Jack Sidnell

HSC 360 (Main) and AP 217
(905) 828-3776




Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Areas of Interest / Research keywords: Linguistic anthropology, Social interaction; Semiotics; Culture; Personhood, Self and Subjectivity

Research Region: Vietnam


Jack Sidnell has conducted field research in the Caribbean, Vietnam, India and North America. His interests centre on the intersection of language structure, social interaction and reflexive reanalysis. His current research examines interlocutor reference (i.e., reference to speaker and hearer) in Vietnamese in both contemporary urban speech communities and across historical contexts. This study poses a set of broad theoretical questions concerning the semiotic mediation of social relations and the consequences of linguistic diversity for social life.


Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1998)

Representative Publications

Fleming, L. & J. Sidnell, The typology and social pragmatics of interlocutor reference in Southeast Asia. Journal of Asian Linguistic Anthropology 2(3):1-20

Sidnell, J. Sign theory and the materiality of discourse. In Anna De Fina & Alexandra Georgakopoulou eds. The Cambridge Handbook of Discourse Studies. Cambridge University Press, pp. 282-305.

Luong, H. V. & J. Sidnell, Shifting referential perspective in Vietnamese speech interaction. In Enfield, N., Sidnell, J. and C. Zuckerman, Studies in the Anthropology of Language in Mainland Southeast Asia. 

Sidnell, J., Trần, Thùy An & Vũ, Thị Thanh Hương. On the division of intersubjective labor in interaction: A preliminary study of other-initiated repair in Vietnamese conversation. In Enfield, N., Sidnell, J. and C. Zuckerman (Eds.) Studies in the Anthropology of Language in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Sidnell, J. Ejecting protestors, interpellating supporters: The interactional pragmatics of expulsion at Trump’s campaign rallies. Semiotica 231: 1-25

Sidnell, J. Action in interaction is conduct under a description. Language in Society  46(3): 313–337.

Enfield, N.J. and J. Sidnell, The Concept of Action. Cambridge University Press. 2017

Enfield, N., Kockelman, P. and J. Sidnell (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge University Press.

Sidnell, J. & M. Shohet. The problem of peers in Vietnamese interaction. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19(3): 618-638.