Completions, Coordination, and Alignment in Dialogue

Massimo Poesio, Hannes Rieser


Collaborative completions are among the strongest evidence that dialogue requires
coordination even at the sub-sentential level; the study of sentence completions may thus
shed light on a number of central issues both at the `macro’ level of dialogue management
and at the `micro’ level of the semantic interpretation of utterances. We propose a treatment
of collaborative completions in PTT, a theory of interpretation in dialogue that provides
some of the necessary ingredients for a formal account of completions at the ‘micro’ level,
such a theory of incremental utterance interpretation and an account of grounding. We
argue that an account of semantic interpretation in completions can be provided through
relatively straightforward generalizations of existing theories of syntax such as Lexical Tree
Adjoining Grammar (LTAG) and of semantics such as (Compositional) DRT and Situation
Semantics. At the macro level, we provide an intentional account of completions, as well as a
preliminary account within Pickering and Garrod’s alignment theory.

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www.dialogue-and-discourse.orgISSN: 2152-9620   Journal doi: 10.5087/dad