What we ought to know: Making and breaking common ground

  • Howes, Christine
  • Healey, Patrick G. T.
  • Eshghi, Arash
Turn construction in dialogue is a fundamentally incremental and interactive process, and the coordination of common ground is crucial to understanding. Despite this, there has been little work that experimentally tests the influence of common ground on the interactive building up of meanings in dialogue at the sub-sentential level, or to what extent we take account of shared context when we are constructing a turn. Using the DiET chat tool, we report a series of experiments that alter turns in an ongoing dialogue to see how this collaborative process of building common ground with an interlocutor affects people’s interpretations of and responses to clarification questions and incomplete utterances. Results show that whether something has been previously parsed or produced affects responses, however, there are additional effects that can only be accounted for by taking into account the joint action of building common ground. A formal model of dialogue needs to take into account not just what is said and how, but also who is actively involved in the process of doing so.
Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
Interactive meaning construction in dialogue (workshop at IWCS)
London, UK
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