Responsive animation and the negotiation of (shared) self-deprecating attributes and experiences in interaction

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Speaking on one's own behalf and asserting one's entitlement to assess oneself are regular features of interaction, but participants often sound for others through practices like responsive animation, through which they are seen to be temporarily “doing being” others in a responsive slot. In this paper we study a collection of responsive animations consisting primarily of non-lexical vocalisations with gestural ensembles produced in contexts where territorial rights are in tension. We focus on environments where a participant engages in self-deprecating disclosures around past or projected negative happenings that may be shared by a co-participant (albeit experienced independently) and who animates an aspect of these in response. We describe how co-participants sound for each other by deploying animations that instead of minimising deprecating components, actually amplify them through a transformed and creative vocal and/or visual demonstration of a jointly negotiated (shared) attribute or experience. These animations create brief moments of heightened involvement and other-attentiveness before transitioning to a new/next order of conversational business.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-220
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Communication
Early online date14 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.


  • Animation
  • Non-lexical vocalisation
  • Self-deprecation
  • Shared experience
  • Sounding for others

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