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Title: A procedural discourse generation model for 'Twenty Questions'
Author: Fortescue, M. D.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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A model is presented for the interactive generation of discourse in a clearly defined area of verbal behaviour (of interest in its own right) in procedural rather than purely descriptive terms. It is built up from an examination of the relation between form and function in the recorded data (fairly informal games of 'Twenty Questions' in English and three other contrasting languages) for evidence of - and justification for - the some sixty discrete discourse acts involved. The latter are then treated as complex input-output processing units called 'demons' operating within context formalizations termed 'frames'. The relationship between this procedural approach and descriptive discourse analysis and speech act theory is continually assessed. This discourse component is subsequently integrated with components dealing with sentence generation and game strategies to produce a complete model (incorporating syntax, semantics and pragmatics) whose operation is illustrated diagramatically for selected games. It is compared with a simplified but working program for Twenty Questions, and an attempt is made to test some of the replies embodied in the model. The methodology behind the thesis is a synthesis of approaches from Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Psychology as well as from within Linguistics itself. The belief is that such an integrative project is a step towards a theory of context-specific Pragmatics meaningful to all three disciplines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available