Empirical Results for the Use of Meta-language in Dialog Management

As is well known, dialog partners manage the uncertainty inherent in conversation by continually providing and eliciting feedback, monitoring their own comprehension and the apparent comprehension of their dialog partner, and initiating repairs as needed (see e.g., Cahn & Brennan, 1999; Clark & Brennan, 1991). Given the nature of such monitoring and repair, one might reasonably hypothesize that a good portion of the utterances involved in dialog management employ meta-language. But while there has been a great deal of work on the specific topic of dialog management, and it is widely (if often tacitly) accepted that meta-language is frequently involved, there has been no work specifically investigating and quantifying the role of meta-language in dialog management. Thus, this small study investigated the correlation between meta-language and dialog management utterances in three dialog files of the British National Corpus (BNC).
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