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date: 23 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article introduces the linguistic subdiscipline of pragmatics and shows how this is being applied to the development of spoken dialogue systems — currently perhaps the most important applications area for computational pragmatics. It traces the history of pragmatics from its philosophical roots, and outlines some key notions of theoretical pragmatics — speech acts, illocutionary force, the cooperative principle and relevance. It then discusses the application of pragmatics to dialogue modelling, especially the development of spoken dialogue systems intended to interact with human beings in task-oriented scenarios such as providing travel information and shows how and why computational pragmatics differs from ‘linguistic’ pragmatics, and how pragmatics contributes to the computational analysis of dialogues. One major illustration of this is the application of speech act theory in the analysis and synthesis of service interactions in terms of dialogue acts.

Keywords: linguistic, pragmatics, dialogue modelling, computational analysis, computational pragmatics

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