapters

Linell, P. 2012b. On the Nature of Language: Formal Written-Language-Biased Linguistics vs. Dialogical Language Sciences. In: Kravchenko, A. (Ed.), Cognitive Dynamics in Linguistic Interactions. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 107-124.

Linell, P., Jakobsson Öhrn, H. & Jönsson, L. 2011. Minnas eller inte minnas: Om polisförhöret som en institutionaliserad ram för minnandet. In: Säljö, R. (ed.), Lärande och minnande som social praktik. Stockholm: Norstedts. 365-386.

Linell, P. 2011a. Tänkande och minnande i ett dialogiskt perspektiv - en epilog. In: Säljö, R. (ed.), Lärande och minnande som social praktik. Stockholm: Norstedts. 437-448.

Linell, P. & Marková, I. (2013). Trust and distrust in interaction: Some theoretical and methodological points. In: Marková, I. & Linell, P. (eds.), Dialogical Approaches to Trust in Communication. Charlotte, NC: InfoAgePublishing.


Linell, P. 2011c. Språkande: samtal, språk och grammatik. (Studies in Language and Culture, 17). Linköping: Department of Culture and Communication.

Linell, P. (2011). Samtalskulturer: Kommunikativa verksamhetstyper i samhället. (Studies in Language and Culture, 18). Linköping: Department of Culture and Communication.

Linell, P. (2009). Rethinking Language, Mind and World Dialogically: Interactional and contextual theories of human sense-making. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Marková, I. & Linell, P. (eds.), (2013) Dialogical Approaches to Trust in Communication. Charlotte, NC: InfoAgePublishing.

Per Linell

Ph.D., Professor

Page Manager: Elin Johansson|Last update: 2/19/2014

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