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Definite Knowledge and Mutual Knowledge

In Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Webber & Ivan A. Sag (eds.), Elements of Discourse Understanding. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 10–63 (1981)

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  1. Common Ground in Non-face-to-face Communication: In Sensu Diviso or In Sensu Composito.Merel Semeijn - 2024 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 53 (3):657-678.
    Traditional definitions of common ground in terms of iterative de re attitudes do not apply to conversations where at least one conversational participant is not acquainted with the other(s). I propose and compare two potential refinements of traditional definitions based on Abelard’s distinction between generality in sensu composito and in sensu diviso.
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  • Compensating for an Inattentive Audience.Nicole N. Craycraft & Sarah Brown‐Schmidt - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (5):1504-1528.
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  • Contributing to Discourse.Herbert H. Clark & Edward F. Schaefer - 1989 - Cognitive Science 13 (2):259-294.
    For people to contribute to discourse, they must do more than utter the right sentence at the right time. The basic requirement is that they add to their common ground in an orderly way. To do this, we argue, they try to establish for each utterance the mutual belief that the addressees have understood what the speaker meant well enough for current purposes. This is accomplished by the collective actions of the current contributor and his or her partners, and these (...)
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  • Anchoring Utterances.Herbert H. Clark - 2021 - Topics in Cognitive Science 13 (2):329-350.
    Clark highlights a neglected issue in research on language use: the process by which speakers and addressees anchor utterances with respect to individual entities in their common ground. In his review, he identifies the challenges linked to investigations of anchoring, but also displays the pitfalls of evading it.
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  • Just How Joint Is Joint Action in Infancy?Malinda Carpenter - 2009 - Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2):380-392.
    Joint action is central to countless aspects of human life. Here I examine the roots of joint action in infancy. First, I provide evidence that—contrary to popular belief—1‐year‐old infants do have the social‐cognitive prerequisites needed to participate in joint action, even in a relatively strict sense: they can read others’ goals and intentions, they have some basic understanding of common knowledge, and they have the ability and motivation to help others achieve their goals. Then I review some evidence of infants’ (...)
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  • Memory and Common Ground Processes in Language Use.Sarah Brown-Schmidt & Melissa C. Duff - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (4):722-736.
    During communication, we form assumptions about what our communication partners know and believe. Information that is mutually known between the discourse partners—their common ground—serves as a backdrop for successful communication. Here we present an introduction to the focus of this topic, which is the role of memory in common ground and language use. Two types of questions emerge as central to understanding the relationship between memory and common ground, specifically questions having to do with the representation of common ground in (...)
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  • Partner‐Specific Adaptation in Dialog.Susan E. Brennan & Joy E. Hanna - 2009 - Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2):274-291.
    No one denies that people adapt what they say and how they interpret what is said to them, depending on their interactive partners. What is controversial is when and how they do so. Several psycholinguistics research programs have found what appear to be failures to adapt to partners in the early moments of processing and have used this evidence to argue for modularity in the language processing architecture, claiming that the system cannot take into account a partner’s distinct needs or (...)
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  • Dialogue coherence: A generation framework. [REVIEW]Robbert-Jan Beun & Rogier M. van Eijk - 2007 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (4):365-385.
    This paper presents a framework for the generation of coherent elementary conversational sequences at the speech act level. We will embrace the notion of a cooperative dialogue game in which two players produce speech acts to transfer relevant information with respect to their commitments. Central to the approach is that participants try to achieve some sort of balanced cognitive state as a result of speech act generation and interpretation. Cognitive states of the participants change as a result of the interpretation (...)
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  • Dialogue Coherence: A Generation Framework.Robbert-jan Beun & Rogier Eijk - 2007 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (4):365-385.
    This paper presents a framework for the generation of coherent elementary conversational sequences at the speech act level. We will embrace the notion of a cooperative dialogue game in which two players produce speech acts to transfer relevant information with respect to their commitments. Central to the approach is that participants try to achieve some sort of balanced cognitive state as a result of speech act generation and interpretation. Cognitive states of the participants change as a result of the interpretation (...)
