On making syntax dynamic

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The Pickering and Garrod model (Pickering & Garrod, 2013) represents a significant advance within the language-as-action paradigm in providing a mechanistic non-inferential account of dialogue. However, we suggest that, in maintaining several aspects of the language-as-product tradition, it does not go far enough in addressing the dynamic nature of the mechanisms involved. We argue for a radical extension of the language-as-action account, showing how compound-utterance phenomena necessitate a grammar-internal characterization which can only be met with a shift of perspective into one in which linguistic knowledge is seen as procedural. This shift provides a more psychologically plausible model of language-in-use, a basis for allowing intentions and speech-acts to be co-constructed, as well as a computationally tractable basis for dialogue models.


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