ERIC Number: ED166963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Hobbs, Jerry R.; Robinson, Jane J.
The study reported in this paper addresses the problem, "What makes an answer appropriate?" The claim is made that an appropriate answer must address the goals of the question either directly or indirectly. The conditions of the experiment were dialogues between an expert and an apprentice who were repairing an appliance. In the dialogues, three cases of indirect answers are distinguished: (1) the response, though indirect, answers the question asked; (2) the response denies a presupposition of the question; and (3) the answer responds to higher goals the questioner was trying to achieve. Detailed analysis of the dialogues shows that one needs knowledge about the task, the role of the participants, and communication goals in order to construct appropriate answers. As a result of the investigations, it is proposed that an answer is appropriate if it provides some information that allows the questioner to achieve the goals he or she had in mind in asking the question. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Research Inst., Menlo Park, CA.
Identifiers: Answers; Conversation; Questions
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (Summer 1978)