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  • On interactive knowledge with bounded communication.Ido Ben-Zvi & Yoram Moses - 2011 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 21 (3-4):323-354.
    The effect of upper bounds on message delivery times in a computer network upon the dynamics of knowledge gain is investigated. Recent work has identified centipedes and brooms—causal structures that combine message chains with time bound information—as necessary conditions for knowledge gain and common knowledge gain, respectively. This paper shows that, under the full-information protocol, these structures are both necessary and sufficient for such epistemic gain. We then apply this analysis to gain insights into the relation between “everyone knows” and (...)
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  • Grounded Cognition: Past, Present, and Future.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4):716-724.
    Thirty years ago, grounded cognition had roots in philosophy, perception, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuropsychology. During the next 20 years, grounded cognition continued developing in these areas, and it also took new forms in robotics, cognitive ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and developmental psychology. In the past 10 years, research on grounded cognition has grown rapidly, especially in cognitive neuroscience, social neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. Currently, grounded cognition appears to be achieving increased acceptance throughout cognitive (...)
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  • Establishing conventional communication systems: Is common knowledge necessary?Dale J. Barr - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (6):937-962.
    How do communities establish shared communication systems? The Common Knowledge view assumes that symbolic conventions develop through the accumulation of common knowledge regarding communication practices among the members of a community. In contrast with this view, it is proposed that coordinated communication emerges a by‐product of local interactions among dyads. A set of multi‐agent computer simulations show that a population of “egocentric” agents can establish and maintain symbolic conventions without common knowledge. In the simulations, convergence to a single conventional system (...)
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  • Mapping of Language-and-Memory Networks in Patients With Temporal Lobe Epilepsy by Using the GE2REC Protocol.Sonja Banjac, Elise Roger, Emilie Cousin, Chrystèle Mosca, Lorella Minotti, Alexandre Krainik, Philippe Kahane & Monica Baciu - 2022 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15.
    Preoperative mapping of language and declarative memory functions in temporal lobe epilepsy patients is essential since they frequently encounter deterioration of these functions and show variable degrees of cerebral reorganization. Due to growing evidence on language and declarative memory interdependence at a neural and neuropsychological level, we propose the GE2REC protocol for interactive language-and-memory network mapping. GE2REC consists of three inter-related tasks, sentence generation with implicit encoding and two recollection memory tasks: recognition and recall. This protocol has previously been validated (...)
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  • Backward induction and beliefs about oneself.Michael Bacharach - 1992 - Synthese 91 (3):247-284.
    According to decision theory, the rational initial action in a sequential decision-problem may be found by backward induction or folding back. But the reasoning which underwrites this claim appeals to the agent's beliefs about what she will later believe, about what she will later believe she will still later believe, and so forth. There are limits to the depth of people's beliefs. Do these limits pose a threat to the standard theory of rational sequential choice? It is argued, first, that (...)
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  • Explicit and Emergent Mechanisms of Information Status.Jennifer E. Arnold - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (4):737-760.
    It is well established that language production and comprehension are influenced by information status, for example, whether information is given, new, topical, or predictable, and many scholars suggest that an important component of information status is keeping track of what information is in common ground, and what is not. Information status affects both speakers' choices and how listeners interpret the speaker's meaning. Although there is a wealth of scholarly work on information status, there is no consensus on the mechanisms by (...)
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  • Representation, Interaction, and Intersubjectivity.Richard Alterman - 2007 - Cognitive Science 31 (5):815-841.
    What the participants share, their common “sense” of the world, creates a foundation, a framing, an orientation that enables human actors to see and act in coordination with one another. For recurrent activities, the methods the participants use to understand each other as they act change, making the intersubjective space in which actors operate richer and easier to produce. This article works through some of the issues that emerge from a close examination of intersubjectivity as it is managed through representation (...)
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  • Repair: The Interface Between Interaction and Cognition.Saul Albert & J. P. de Ruiter - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (2):279-313.
