Speakers, Listeners and Communication: Explorations in Discourse Analysis

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Gillian Brown draws on a wide range of examples of discourse analysis to explore the ways in which speakers and listeners use language collaboratively to talk about what they can see in front of them and about a series of events. The focus of her attention is on the listener's role, as the listener tries to make sense of what the speaker says in a highly constrained context; and her cognitive/pragmatic approach to discourse analysis both complements and challenges current sociological/anthropological perspectives on the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brown's book should be of interest to many computational linguists, especially those whose work is in topics related to anaphora, referring expressions, discourse structure, or speech understanding. In particular, it will interest those whose research is in the area of preventing or repairing miscommunication, a topic of current interest in the field. Brown's experimental tasks provide a straightforward method for reliably generating examples of how people address this issue....Language researchers considering alternatives for experimental design will also find the book useful. To its credit, the book is clearly written and well organized. In particular, the discussion of the design and motivation for the two tasks is clear and thought-provoking." Susan McRoy, Computational Linguistics

"This book is an excellent text. The author writes clearly and easily, making the book appropriate both for scholars in the field and for students in communication. Brown also clearly establishes the theoretical underpinnings for her examination, a task not always so thoroughly undertaken by so many of today's scholars. This book illustrates solid qulitative research, and should also serve as a stepping stone for further research by other scholars. I only hope that Gillian Brown continues her line of research and I look forward to her next publication." L. Todd Thomas, Quarterly Journal of Speech

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521587051
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Speakers, listeners, and communication; 2. The map task method; 3. Identifying features in a landscape; 4. Guiding the listener through the landscape; 5. The stolen letter task: understanding reference to individuals in a narrative; 6. Understanding narratives; 7. The listener and discourse comprehension.
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