28 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 5, 2011
This paper builds a dialectical system of explanation with speech act rules that define the kinds of moves allowed, like requesting and offering an explanation. Pre and post- condition rules for the speech acts determine when a particular speech act can be put forward as a move in the dialogue, and what type of move or moves must follow it. A successful explanation has been achieved when there has been a transfer of understanding from the party giving the explanation to the party asking for it. The dialogue has an opening stage, an explanation stage and a closing stage. Whether a transfer of understanding has taken place is tested by a dialectical shift to an examination dialogue.
Keywords: explanation, speech acts, formal dialogue systems, understanding
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