Anna Vatanen

Anna Vatanen


Postdoctoral Researcher


I work as a postdoctoral researcher in the iTask project within the COACT research community. I investigate multiactivity situations in the everyday life of families with small children. I am a linguist and use conversation analytic and interactional linguistic methods in my research. I am interested in the linguistic and bodily practices that people use when interacting with each other, and in the structures of social interaction. The phenomena I have worked on include silent moments in interaction, units of language, turn taking in conversation and the timing of turns, and epistemics in interaction.

Research interests

  • Talk, grammar and embodied behavior in social interaction
  • Finnish language, Estonian language
  • Conversation analysis, interactional linguistics, multimodal interaction analysis
  • Video-based research methods
  • Comparative research of talk-in-interaction between different languages


Vatanen, Anna, Suomalainen, Karita & Laury, Ritva. (In press.) The Finnish projector phrase se että as a fixed expression. In Laury, Ritva & Ono, Tsuyoshi (Eds.), Fixed Expressions: Building social action from language structure. Pragmatics and Beyond New Series. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Vatanen, Anna. (In press, 2020.) The interaction order of silent moments in everyday life: Lapses as joint embodied achievements. In Buchholz, Michael & Dimitrijevic, Aleksandar (Eds.), Silence and silencing in psychoanalysis: Cultural, clinical, and research perspectives, pp. 307–332. Routledge.

Vatanen, Anna, Endo, Tomoko & Yokomori, Daisuke. 2020. Cross-Linguistic Investigation of Projection in Overlapping Agreements to Assertions: Stance-Taking as a Resource for Projection. Special issue “Early responses: Projection – sequentiality – simultaneity”, edited by Arnulf Deppermann, Lorenza Mondada and Simona Pekarek-Doehler. Discourse Processes, 1–20.

Suomalainen, Karita, Vatanen, Anna & Laury, Ritva. 2020. The Finnish se että initiated expressions: NPs or not? In Ono, Tsuyoshi & Thompson, Sandra A. (Eds.), The ‘Noun Phrase’ across Languages: An emergent unit in interaction, pp. 12–41. Typological Studies in Language 128. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kohonen-Aho, Laura & Vatanen, Anna. 2020. Participation and co-presence in the virtual world of Second Life: Transitioning from a gathering to an encounter. Journal for Media Linguistics, Discussion Paper 2 (2020). Special issue “Co-constructing presence between players and non-players in videogame sessions”, ed. by Heike Baldauf-Quilliatre & Isabel Colón de Carvajal.  

Stevanovic, Melisa, Hakulinen, Auli & Vatanen, Anna. 2020. Prosody and grammar of other-repetitions in Finnish: Repair initiations, registerings and affectivity. Special issue “Other-repetitions across languages”, ed. by Giovanni Rossi. Language in Society 49 (4), 553–584.

Vatanen, Anna. 2019. Küsilausete funktsioonidest eesti argivestluses. Review on Kirsi Laanesoo: Polüfunktsionaalsed küsilaused eesti argivestluses. Keel ja Kirjandus 12/2019, 1014–1018.

Endo, Tomoko, Vatanen, Anna & Yokomori, Daisuke. 2018. Agreeing in Overlap: A Comparison of Response Practices and Resources for Projection in Finnish, Japanese and Mandarin Talk-in-Interaction. Special issue “Contrastive linguistic research for understanding human culture and society”. The Japanese Journal of Language in Society 21 (1), 160–174.

Vatanen, Anna. 2018. Responding in early overlap: Recognitional onsets in assertion sequences. Research on Language and Social Interaction 51 (2), 107–126. (

Vatanen, Anna. 2018. Resisting an action in conversation by pointing out epistemic incongruence: Mä tiedän ‘I know’ responses in Finnish. Special issue “Units in responsive turns”, ed. by Marja-Liisa Helasvuo, Tomoko Endo & Elise Kärkkäinen. Journal of Pragmatics 123, 192–208.

Vatanen, Anna. 2017. Delayed completions of unfinished turns. On the phenomenon and its boundaries. In Laury, Ritva, Etelämäki, Marja & Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth (Eds.), Linking Clauses and Actions in Social Interaction, pp. 153–174. Studia Fennica Linguistica 20. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (Finnish Literature Society).

Vatanen, Anna. 2016. Keskustelunanalyyttinen tutkimusprosessi [Conversation Analytic Research Process]. In Lindholm, Camilla & Stevanovic, Melisa (Eds.), Keskustelunanalyysi. Kuinka tutkia sosiaalista toimintaa ja vuorovaikutusta [Conversation Analysis. How to study social action and interaction], pp. 312–330. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Vatanen, Anna. 2014. Responding in overlap. Agency, epistemicity and social action in conversation. Doctoral dissertation. Helsinki: University of Helsinki. (Available in an electronic form via

Vatanen, Anna. 2014. Vastausvuoro päällekkäispuhuntana. Toimijuus, tieto ja sosiaalinen toiminta keskustelussa [Responding in overlap. Agency, epistemicity and social action in conversation]. Lectio praecursoria. Virittäjä, 118 (4).

Härmävaara, Hanna-Ilona, Vatanen, Anna & Frick, Maria 2013. Keskusteluntutkimus ja kieltenvälinen vertailu yhteistyössä [Combining Research on Conversation and Cross-Linguistic Comparison]. In Kolehmainen, Leena, Miestamo, Matti & Nordlund, Taru (Eds.), Kielten vertailun metodiikka [The Methodology of Cross-Linguistic Comparison], pp. 135–167. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia 1387. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (Finnish Literature Society).

Vatanen, Anna. 2010. Yhteistyöhakuinen päällekkäispuhunta suomalaisessa ja virolaisessa arkikeskustelussa [Cooperative overlapping talk in Finnish and Estonian everyday conversation]. – Lähivõrdlusi. Lähivertailuja [Close comparisons] 19, 76–94. Tallinn: Eesti rakenduslingvistika ühing.

Previous research projects and communities

Research project "Lapses in interaction and the stereotype of the Silent Finn" (PI, Finnish Cultural Foundation, 2016-2017)

Research project "The question of units in language and interaction" (Postdoctoral researcher, 2014-2016)

Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity in Interaction, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies, University of Helsinki

In the media

Lapses in interaction and the stereotype of the Silent Finn:

BBC travel: How the Finnish survive without small talk (17 Oct 2018)

HS Nyt: BBC:n toimittaja perehtyi suomalaiseen small talkin puutteeseen (18 Oct 2018)

Finnish Cultural Foundation Blog: Hiljaiset suomalaiset – totta vai stereotypiaa? (11 Oct 2016)

Responding in overlap:

Yle: Alkoiko joku puhua päälle, vaikket vielä lopettanut? Tutkimus: siihen on syynsä (31 Oct 2014)

Yle Radio 1, Tiedeykkönen: Me puhumme joskus toistemme päälle, miksi? (7 Nov 2014)


Research groups

  • iTask: Linguistic and embodied features of interactional multitasking
  • COACT (Complexity of (inter)action and multimodal participation)

Thesis supervisions

Doctoral theses
  • Co-supervisor (2017-2020) of PhD Antti Kamunen, "Embodied practices in interactional multitasking"

    Co-supervisor (2018-) of MA Tiina Eilittä, "Multiactivity and attention seeking in adult-child interaction"

Research visits

  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sydney
    30.1.2017 to 30.4.2017