Publication details [#57025]

Stadler, Stefanie Alexa. 2013. Speaker or listener or speaker and listener: Why intercultural interaction demands a dual role–relationship. Language and Dialogue 3 (2) : 167–185.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Communication requires a considerable effort in order to facilitate and indeed reach shared understanding between interlocutors. This is even more important in intercultural communication, where our normal cues fail to function and shared background may be incomplete or altogether absent. Seeing as we can no longer rely on our usual meaning construction tools, we have to work harder than in intracultural communication to derive and deliver meaning. As a consequence, it is not sufficient to carry out the usual speaker and listener roles, in which the speaker holds a more active and the listener a more receptive participative role. Instead, both speaker and listener have to work together in a joint, collaborative and contemporaneous effort to create mutual understanding. This paper explores why there is a need in intercultural communication to fulfil a dual role relationship in the meaning creation process, how this can be achieved in intercultural discourse and how it can benefit interlocutors.