Social Sciences


Dr Rein Ove Sikveland PhD York

Photo of Dr Rein Ove Sikveland

Research Associate

I completed my BA in Humanities in 2003 followed by a 2-year MA in Phonetics in 2005, both at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). After a couple of years of teaching and research at NTNU, I started my PhD at the University of York in 2008. My PhD was part of a multi-disciplinary European Commission-funded project (“Sound to Sense”) which brought together expertise in spoken language and engineering. In collaboration with researchers at KTH Stockholm I recorded face-to-face interactions between friends. Using conversation analysis I demonstrated how precise timing and co-ordination of phonetic and non-verbal detail supports conversational progress and understanding between speakers. After my PhD I studied call centre interactions, and contributed to developing technological applications for call centre profiling (University of Oxford). I joined the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough in August 2014. At Loughborough I am a researcher and co-developer of the ‘Conversation Analytic Role-play Method’ (CARM) project led by Professor Elizabeth Stokoe (

My main research interests are in social interaction: combining conversation analysis, linguistic/phonetic and gestural analyses to explore fundamental building blocks of human social interactions. My PhD research was awarded with a Doctoral Fellowship by the Humanities Research Centre, University of York (2010), for “Intellectual achievement and potential”. In my early-career research I have developed new ways of using research on language and spoken interactions in real-world applications, including speech technology within call centre businesses. I am currently involved in a range of CARM research with Elizabeth Stokoe. My main focus is on service encounters, where members of the public call to make an appointment or request a service. I lead and co-lead research projects with commercial businesses/call centres. I am also doing research on negotiation with people in crisis. Using conversation analysis as method I study how the actual encounters unfold, how problems occur and how they get resolved or avoided altogether. I identify how small changes in language can change the conversation, and its outcome. On the basis of our research I give evidence-based communication skills training. I started to deliver CARM workshops in 2015. I am also currently developing research to ‘up-scale’ applications of conversation analysis.

I have previously taught courses in Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of York, and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I currently run training courses for PhD students at Loughborough University.

  • Stokoe, E., Sikveland, R.O., Huma, B. (accepted). Entering the customer’s domestic domain: Categorial systematics and the identification of ‘parties to a sale’. Journal of Pragmatics, *(*), ***-***.
  • Sikveland, R.O., Stokoe, E. (2017). Enquiry calls to GP surgeries in the UK: Expressions of incomplete service and dissatisfaction in closing sequences. Discourse Studies, *(*), ***-***.
  • Sikveland, R. O., & Stokoe, E. (2017). CARM: The Conversation Analytic Role-play Method. In J. Davidsen & M. Kjær (Eds.), Videoanalyse. Samfundslitteratur.
  • Sikveland, R., & Zeitlyn, D. (2017). Using prosodic cues to identify dialogue acts: methodological challenges. Text & Talk, 37(3), 311-334.
  • Stokoe, E., Sikveland, R.O., Symonds, J. (2016).  Calling the GP surgery: Patient burden, patient satisfaction, and implications for training. British Journal of General Practice, 66(652), e779-e785.
  • Sikveland, R.O., Stokoe, E., Symonds, J. (2016). Patient burden during appointment-making telephone calls to GP practices. Patient Education and Counselling, 99(8), 1310-1318.
  • Sikveland, R.O., Stokoe, E. (2016). Dealing with resistance in initial intake and inquiry calls to mediation: The power of ‘willing’. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 33 (3), 235-254.
  • Stokoe, E., & Sikveland, R.O. (2016). Formulating solutions in mediation. Journal of Pragmatics, * (*), ***-***.
  • Stokoe, E. & Sikveland, R.O. (2016).  The Conversation Analytic Role-play Method: Tacit methods, endogenous impact and interactional ‘nudges’ in applied interaction analysis. In V. Fors, T. O’Dell & S. Pink (Eds.), “Theoretical scholarship and applied practice”. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
  • Stokoe, E., & Sikveland, R.O. (2015).  Keep CARM and talk smarter. International Journal of Sales Transformation, 1(3), 31-34.
  • Sikveland, R., & Ogden R. (2012). Holding gestures across turns: Moments to generate shared understanding. Gesture, 12(2), 166-200.
  • Sikveland, R. (2012). Negotiating towards a next turn: Phonetic resources for ‘doing the same’. Language and Speech, 55(1), 77-98.