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Felicia Roberts

Felicia Roberts

Professor // Communication

Professor // Linguistics // SIS

Research focus:
Conversational Analysis

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 2170

Office hours: Spring 2024: Tuesday & Wednesday; 1:30-2:30pm


Phone: (765) 494-3323

Get to Know Professor Felicia Roberts

I typically work with graduate students who are interested in studying everyday language practices that create and sustain personal and professional identities. This has been in contexts as diverse as doctor-patient encounters, parent-child interaction, advisor-student relationships, and veterinarians managing people and their pets. I also work with students interested in sociolinguistics more broadly, or the study of variation in language use and language attitudes across factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, region, and so on.

I try to foster independence in graduate students and do my best to help them find the right path for themselves. I see this as a scaffolding process, where we set some tailored goals and then I count on them to come prepared with some answers, but also to return with interesting questions that we can brainstorm together. Depending on where the student is in their program, we may meet as frequently as every two weeks or as infrequently as twice in the semester. Each student has different intellectual strengths and different value orientations to the world; my goal is to help them find and express those things through their research and teaching. 


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison (1996)
B.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison (1980)

Dr. Roberts' primary interest is conversation analysis, understanding the coordinated verbal and nonverbal practices that construct everyday and institutional life. Her research crosses contexts from doctor-patient encounters to parent-child interaction, to veterinarians managing people and their pets. Ongoing interests in language attitudes, perception of non-standard speakers, language variation and change.


Representative Publications

Foti, D. & Roberts, F. (2016). The neural dynamics of speech perception: Dissociable networks for processing linguistic content and monitoring speaker turn-taking. Brain & Language, 63–71.

Roberts, F. & Norris, A.M. (2016). Gendered expectations for “agreeableness” in response to requests and opinions. Communication Research Reports, 33:1, 16-23

Roberts, F., Gettings, P., Torbeck, L., Helft, P. (2015). Reflection on Adverse Event Disclosure in the Postsurgical Hospital Context. Journal of Surgical Education, 72(4), 767-770

Bauer, A. & Roberts, F. (2015). Veterinary-Client Interaction. In Karen Tracy (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Language & Social Interaction. Wiley-Blackwell. (Online pages)

Roberts, F. & Kramer, J. (2014). Request and refusal of opiates in the chronic pain context. In H. Hamilton & W. S. Chou (Eds.) Handbook of Language and Health Communication, pp. 477-489. New York, NY: Routledge.