Incrementality and intention-recognition in utterance processing.

Eleni Gregoromichelaki, Ruth Kempson, Matt Purver, Gregory James Mills, Ronnie Cann, Wilfried Meyer-Viol, Patrick G.T. Healey

Abstract


Ever since dialogue modelling first developed relative to broadly Gricean assumptions about utter- ance interpretation (Clark, 1996), it has remained an open question whether the full complexity of higher-order intention computation is made use of in everyday conversation. In this paper we exam- ine the phenomenon of split utterances, from the perspective of Dynamic Syntax, to further probe the necessity of full intention recognition/formation in communication: we do so by exploring the extent to which the interactive coordination of dialogue exchange can be seen as emergent from low-level mechanisms of language processing, without needing representation by interlocutors of each other’s mental states, or fully developed intentions as regards messages to be conveyed. We thus illustrate how many dialogue phenomena can be seen as direct consequences of the grammar architecture, as long as this is presented within an incremental, goal-directed/predictive model.

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