Interjection as coordination device: feedback relevance spaces

Dialogue is co-constructed by multiple interlocutors with frequent feedback demonstrating whether something said is taken as understood. To achieve this grounding, we produce relevant next turns or interjections ('mm', 'yeah'). Some interjections indicate processing or coordination difficulties and the need for repair ('huh?'). This feedback does not just occur at the ends of turns, but sub-sententially, showing that grounding occurs incrementally, before a complete proposition has been produced/processed. Using Dynamic Syntax, we provide a low-level, semantic processing model of where feedback ought to be licensed -- feedback relevance spaces (FRSs). These are analogous to (but more common than) transition relevance places -- places where speaker switch may occur. The model accounts for cases where feedback occurs at FRSs, and also describes how it can be integrated at non-FRSs due to the predictive, incremental and interactive nature of Dynamic Syntax.
Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
16th International Pragmatics Conference
Hong Kong
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