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Speakers, Listeners and Communication : Explorations in Discourse Analysis - Gillian Brown

Speakers, Listeners and Communication

Explorations in Discourse Analysis

Paperback Published: 3rd February 1997
ISBN: 9780521587051
Number Of Pages: 268

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In this book Gillian Brown draws on a wide range of examples of discourse analysis to explore the ways in which speakers and listeners use language collaboratively to talk about what they can see in front of them and about a series of events. She examines the conditions under which communication is successful, and the conditions under which it sometimes fails. The focus of her attention is upon the listener's role, as the listener tries to make sense of what the speaker says in a highly constrained context; her cognitive/pragmatic approach to discourse analysis both complements and challenges the sociological/anthropological perspectives on the subject which currently predominate. Gillian Brown is co-author of the well-known textbook Discourse Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1983).

"Brown's book should be of interest to many computational linguists, especially those whose work is in topics related to anaphora, referring expressions, discourse structure, or speech understanding. In particular, it will interest those whose research is in the area of preventing or repairing miscommunication, a topic of current interest in the field. Brown's experimental tasks provide a straightforward method for reliably generating examples of how people address this issue...Language researchers considering alternatives for experimental design will also find the book useful. To its credit, the book is clearly written and well organized. In particular, the discussion of the design and motivation for the two tasks is clear and thought-provoking." Susan McRoy, Computational Linguistics "This book is an excellent text. The author writes clearly and easily, making the book appropriate both for scholars in the field and for students in communication. Brown also clearly establishes the theoretical underpinnings for her examination, a task not always so thoroughly undertaken by so many of today's scholars. This book illustrates solid qulitative research, and should also serve as a stepping stone for further research by other scholars. I only hope that Gillian Brown continues her line of research and I look forward to her next publication." L. Todd Thomas, Quarterly Journal of Speech

Acknowledgementsp. xi
Transcription conventionsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Speakers, listeners and communicationp. 6
The nature of communicationp. 6
Variable interpretation in different contextsp. 11
The effect of context on interpretationp. 11
Speaker meaning and sentence meaningp. 14
Variable interpretation among listenersp. 16
Correct interpretationp. 19
Adequate interpretationp. 22
The gap between speaker and listenerp. 24
The speaker's rolep. 24
The listener's rolep. 26
Minimising risk in communicationp. 29
Conclusionp. 30
The Map task methodp. 32
Methods and problems with methodsp. 32
Background to the Map taskp. 41
A simple Map taskp. 46
Context and interpretationp. 52
Conclusionp. 55
Identifying features in a landscapep. 56
The nature of referencep. 56
Sensep. 56
Denotationp. 58
Referencep. 62
The priority of reference in understanding languagep. 64
Sources of informationp. 66
Referring in a spatial domainp. 69
Understanding referring expressions in a spatial domainp. 72
Shared features: the paradigm case of referencep. 72
Different descriptions of the same featurep. 73
Similar features in different locationsp. 77
A-role interpretations of B-role utterancesp. 84
Understanding constitutive expressionsp. 87
Unshared features: problematic constitutive expressionsp. 93
Expression meaning and speaker meaningp. 96
Achieving adequate interpretation of referring expressionsp. 100
Conclusionp. 102
Guiding the listener through the landscapep. 104
Locations and landscape featuresp. 104
Deixisp. 108
Spatial deixisp. 109
Deixis and the search fieldp. 112
The tour approach and the map approachp. 118
Person/entity deixis in referring expressionsp. 119
Deixis and anaphoric definite expressionsp. 120
Deixis and introductory definite expressionsp. 122
Conclusionp. 124
The Stolen letter task: understanding reference to individuals in a narrativep. 125
Narrative tasksp. 125
The Stolen letter taskp. 126
Initial referencep. 133
Distinguishing between potential referentsp. 135
Tracking referents through anaphoric expressionsp. 142
Lexis and referential identityp. 151
Language and the worldp. 156
Constitutive expressions in the Stolen letter taskp. 162
Conclusionp. 166
Understanding narrativesp. 168
The temporal structure of the Stolen letter taskp. 169
Establishing Time Ap. 170
Establishing Time Bp. 175
Establishing Time Cp. 176
Temporal deixisp. 177
Temporal deixis in the Stolen letter taskp. 179
Ordo naturalis in the Stolen letter taskp. 185
Achieving a shared perspective in the Stolen letter taskp. 188
How is context constrained in temporally structured tasks?p. 191
Conclusionp. 199
The listener and discourse comprehensionp. 201
Listener rolesp. 201
Accounts of listener rolesp. 201
Listener roles in the Map taskp. 204
Listener roles in the Stolen letter taskp. 207
The initial narration phasep. 208
The discussion (and final narration) phasep. 212
Shared context and shared informationp. 217
Mutual knowledge and mutual beliefsp. 217
What the listener knows in the Map taskp. 221
Expression meaning and speaker intentionsp. 227
Conclusionp. 232
Epiloguep. 234
Referencesp. 237
Indexp. 246
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521587051
ISBN-10: 0521587050
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: 3rd February 1997
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.4