Joanna Raçzaszek-Leonardi


Joanna Raczaszek-Leonardi received her MA at the University of Warsaw, and her Ph.D. at the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. She is presently a professor at the University of Warsaw and at the Polish Academy of Sciences. As a psycholinguist interested in language as a dynamical system, she is engaged in identifying important dynamics and timescales in language functioning, learning, and evolution. Her experimental interests concern methods for studying dynamics of on-line encounters. She is a co-founder of an interdisciplinary group Cognitive Systems Warsaw.

Regarding the aims of this workshop, Professor Raçzaszek-Leonardi says, “A fascinating problem for me is the ‘necessity of differing’ that stems from the distributed cognition perspective. I always wondered how it is viewed by political-scientists & philosophers.”

Presentation title: “Between communion and efficacy: synchrony and complementarity in dialogical systems”

Abstract: Language features in social coordination in many aspects and on many different time-scales. It relies on a rich background of human interactivity, acting as a constraint on ongoing encounters and shaping interactive episodes on the cultural time-scale. On the other hand, language creates its own rhythms and patterns that can further strengthen the dialogical system’s coherence as well as more efficiently distribute the roles of the participants.

In this talk, the two aspects of interaction (understood as temporary forming coherent and functional systems) will be investigated: i) mechanisms for ‘social glue’, that are responsible for creating and maintaining the systemic properties of the whole, and ii) mechanisms for ‘breaking away’ from being the same, which are crucial for forming synergies, i.e. coordinative systems that are functional towards external goals. The tension between these two aspects will be examined, leading to seeing conflict as an inevitable consequence of scouting the borders of being together in striving for efficacy that requires participants to differ.

Ways of examining some these ideas empirically will be presented, with examples both from developmental work on child – care-taker dyads and from dynamical analyses of adult dyads in collaborative and conflictual conversations.

Professor Raçzaszek-Leonardi can be reached at this email address: