By Michael Fortescue
This essay is an try and increase a believable version of the cognitive methods at the back of the habit exhibited through speaker-hearers in a particular discourse state of affairs.
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Extra resources for A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions
Though he does of course speak of situational conditions and communicative intentions on the part of the speaker, these are on a generalized, context-free plane (situation al rather than discoursal, to use Sinclair and Coulthard's terms), and he does not address himself to the question of expected responses. Fol lowing Austin, he is more concerned with securing 'uptake' (comprehen sion of the speaker's illocutionary intention) for isolated utterances rather than for utterances in context-of-discourse.
He has shown con vincingly how illocutionary acts can be reduced to a very small set when one considers the 'neutral' function of sentence types ; the way that discourse acts in context utilize these potential functions is a different matter - one which directly concerns us. We have seen how the form-function relationship of discourse acts can in theory be handled independantly of any particular sentence gram mar, and we must now turn, in pursuit of more detailed realization RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS rules, to examples from our data where one or another of our acts is realized by forms typical of other acts.
That 's a clue. These utterances are covered by the following realization rule: 'TWENTY QUESTIONS' 56 Give Help Propose Action p 1 Request Rephrase p 2 Remind p 3 (where 'p1' refers to some future, goal-oriented action by the hearer; 'p2' is an expansion of a prior utterance of the hearer's which con tains more useful information than a simple rephrase would ; and 'p3' is a proposition presumed to be known but momentarily forgotten by the hearer, which would help him solve the game problem). 'Propose Action' is itself typically realized by an imperative form or (less authorita tively) a statement of (and/or justification for) the best course of action for the reader to follow.
A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions by Michael Fortescue