Download A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions by Michael Fortescue PDF

By Michael Fortescue

This essay is an try to increase a believable version of the cognitive techniques in the back of the habit exhibited via speaker-hearers in a selected discourse scenario.

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The point is, though, that a minimal 'yes/no' response would be appropriate here (any further action according to the answer on the 'TWENTY QUESTIONS' 50 questioner's part being wholly his own affair), as in the following example: Q: You been keeping count ? A: No. But A in the first example has calculated in addition - via his (Meta­ frame) knowledge of what he is meant to be doing during the course of the game - that he should state at this point what the count is in fact. It may simply be a case of unintentional reminding on Q's part (he really just wanted to know), but sharing the same 'Meta-frame' in­ formation he is able to recognize the appropriateness of A's response 27 to the presumed perlocutionary force behind the question .

When we address ourselves to a wider range of contextualized discourse acts, however, the relevance of the notion becomes much more questionable due to the wide array of forms available for realizing them and to the possibility of one utterance performing more than one act at once. Thus already in the case of game questions we have found that forms typically associated with the making of statements are com­ mon in that function. It seems intuitively unlikely that the hearer in these cases has first to recognize that the utterance is a statement (its 'literal' illocutionary force), then to compute the implicature (Grice's term for this relationship) that its primary force is that of a question.

Sin­ cerity: the speaker wants the hearer to do A. Here again it is the si­ tuational context that determines what the player might want to do or is able to do and is likely to request (at least as regards the actual playing of the game). It is the propositional content (and, secondari­ ly» any linguistic marker typically associated with the particular kind of request act) that will determine the appropriate response set fulfilling the request. I have already expressed doubt as to the relevance to discourse analysis of Searle's notion of underlying rules which determine whether an utterance 'counts as' performing a particular speech act.

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