By Michael Fortescue
This essay is an try and increase a believable version of the cognitive techniques in the back of the habit exhibited by means of speaker-hearers in a particular discourse scenario.
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Extra info for A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions
Yes, as far as I know. I can't answer that question! Strictly, no... Yes... Princess Anne, right. Not it itself. No. It's alive. It's in this room. (Game 2) I don't know. Which one ? I must answer 'yes' there, they do. You've already asked that, didn't you ? (Game 2) It is α bridge, yes... The rules of the game (see Appendix 1) stipulate merely that the answers ought to be simple 'yes/no' ones, though more elaborate res ponses are permitted if the answerer feels it is impossible to answer a question in this dichotomic fashion.
Similarly for 'Re quest Rephrase/Expand'. What is special here about the 'neutral' act 'Request Information' is that the hearer only has to recognize that a polar question has been asked (as directly determinable from the form of the utterance) in order to respond appropriately with a reply: he does not need to recognize any further motivation behind the act, whereas for all other acts realized by interrogative forms in the data something else must be recognized for successful uptake. g. tag questions in the case of 'Request Confir mation').
The labels of the acts in the left-hand column can be regarded as describing the commu nicative needs served by the acts (as intended by the speaker). It is the combination of minimally adequate response set and propositional content (the central columns) that forms the basis of this classifica tion into distinct acts, parallelling the intuitive classification sup plied by column one. The last column gives only a very sketchy indica tion of some of the more common realizations of these acts (interroga tive forms only).
A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions by Michael Fortescue