Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Compétence et langage en action

Pekarek Doehler, Simona

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 2006, vol. 84, p. 9-45

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    This paper discusses the notion of language competence in the light of recent developments, emanating from a social-interactionist perspective, that invite us to rethink established conceptions of language, cognition and (inter)action. The paper presents a critical reconceptualization of language competence as rooted in action – a competence-in-action –, and hence as socially situated, collaboratively established and contingent with regard to other competencies. Based on analyses of first and second language interactions, the paper develops empirical arguments that corroborate such an understanding. It then shows in how far this understanding is in line (a) with a situated view of cognition according to which cognitive processes are structured within courses of practical activities – and hence bear traces of these activities –, and (b) with an emergentist view of language according to which language is an adaptative system whose systematicities emerge – at least partially – from its situated use within courses of practical activities.