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Interruptions as speech acts

Wallis, P and Edmonds, B (2017) Interruptions as speech acts. In: Workshop on Conversational Interruptions in Human-Agent Interactions (WCIHAI 2017), 27 August 2017, Stockholm, Sweden.


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This paper introduces a model of human communication in which ‘accounting-for’ is the basis of meaning, and argues that interruptions should be handled in the same way as any other speech act. The model has at its core the idea that human languages are inherently intentional – we focus on our conversational partner’s goals – and that what is needed is mixed initiative at the level of intent. It would seem interruptions can reaffirm or contradict the speaker’s current intent and the paper finishes with a description of our (very) shallow approach to intention recognition.

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