Understanding dialogue: Language use and social interaction - Speaker: Martin Pickering
University of Edinburgh, Department of Psychology
I present a theory of dialogue as a form of cooperative joint activity. Dialogue is treated as a system involving two interlocutors and a shared workspace that contains their contributions and relevant non-linguistic context. The interlocutors construct shared plans and use them to “post” contributions to the workspace, to comprehend joint contributions, and to distribute control of the dialogue between them. A fundamental part of this process is to simulate their partner’s contributions and to use it to predict the upcoming state of the shared workspace. As a consequence, they align their linguistic representations and their representations of the situation and of the “games” underlying successful communication. The shared workspace is a highly limited resource, and the interlocutors use their aligned representations to say just enough and to speak in good time. I end by applying the account beyond the “minimal dyad” to augmented dialogue, multi-party dialogue, and monologue.
This talk represents joint work with Simon Garrod and is based on our new book.
Pickering, M.J., & Garrod, S. (2021). Understanding dialogue: Language use and social interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://services.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/languages-linguistics/psycholinguistics-and-neurolinguistics/understanding-dialogue-language-use-and-social-interaction?format=HB&isbn=9781108473613