Trine Heinemann

THSenior researcher
Marie Curie Fellow
Finnish Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction University of Helsinki

 I have a background in Linguistics, then trained as a Conversation Analyst for my PhD.

For many years, I worked mostly within the area of grammar and interaction, exploring among other things how speakers of Danish accomplish a variety of social actions through utilizing the grammatical resources available. In addition, I did some work on professional practice in the context of elderly and their home helps.

In 2008 I joined the Sønderborg Participatory Innovation Research Centre and started exploring design and innovation processes from an interactional angle, investigating, for instance, how participants in such processes negotiate their design. From this developed a natural interest in the material – design and innovation processes are frequently build around objects of various kinds and though talk plays an important role in the negotiation between participants, this negotiation is also clearly tied to the properties of the objects that are used and how the participants makes sense of these objects.

I have since started explored the material aspect of interaction in more detail and will continue to do so in the “Social objects for innovation and learning” project.
Currently, I am for instance editing a book on the sociality of objects with Maurice Nevile, Pentti Haddington and Mirka Rauniomaa. Mirka and I have co-authored a chapter in this book where we compare two different objects that both produce sound: the vacuum cleaner and the car radio. In the chapter we show how participants in interaction orient to the fact that these objects produce sound and hence negotiate when in an interaction they can be turned on. We will look at how participants in interaction negotiate to then subsequently turn these objects off in a later paper. With my PhD student, Eleni Mourtou, I have just completed a paper on how objects can be used to scaffold communication with people with communication disorders and am now working on a paper on how an object such as the design game may scaffold consensus in museum exhibition development (with Mai Murmann and Amy Seakins). Other ongoing projects include the investigation of repeated gestures in a collaborative design activity (with Kristian Mortensen) and an exploration of how the affordance of post-it notes is exploited by participants in workshops (with Agnese Caglio and Jeanette Landgrebe).

Aside from my current interest in objects, I continue to explore the more general interface between grammar and interaction. With Jakob Steensig, I am currently finishing a chapter on responses to remote requests, after which we will begin to explore the Danish turn-initial particle “altså” and its interactional function. We are also involved in a project with some members of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction on recruitments that are made in the imperative form and with people from DanTIN (Danish grammar of talk in interaction) on other-initiated repair in Danish. Finally, I am working with Marja Etelämäki and Anna Vantanen on the disaffiliative uses of syntactic recompletions in Danish, Estonian and Finnish. You can read more on these ongoing projects on my personal website.



  • Three imperative action formats in Danish talk-in-interaction: The case of imperative + modal particles bare and lige Heinemann, T. & Steensig, J. forth.
  • Justifying departures from progressivity: The Danish turn-initial particle altså Heinemann, T. & Steensig, J. forth. In J. Heritage & M.-L. Sorjonen (Eds.) Turn-initial particles across languages (pp. xx-xx).
    Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • From looking to seeing: Indexing delayed intelligibility of an object with the Danish change-of-state token n↑å↓: Heinemann, T. in press. Journal of Pragmatics
  • Rethinking format: an examination of requests. Language in SocietyFox, B. & Heinemann, T. in press.


  • Registering revision: The reduplicated Danish change-of-state token Heinemann, T. 2016. Discourse Studies 18(1), 44-63.
  • The virtual accomplishment of knitting: How novice knitters follow instructions when using a video tutorial Heinemann, T. & Möller, R. L. in press. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 8, 25-47.


  • The alignment of manual and verbal displays in requests for the repair of an object Fox, B. A. & Heinemann, T. 2015, Research on Language and Social Interaction 48(3), 342-362.
  • Concessions in audiology – Heinemann, T. & Matthews, B. 2015. In F. Chevalier & J. Moore (Eds.) Avoidance and withholding in institutional interaction (pp. 337-367). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Recalibrating the context for reported speech and thought Heinemann, T. & Wagner, J. 2016. Text & Talk 35(6), 707-729.
  • Opening up codings? – Steensig, J. & Heinemann, T. 2015. Research on Language and Social Action 48(1), 20-25.


  • Breaching barriers to collaboration in public spaces – Heinemann, T. & Mitchell, R. 2014, TEI ’14 Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, 213-220.
  • Mapping the epistemic landscape in innovation workshops – Landgrebe, J. & Heinemann, T. 2014, Pragmatics & Society 5(2), 191-220.
  • Interacting with objects: Language, materiality and social activity – Nevile, M., Haddington, P., Heinemann, T. & Rauniomaa, M. (Eds.) 2014. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • On the interactional ecology of objects – Nevile, M., Haddington, P., Heinemann, T. & Rauniomaa, M. In Interacting with objects: Language, materiality and social activity (pp. 3-26). Amsterdam/Philadelphia:John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Organising the soundscape: Participants’ orientation to impending sound when turning on auditory objects in interaction – Rauniomaa, M. & Heinemann, T. 2014. In Interacting with objects: Language, materiality and social activity (pp. 145-168). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • The social and moral work of modal constructions in granting remote requests Steensig, J. & Heinemann, T. 2014. In P. Drew & E. Couper-Kuhlen (Eds.) Requesting in social interaction (pp. 145-170). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • Shaping innovation processes through humor – Bogers, M. & Heinemann, T. 2013, Proceedings of PIN-C 2013, 325-329.
  • The design game as a scaffold for consensus in museum exhibition development – Murmann, M. & Heinemann, T.  2013, Proceedings of PIN-C 2013, 16-26.
  • When ‘yes’ is not enough – as an answer to a yes/no question – Steensig, J. & Heinemann, T. 2013. In B. Szczepek Reed & G. Raymond (Eds.) Units of Talk. Units of Action (pp. 207-241). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins


