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Cognitive PragmaticsThe Mental Processes of Communication$
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Bruno G. Bara

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014113

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014113.001.0001

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Generation and Comprehension of Communication Acts

Generation and Comprehension of Communication Acts

(p.131) 4 Generation and Comprehension of Communication Acts
Cognitive Pragmatics

Bruno G. Bara

The MIT Press

This chapter explains the scheme of conversation, a special and fundamental case of communication among humans. The general scheme involves an actor who produces an utterance and his partner who builds a representation of its meaning. Comprehension of the utterance(s) may alter the mental states of the partner concerning the topic of the conversation. The partner then generates the conversation. The rules proposed consist of a dyadic model of communication acts which include comprehension and reaction—that is, the meaning intended by the speaker is reconstructed and the high-level intentions required to generate the response are established. If the actor produces an utterance addressed to the partner, the partner’s mental processes may involve five logically connected stages: expression act, speaker meaning, communicative effect, reaction, and response.

Keywords:   conversation, communication acts, actor, partner, expression act, speaker meaning, communicative effect, reaction, response, comprehension

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