    Albert and De Ruiter provide an introduction to the Conversation Analytic approach to ‘repair’: the ways in which people detect and deal with troubles in speaking, hearing and understanding in conversation. They explain the basic turn‐taking structures involved, provide examples, explain recent developments in the field and highlight some important points of contact and contrast with work in the Cognitive Sciences.
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  • Conversation and Behavior Games in the Pragmatics of Dialogue.Gabriella Airenti, Bruno G. Bara & Marco Colombetti - 1993 - Cognitive Science 17 (2):197-256.
    In this article we present the bases for a computational theory of the cognitive processes underlying human communication. The core of the article is devoted to the analysis of the phases in which the process of comprehension of a communicative act can be logically divided: (1) literal meaning, where the reconstruction of the mental states literally expressed by the actor takes place: (2) speaker's meaning, where the partner reconstructs the communicative intentions of the actor; (3) communicative effect, where the partner (...)
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  • Reasoning with reasons: Lewis on common knowledge.Huub Vromen - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy:1-22.
    David Lewis is widely regarded as the philosopher who introduced the concept of common knowledge. His account of common knowledge differs greatly from most later accounts in philosophy and economy, with the central notion of his theory being ‘having reason to believe’ rather than ‘knowledge’. Unfortunately, Lewis’s account is rather informal, and the argument has a few gaps. This paper assesses two major attempts to formalise Lewis’s account and argues that these formalisations are missing a crucial aspect of this account. (...)
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  • The Effect of Information Overlap on Communication Effectiveness.Shali Wu & Boaz Keysar - 2007 - Cognitive Science 31 (1):169-181.
    It makes sense that the more information people share, the better they communicate. To evaluate the effect of knowledge overlap on the effectiveness of communication, participants played a communication game where the “director” identified objects to the “addressee”. Pairs either shared information about most objects' names (high overlap), or about the minority of objects' names (low overlap). We found that high-overlap directors tended to use more names than low overlap directors. High overlap directors also used more names with objects whose (...)
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  • Relevance must be to someone.Yorick Wilks - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):735.
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  • Beliefs, Points of View, and Multiple Environments.Yorick Wilks & Janusz Bien - 1983 - Cognitive Science 7 (2):95-119.
    The paper describes a system for dealing with nestings of belief in terms of the mechanism of computational environment. A method is offered for computing the beliefs of A about B (and so on) in terms of the systems existing knowledge structures about A and B separately. A proposal for belief percolation is put forward: percolation being a side effect of the process of the computation of nested beliefs, but one which could explain the acquisition of unsupported beliefs. It is (...)
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  • Rational Redundancy in Referring Expressions: Evidence from Event‐related Potentials.Elli N. Tourtouri, Francesca Delogu & Matthew W. Crocker - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (12):e13071.
    In referential communication, Grice's Maxim of Quantity is thought to imply that utterances conveying unnecessary information should incur comprehension difficulties. There is, however, considerable evidence that speakers frequently encode redundant information in their referring expressions, raising the question as to whether such overspecifications hinder listeners’ processing. Evidence from previous work is inconclusive, and mostly comes from offline studies. In this article, we present two event‐related potential (ERP) experiments, investigating the real‐time comprehension of referring expressions that contain redundant adjectives in complex (...)
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  • Should remote collaborators be represented by avatars? A matter of common ground for collective medical decision-making.J. Tapie, P. Terrier, L. Perron & J.-M. Cellier - 2006 - AI and Society 20 (3):331-350.
    In a collaborative work situation at a distance, the use of avatars to represent collaborators reduces collaborative effort. Also, animated avatars can help distant users to ground their relationship and facilitate their interaction because they materialise visual clues for the distant collaborators and their current activity. To check the validity of these hypotheses we set up an experiment based on the use of a collaborative virtual environment (CVE) synchronised for collective medical decision-making. Several teams of practitioners from different disciplines will (...)
