Dialogue Modelling and the Remit of Core Grammar

Gregoromichelaki, Eleni; Sato, Yo; Kempson, Ruth; Gargett, Andrew and Howes, Christine (2009). Dialogue Modelling and the Remit of Core Grammar. In: Proceedings of the Eight International Conference on Computational Semantics, Jan 2009, Tilburg, The Netherlands, pp. 128–139.


In confronting the challenge of providing formal models of dialogue, with its plethora of fragments and rich variation in modes of context-dependent construal, it might seem that linguists face two types of methodological choice: either (a) conversation employs dialogue-specific mechanisms, for which a grammar specific to such activity must be constructed; or (b) variation arises due to independent parsing/production systems which invoke a process-neutral grammar. However, as dialogue research continues to develop, there are intermediate possibilities, and in this paper we discuss the approach developed within Dynamic Syntax (DS, Kempson et al. 2001, Cann et al. 2005), a grammar framework within which, not only the parser, but indeed “syntax” itself are just a single mechanism allowing the progressive construction of semantic representations in context. Here we take as a case study the set of phenomena classifiable as clarifications, reformulations, fragment requests and corrections accompanied by extensions, and argue that though these may seem to be uniquely constitutive of dialogue, they are grounded in the mechanisms of apposition equivalently usable in monologue for presenting reformulations, extensions, self-corrections etc.

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