Feedback relevance spaces: Interactional constraints on processing contexts in Dynamic Syntax

Feedback such as backchannels and clarification requests often occurs subsententially, demonstrating the incremental nature of grounding in dialogue. However, although such feedback can occur at any point within an utterance, it typically does not do so, tending to occur at Feedback Relevance Spaces (FRSs). We present a corpus study of acknowledgements and clarification requests in British English, and describe how our low-level, semantic processing model in Dynamic Syntax accounts for this feedback. The model trivially accounts for the 85% of cases where feedback occurs at FRSs, but we also describe how it can be integrated or interpreted at non-FRSs using the predictive, incremental and interactive nature of the formalism. This model shows how feedback serves to continually realign processing contexts and thus manage the characteristic divergence and convergence that is key to moving dialogue forward.
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Journal of Logic, Language and Information
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