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How to Do Things With Dialogues Martin Weißer erlangen.de A Brief Introduction to Computational Pragmatics.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Do Things With Dialogues Martin Weißer erlangen.de A Brief Introduction to Computational Pragmatics."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Do Things With Dialogues Martin Weißer Martin.Weisser@rzmail.uni- erlangen.de A Brief Introduction to Computational Pragmatics

2 The Relevance of Dialogue Analysis  dialogue systems –human-machine interaction for transactions, e.g. information systems for train/flight timetable information, bookings & reservations, etc. –tutorial systems –human-human mediation for dialogue partners who speak different languages (VERBMOBIL)  analysis of management meetings, e.g. automatic identification of decisions  compilation of annotated corpora for –linguistic purposes, e.g. language teaching or research –development of ‘statistical’ procedures (training materials)

3 Brief Historical Sketch of Speech Act Theory  Austin 1962 How to Do Things With Words –performative verbs –some utterances don‘t just ‘say’, but ‘do’ something –felicity conditions  Searle 1969 Speech Acts –speech act is the expression of an illocutionary force –one and the same thing can be expressed in different ways –IFIDs =“illocutionary force indicating devices” –conditions that have to be fulfilled in order for a speech act to be successful  preparatory  sincerity  essential  Grice 1967/75/89 ‘Logic and Conversation’ –implicature –Co-operative Principle, categories (maxims)  Quantity  Quality  Relation  Manner –Expectations

4 What Is Dialogue?  strictly speaking, spoken interaction between two participants  occasionally also third parties  spoken discourse in general  we‘ll mainly be talking about transactional dialogues –limited domain  limited vocabulary  limited content  relatively fixed structure

5 What Is the Linguistic Content of Dialogues?  hierarchy of levels –highest level  subject (domain; goal, task)  macro level –intermediate level  sub goals; sub dialogues  meso level –lowest level  speech act/intentions and semantic information  micro level  here, we mainly discuss the micro level

6 What Are the Formal Levels In Dialogues?  the dialogue itself as a document  individual speaker turns –mostly straightforward, but what about overlaps?  units within the turn? –sentences? –phrases? –other units?  what could the latter depend on, i.e. what criteria could be used in order to split turns? exercise units

7 Structural Units Within the Turn  not ‘sentences’, but C-Units  units that comprise both “clausal and non-clausal units […] that […] cannot be syntactically integrated with the elements that precede or follow them.” (Biber et. al., 1999 p. 1070) –yes/no units –discourse markers –wh-questions –yes/no-questions –declaratives –imperatives –fragments

8 Yes/No units  acknowledging –yes, yeah, yep  accepting –yes, please  negating –no  rejecting –no thanks

9 Discourse Markers  certain parallels with Yes/No units  acknowledging –aha, right, fine, ok  initiating/initialising –well, now, so

10 Wh-Questions  identifiable via question words –who, what, when, where, how, …  potential problem (at least in European languages) –relative pronouns –exclamations  requests for information –and how many people's travelling  requests for instructions –for which journey do you wish to purchase a ticket

11 Yes/No-Questions  requests for information –simple information  em is there a train from Liverpool –options  do you hold a current credit or debit card  do you take Diner's or American Express or anything like that  choices –simple choices  would you like me to book that for you –alternatives  is it smoking or non smoking

12 Declaratives  syntactically well formed ‘statements’ –em i've just been in touch with the 0 3 4 5 1 2 1 9 6 2 number  also ‘co-’ and ‘subordinated’ units if you're actually buying a return ticket you must return from the station if you're actually buying a return ticket

13 Imperatives  pure ‘orders’ –hold the line –and confirm that address for me please  suggestions –let's say {#} half 3 in the afternoon

14 Fragments  syntactically incomplete ‘statements’ –frequently no finite verb  arriving at 17 30  er Euston to Manchester please –sometimes single noun phrases  [ October  every hour {#}  er Monday exercise units 2

15 Levels of Content  as we have seen, syntactic form does not exactly mirror the function of the unit... ..., but it restricts it  defaults  so which additional indicators are there that may help to ‘disambiguate’ the syntax? –‘communicative’ pieces of content (modes) → Semantico-Pragmatics –‘thematic’ pieces of content (topics) → Semantics exercise syntax & content

16 Modes  generic indicators of the function of a unit  may sometimes look like speech acts, but often do not express one themselves, but need to be interpreted in their context –e.g. hello in the middle of a dialogue, which initially looks like a greeting, but mainly indicates ‘uptake’ of an interrupted dialogue in this position  some modes are inherent to certain syntactic typen –wh-questions mainly offer a (relatively) open choice of options, whereas yes/no-questions mostly offer only a limited amount of alternatives –answers conclude dialogue parts ‘opened up’ by questions

17 4 Basic Types of Modes  grammatical –signal conditions or circumstances which influence the actions of the dialogue participants  interactional –signal reactions of a dialogue participant to spoken actions of an interlocutor or initiate/initialise new parts of a dialogue  point-of-view –signal awareness, opinions or knowledge of a dialogue participant  social –greetings or expressions of sym-/empathy –often highly cultural exercise syntax & modes

18 Grammatical Modes  alternative  either, or  condition  if, whether, unless, as long as, while, etc.  constrain  (al)though, but, only, have (got) to, must, need, etc.  exists  there's, there are, is there, etc.  possibility (poss1, poss2, poss3)  can, be able, might, may, etc.  probability  probably, likely, etc.  reason  cos, because, that's why …, etc.  open  closed  closure

19 Interactional Modes  backchannel  m(h)m, etc.  intent  i’ll just …, i’m (not) going to …, i'd like to …, etc.  manage  bear with me, hold the line, let me think, etc.  offer  i offer, etc.  preference  prefer, want(s/ed), wanna, wish, hope, *d/you like, i/he/she/they/we’d/would rather, i/we'll go for  reassurance  that‘s ok, that’s fine, etc.  report  i’m told, i've been told, etc.  abandon …………

20 Point-of-View Modes  awareness  i (know|realise|understand) …, i'm aware …, etc.  doubt  i doubt …, i wonder (if) …, etc.  opinion  we think …, i suppose …, belief, etc.

21 Social Modes  apology  apolog(ise|y)  appreciate  no problem, that would be (brilliant|correct|fine|great|lovely|wonderful)  thank  thanks, thank you  greet  hi, hello, good afternoon, bye  intro  Sandra speaking  bye  bye, goodbye  closing  네 알겠습니다  regret  i'm (very) sorry, we regret, etc.  expletive  oh shit, damn, etc.  insult  you (bastard|idiot), (damn|blast) you

22 Topics  describe what the dialogue ‘is all about’  are only of limited usefulness for ‘disambiguation’  2 different types –generic  references to times & places, addresses & other personal details, enumerations, etc.  occur with very high probability in all types of dialogues –domain-specific  type of ticket, of room, etc.  specific bits of information, restricted by the domain exercise topics

23 Synthesis of the Speech Act  there are four options for assigning the final speech act –the default assigned during the syntax analysis phase is accepted without modification –the default may be corrected or newly assigned, based on syntactic information and modes –the default may be corrected or newly assigned based on syntactic information, modes and topics –the default may be newly assigned purely on the basis of topic information exercise speech acts

24 Spaacy Demo


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