The Interactive Stance: Meaning for Conversation

ISBN : 9780198722991

Jonathan Ginzburg
430 Pages
166 x 238 mm
Pub date
Apr 2015
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This book presents one of the first attempts at developing a precise, grammatically rooted, theory of conversation motivated by data from real conversations. The theory has descriptive reach from the micro-conversational - e.g. self-repair at the word level - to macro-level phenomena such as multi-party conversation and the characterization of distinct conversational genres. It draws on extensive corpus studies of the British National Corpus, on evidence from language acquisition, and on computer simulations of language evolution. The theory provides accounts of the opening, middle game, and closing stages of conversation. it also offers a new perspective on traditional semantic concerns such as quanitifcation and anaphora. The Interactive Stance challenges orthodox views of grammar by aruging that, unless we wish to excluse from analysis a large body of frequently occurrring words and constructions, the right way to construe grammar is as a system that characterizes types of talk in interaction.


1. Interaction, grammar, and the behavioural sciences
2. From communitarian to interactive semantics
3. A semantic ontology for dialogue
4. Basic interaction in dialogue
5. A grammar for dialogue
6. Grounding and CRification
7. Non-sentential utterances in conversation
8. Extensions
9. An interaction-oriented theory of meaning

About the author: 

Jonathan Ginzburg has held appointments at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and King's College, London. He is currently Professor of Linguistics at Universite Paris-Diderot (Paris 7). He is the author of Interrogative Investigations: The Form, Meaning, and Use of English Interrogatives (jointly with Ivan A. Sag) and has published more than 70 papers. He is one of the founders and currently editor-in-chief of Dialogue and Discourse, one of the Linguistic Society of America's ejournals.

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