Figures of dialogue: a view from Ludics

Synthese 183 (S1):59-85 (2011)
In this paper, we study dialogue as a game, but not only in the sense in which there would exist winning strategies and a priori rules. Dialogue is not governed by game rules like for chess or other games, since even if we start from a priori rules, it is always possible to play with them, provided that some invariant properties are preserved. An important discovery of Ludics is that such properties may be expressed in geometrical terms. The main feature of a dialogue is “convergence”. Intuitively, a dialogue “diverges” when it stops prematurely by some disruption, or a violation of the tacit agreed upon conditions of the discourse. It converges when the two speakers go together towards a situation where they agree at least on some points. As we shall see, convergence may be thought of through the geometrical concept of orthogonality . Utterances in a dialogue have as their content, not only the processes (similar to proofs) which lead to them from a monologic view, but also their interactions with other utterances. Finally, any utterance must be seen as co-constructed in an interaction between two processes. That is to say that it not only contains one speaker’s intentions but also his or her expectations from the other interlocutor. From our viewpoint, discursive strategies like narration , elaboration , topicalization may derive from such interactions, as well as speech acts like assertion, question and denegation
Keywords Dialogue  Pragmatics  Logic  Game theory
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0014-6
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Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (1998). Questions in Dialogue. Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (3):237-309.

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