Dialogical Models of Explanation

Doug Walton

This paper takes on the task of providing a formal system of dialogue CE in which the speech acts of requesting and providing an explanation are represented as dialogue moves in the system. CE has opening rules, locution rules, dialogue rules, success rules and closing rules. The system is meant to be simple and basic, to provide a platform for developing more specialized formal dialogue systems of explanation used for specific purposes. The dialogical theory of explanation postulates that an explanation is a dialogue between two parties, one of whom asks a question requesting understanding of something which he or she claims not to understand, while the other offers a response that claims to convey the requested understanding to the party asking the question.

Subjects: 9. Foundational Issues; 6. Computer-Human Interaction

Submitted: May 19, 2007

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