By Michael Fortescue
This essay is an try and building up a believable version of the cognitive methods at the back of the habit exhibited by way of speaker-hearers in a selected discourse state of affairs.
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Extra info for A Discourse Production Model For Twenty Questions
Of a 'Game Ques tion' ) 2 6 . But how does a hearer recognize when there is no primary illocutionary force (read 'ulterior discourse act intended') behind an inter rogative token of 'Request Information'? How extensively need he search in order to decide that there is no such ulterior point ? Again the answer can be put in terms of propositional content and contextual ex pectancies: within the 'Meta-frame' for the game (the assembly of ex pected response sequences relevant to the monitoring of the game's course - see Chapter 4) information is contained as to the predictable motives of the players throughout the course of the game and a corres ponding array of discourse act correlates reflecting these motives.
Like f o r (e) there i s no d i r e c t relationship between t h i s 'higher' cognitive function and the various l i n g u i s t i c means of expressing i t available. (k) Request Permission Can I give up ? Can I have that question back ? Commonly this act is marked by a modal verb plus a first person pro noun (and indication of the action desired). Such examples can be seen as 'jocular' in as far as they are 'out of place' in the game context: they refer to actions the questioners know they must (not) do accord ing to the rules.
In listing these functional types a certain amount of Overlap' has been in evidence. Can a discrete classification still be justified, even though various markers and constraints on propositional content are shared by several acts ? Clearly the basis for the classification cannot lie in functional or forraal elements alone. There are two relat ed problems here: (1) that of hierarchical level (both in the sense of generalized acts subsuming more specific ones, and of 'higher' cogni tive acts that can utilize more closely 'linguistic' ones in their realization) and (2) that of specific criteria for distinguishing one act from another.