Article

Alignment in dialogue

Simon Garrod and Martin J. Pickering

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568971
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198568971.013.0026
 Alignment in dialogue

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article argues that psycholinguists need to think in a different way to understand processing in dialogue. According to this view, interlocutors do not use language to encode and decode messages, but rather as a means by which they can align their mental states, so that they come to have the same ideas about the topic under discussion. It would in principle be possible to decompose this task into discrete acts of comprehension and production, but in practice real dialogue involves constant overlaying of production and comprehension. It is much better to understand dialogue as a joint activity, like ballroom dancing or using a two-handed saw, and to assume that alignment follows from this inherently interactive process. On the assumption that the goal of dialogue is alignment, this article discusses ways in which interlocutors come to achieve this state. First, it considers alignment via beliefs about one's interlocutor, and then discusses alignment via imitation. The article also looks at alignment via agreements between interlocutors, alignment via feedback, and alignment via physical co-presence.

Keywords: dialogue; alignment; interlocutors; imitation; agreements; feedback; physical co-presence

Article.  6655 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.