  • Collaborating to restrict: A Conversation Analytic perspective on collaboration in design – Heinemann, T., Landgrebe, J. & Matthews, B. 2012, CoDesign 8 (4), 200-214.
  • Hearing aid adjustment: Translating symptom description into treatment and dealing with expectations – Heinemann, T., Matthews, B. & Raudaskoski, P. 2012. In M. Egbert & A. Deppermann (Eds.) Hearing aids communication. Integrating social interaction, audiology and user centered design to improve hearing technology use (pp. 113-124). Mannheim: Verlag für Gesprächforschung.
  • Analysing conversation – seeing design as social action – Matthews, B. & Heinemann, T. 2012, Design Studies 33, 649-672.


  • Getting the point. The role of gesture in managing intersubjectivity in a design activity – Donovan, J., Heinemann, T., Matthews, B. & Buur, J. 2011, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing 25, 221-235.
  • First came the egg: The positioning and shaping of competing design proposals – Heinemann, T. 2011, PINC  Proceedings 2011, 51-58.
  • From home to institution: Roles, relations and the loss of autonomy in caretaking of the elderly in Denmark – Heinemann, T. 2011. In P. Backhaus (Ed.), Communication in Elderly Care. Cross-Cultural Approaches (pp. 90-111). London: Continuum.
  • Making sense of “things”: Developing new practices and methods for using tangible materials in collaborative processes – Heinemann, T., Boess, S., Landgrebe, J., Mitchell, R. & Nevile, M. 2011, DESIRE ’11 Proceedings of the Second Conference on Creativity and Innovation in Design. ACM New York, NY, US, 221-225.
  • Addressing epistemic incongruence in question-answer sequences through the use of epistemic  adverbs – Heinemann, T., Lindström, A. & Steensig, J. 2011. In T. Stivers, L. Mondada & J. Steensig (Eds.), The Morality of Knowledge in Conversation  (pp. 107-130). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  • Realization as a device for remedying problems of affiliation in interaction – Emmertsen, S. & Heinemann, T. 2010, Research on Language and Social Interaction 43 (2), 109-132.
  • The question-response system of Danish – Heinemann, T. 2010, Journal of Pragmatics 42, 2703-2725


  • Participation and exclusion in third party complaints – Heinemann, T. 2009, Journal of Pragmatics 41 (12), 2435-2451.
  • Managing unavoidable conflicts in caretaking of the elderly: Humor as a mitigating resource – Heinemann, T. 2009, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 200, 103-127.
  • Two answers to inapposite inquiries – Heinemann, T. 2009. In J. Sidnell (Ed.), Conversation Analysis: Comparative Perspectives  (pp. 159-186). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Co-constructing meaning with materials in innovation workshops – Heinemann, T., Mitchell, R. & Buur, J. 2009. In B. Darras  & S. Belkhamsa (Eds.), Object et Communication, MEI 30-31 (pp. 289-304). Paris: Aujourd’hui.
  • Complaining in interaction: Introduction – Heinemann, T. & Traverso, V. 2009, Journal of Pragmatics 41 (12),  2381-2384.
  • Good enough: Low-grade assessments in caregiving situations – Lindström, A. & Heinemann, T. 2009, Research on Language and Social Interaction 42 (4), 309-328.
  • Technology use and patient participation in audiological consultations – Matthews, B. & Heinemann, T. 2009, Australasian Medical Journal 1 (10), 36-43.
  • Universals and cultural variation in turn-taking in conversation – Stivers, T., Enfield, N.J., Brown, P., Englert, C., Heinemann, T., Hayashi, M., Hoymann, G., Rossano, F., de Ruiter, J. P., Yoon, K. & Levinson, S. 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 106  (26), 10587-10592.


  • Questions of accountability: Yes-no interrogatives that are unanswerable – Heinemann, T. 2008, Discourse Studies 10 (1), 55-71.


  • Professional self-disclosure: When the home help talks about herself – Heinemann, T. 2007. In C. Kerbrat-Orecchioni & V. Traverso (Eds.), Confidence/dévoilement de soi dans l’interaction (pp. 325-342). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.


  • “Will you or can’t you?”: Displaying entitlement in interrogative requests – Heinemann, T. 2006, Journal of Pragmatics 38, 1081-1104.


  • Where grammar and interaction meet: The preference for matched polarity in responsive turns in Danish – Heinemann, T. 2005. In A. Hakulinen & M.  Selting (Eds.), Syntax and Lexis in Conversation: Studies on the use of linguistic resources in talk-in-interaction (pp.375- 402). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.