A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions - download pdf or read online

By Michael Fortescue

ISBN-10: 9027225052

ISBN-13: 9789027225054

This essay is an try to building up a believable version of the cognitive techniques in the back of the habit exhibited by means of speaker-hearers in a selected discourse state of affairs.

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Extra resources for A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions

Example text

This zero response is not, however, a conventionally recognized sequence and the 'reason' behind it must be calculated 'ad hoc' (see Chapter 3 ) . (i) Responses to Signals of Signal Intent Intent ø This act is always followed by the action the speaker announces he in­ tends carrying out, though this action may in fact be silent (recapping to oneself) as in the example under (1) in Chapter 1, where a lengthy pause is followed by a new game question. We can now summarize our findings in a table as on pages 36 and 37, indicating all the aspects of our discourse acts necessary for their recognition as such within the game.

But what of act type (a) ? This looks very much like Searle's (1969) general speech act 'Question' which in turn can, as mentioned earlier, be seen to embrace at least one other of our acts, namely 'Game Question'. Could not all of the acts listed be regarded as bear­ ers of either of the two basic illocutionary forces here of 'Question' and 'Request' ? In an abstract, sentence-meaning sense this may be the case, but in terms of discourse, where distinct acts have distinct in­ teractive consequences, we shall find that illocutionary force (the conventional pragmatic force of an utterance type, such as stating, asking, requesting) is not a sufficient criterion for distinguishing distinct acts· on the discourse level.

If act (a) in our list is indeed Searle's basic 'Question' speech act, how is the 'essential condition' of that act - concerning 'what counts as a question' - relevant to our present classificatory pur- INTERROGATIVES AND QUESTIONS 25 poses ? The point I wish to argue for is that 'counting as' is a vac­ uous concept for the purpose of discourse modelling of the acts we are concerned with (though possibly not for such acts as 'promising', in­ volving socially imposed commitment). e. is a term belonging to the description of the language system rather than to that of the functions of language in a particular social context.

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A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions by Michael Fortescue


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