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  • Deixis, Meta-Perceptive Gaze Practices, and the Interactional Achievement of Joint Attention.Anja Stukenbrock - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Intention, interpretation and the computational structure of language.Matthew Stone - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (5):781-809.
    I show how a conversational process that takes simple, intuitively meaningful steps may be understood as a sophisticated computation that derives the richly detailed, complex representations implicit in our knowledge of language. To develop the account, I argue that natural language is structured in a way that lets us formalize grammatical knowledge precisely in terms of rich primitives of interpretation. Primitives of interpretation can be correctly viewed intentionally, as explanations of our choices of linguistic actions; the model therefore fits our (...)
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  • Spontaneous deduction and mutual knowledge.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):179-184.
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  • Presumptions of relevance.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):736.
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  • The information needed for inference.Carlota S. Smith - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):733.
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  • On interpreting “interpretive use”.N. V. Smith - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):734.
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  • Accommodating Presuppositions Is Inappropriate in Implausible Contexts.Raj Singh, Evelina Fedorenko, Kyle Mahowald & Edward Gibson - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (3):607-634.
    According to one view of linguistic information, a speaker can convey contextually new information in one of two ways: by asserting the content as new information; or by presupposing the content as given information which would then have to be accommodated. This distinction predicts that it is conversationally more appropriate to assert implausible information rather than presuppose it. A second view rejects the assumption that presuppositions are accommodated; instead, presuppositions are assimilated into asserted content and both are correspondingly open to (...)
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  • Less Is More: A Minimalist Account of Joint Action in Communication.Hadas Shintel & Boaz Keysar - 2009 - Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2):260-273.
    Language use can be viewed as a form of joint activity that requires the coordination of meaning between individuals. Because the linguistic signal is notoriously ambiguous, interlocutors need to draw upon additional sources of information to resolve ambiguity and achieve shared understanding. One way individuals can achieve coordination is by using inferences about the interlocutor’s intentions and mental states to adapt their behavior. However, such an inferential process can be demanding in terms of both time and cognitive resources. Here, we (...)
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  • How relevant?Pieter A. M. Seuren - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):731.
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  • The structure of context: Deciphering "frame analysis".Thomas J. Scheff - 2005 - Sociological Theory 23 (4):368-385.
    This article proposes that Goffman's "Frame Analysis" can be interpreted as a step toward unpacking the idea of context. His analysis implies a recursive model involving frames within frames. The key problem is that neither Goffman nor anyone else has clearly defined what is meant by a frame. I propose that it can be represented by a word, phrase, or proposition. A subjective context can be represented as an assembly of these items, joined together by operators such as and, since, (...)
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  • A concept of social integration.Thomas J. Scheff - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):579 – 593.
    Clear definitions of alienation and solidarity are needed as a step toward an explicit theory of social integration. The idea of alienation has played a key role in the development of sociology, but it's meaning has never been clear. Both theories and empirical studies confound relational-dispositional, cognitive-emotional and/or interpersonal-societal components. This essay proposes definitions that follow from the work of Erving Goffman and others. Goffman's idea of "co-presence" implies a model of solidarity as mutual awareness to the point of merging (...)
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  • Rationality as an explanation of language?Stuart J. Russell - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):730.
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  • Pragmatic markers: the missing link between language and Theory of Mind.Paula Rubio-Fernandez - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1125-1158.
    Language and Theory of Mind come together in communication, but their relationship has been intensely contested. I hypothesize that pragmatic markers connect language and Theory of Mind and enable their co-development and co-evolution through a positive feedback loop, whereby the development of one skill boosts the development of the other. I propose to test this hypothesis by investigating two types of pragmatic markers: demonstratives and articles. Pragmatic markers are closed-class words that encode non-representational information that is unavailable to consciousness, but (...)
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  • Overinformative Speakers Are Cooperative: Revisiting the Gricean Maxim of Quantity.Paula Rubio-Fernandez - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (11):e12797.
