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Book Sections Year : 2006

Understanding spoken discourse

Francis Cornish


Spoken discourse is the ongoing, situated interpretation of a speaker's communicative intentions, of which the addressee's expected and actual reactions are an integral part. The creation of discourse is thus a joint endeavor, involving the active cooperation of all the participants. The textual record on which this constructive activity is based, in conjunction with the invocation of a relevant context, is constituted not only by the verbal content of the utterances produced, but also by non-verbal signals. According to Clark (1996), the text flow is divided between two simultaneously operative tracks: a primary "official business" track, and a secondary discourse-management track. Evidence for the existence and specialization of these two tracks is given via extracts from two radio broadcast discussions.


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hal-00952132 , version 1 (26-02-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-00952132 , version 1


Francis Cornish. Understanding spoken discourse. Elsevier Ltd. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edition), vol 13, Elsevier Ltd., pp.227-230, 2006. ⟨hal-00952132⟩
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