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, A. (Forthcoming.) The interaction order of silent moments in everyday life: Lapses as joint embodied achievements. In Buchholz, M. & Dimitrijevic, A. (Eds.), Silence and silencing in psychoanalysis: Cultural, clinical, and research perspectives. Routledge.

Endo, T., Vatanen, A. & Yokomori, D. 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, A. 2018. Responding in early overlap: Recognitional onsets in assertion sequences. Research on Language and Social Interaction 51(2), 107-126. (

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

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

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

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

Vatanen, A. 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, H-I., Vatanen, A. & Frick, M. 2013. Keskusteluntutkimus ja kieltenvälinen vertailu yhteistyössä [Combining Research on Conversation and Cross-Linguistic Comparison]. In Kolehmainen, L., Miestamo, M. & Nordlund, T. (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, A. 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)


Professional and community activities

  • University of Helsinki (2009-2017):

Research groups

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

Thesis supervisions

Doctoral theses
  • Co-supervisor of MA Antti Kamunen, "Embodied practices in interactional multitasking"

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

Master's theses
  • Primary supervisor of two MA students

Research visits

  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sydney
    30.1.2017 to 30.4.2017