    A pragmatic account of referential communication is developed which presents an alternative to traditional Gricean accounts by focusing on cooperativeness and efficiency, rather than informativity. The results of four language‐production experiments support the view that speakers can be cooperative when producing redundant adjectives, doing so more often when color modification could facilitate the listener's search for the referent in the visual display (Experiment 1a). By contrast, when the listener knew which shape was the target, speakers did not produce redundant color (...)
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  • How Redundant Are Redundant Color Adjectives? An Efficiency-Based Analysis of Color Overspecification.Paula Rubio-Fernández - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Conversation, Gaze Coordination, and Beliefs About Visual Context.Daniel C. Richardson, Rick Dale & John M. Tomlinson - 2009 - Cognitive Science 33 (8):1468-1482.
    Conversation is supported by the beliefs that people have in common and the perceptual experience that they share. The visual context of a conversation has two aspects: the information that is available to each conversant, and their beliefs about what is present for each other. In our experiment, we separated these factors for the first time and examined their impact on a spontaneous conversation. We manipulated the fact that a visual scene was shared or not and the belief that a (...)
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  • Common Knowledge and Davis's Argument from Symmetry in the Prisoner's Dilemma.Richard Reiner - 1995 - Dialogue 34 (2):281-.
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  • Literalness and other pragmatic principles.François Recanati - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):729-730.
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  • The relevance of Relevance for fiction.Anne Reboul - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):729.
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  • Logical foundations for belief representation.William J. Rapaport - 1986 - Cognitive Science 10 (4):371-422.
    This essay presents a philosophical and computational theory of the representation of de re, de dicto, nested, and quasi-indexical belief reports expressed in natural language. The propositional Semantic Network Processing System (SNePS) is used for representing and reasoning about these reports. In particular, quasi-indicators (indexical expressions occurring in intentional contexts and representing uses of indicators by another speaker) pose problems for natural-language representation and reasoning systems, because--unlike pure indicators--they cannot be replaced by coreferential NPs without changing the meaning of the (...)
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  • Characterizing spontaneous inferences.Guy Politzer - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):177-178.
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  • Inference and information.Philip Pettit - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):727.
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  • The epistemic core of weak joint action.Cedric Paternotte - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (1):1-24.
    Over the last three decades, joint action has received various definitions, which for all their differences share many features. However, they cannot fit some perplexing cases of weak joint action, such as demonstrations, where agents rely on distinct epistemic sources, and as a result, have no first-hand knowledge about each other. I argue that one major reason why the definition of such collective actions is akin to the classical ones is that it crucially relies on the concept of common knowledge. (...)
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  • Being realistic about common knowledge: a Lewisian approach.Cedric Paternotte - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):249-276.
    Defined and formalized several decades ago, widely used in philosophy and game theory, the concept of common knowledge is still considered as problematic, although not always for the right reasons. I suggest that the epistemic status of a group of human agents in a state of common knowledge has not been thoroughly analyzed. In particular, every existing account of common knowledge, whether formal or not, is either too strong to fit cognitively limited individuals, or too weak to adequately describe their (...)
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  • Knowledge Accumulation in Theatre Rehearsals: The Emergence of a Gesture as a Solution for Embodying a Certain Aesthetic Concept.Stefan Norrthon & Axel Schmidt - 2023 - Human Studies 46 (2):337-369.
    Theater rehearsals are (usually) confronted with the problem of having to transform a written text into an audio-visual, situated and temporal performance. Our contribution focuses on the emergence and stabilization of a gestural form as a solution for embodying a certain aesthetic concept which is derived from the script. This process involves instructions and negotiations, making the process of stabilization publicly and thus intersubjectively accessible. As scenes are repeatedly rehearsed, rehearsals are perspicuous settings for tracking interactional histories. Based on videotaped (...)
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  • Collaborative Remembering in Conversational Narration.Neal R. Norrick - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science 11 (4):733-751.
    Norrick focuses on the interactional aspects of conversational remembering in everyday situations. He examines the ways in which the narrators’ uncertainty leads to collaboration from interlocutors in conversational remembering and how such co‐construction of memories can instantiate instances of distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1995).
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