Deborah Tannen (*1945)


  • Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Linguistics
  • Interpersonal communication

Notable Ideas

  • Poetics of conversation: everyday conversation is made up of linguistic features (repetition, dialogue, and imagery, that are traditionally regarded as literary).
  • She is best known for her general-audience books on interpersonal communication and public discourse.

Academic Life

Deborah Tannen is a University Professor at the Department of Linguistics of Georgetown University. She has been a McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University, and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California, following a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

She became well-known in the United States after her book You Just Don't Understand - Women and Men in Conversation was published in 1990 and was subsequently translated into 30 other languages.

Main Publications

  • Tannen, Deborah (2005). Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk Among Friends. 2nd Edition Oxford University Press.
  • Tannen, Deborah (1999). The Argument Culture: Stopping America's War of Words. New York: Ballantine.
  • Tannen, Deborah (2001). Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work. New paperback edition: New York: Quill.
  • Tannen, Deborah (2001). You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New paperback edition: New York: Quill.
  • Tannen, Deborah (1986). That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships. NY: Ballantine.

Categories: People