Dialogue Modelling

Summer Semester 2022 - University of Potsdam

Why is dialogue an interesting topic for: a) linguists, b) computational linguists, c) people interested in human-computer interaction? Why look at the fine-grained phenomena, beyond the "exchange of information"? We will examine fundamental notions of language depicting action, joint action, and coordination.

Practical Information

Time: Wednesdays 10:00 - 12:00 (20.04.2022 to 27.07.2022 - no lecture on May the 4th)

Location: Room

Schedule and Literature

Week 1 - 20 of April 2022 - Introduction, Turn-taking


No paper presentation this week.


de Ruiter, JP. (2019). Turn-Taking. In Cummins, C. and Katsos, N., The Oxford Handbook of Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics. Ch 32

Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A Simplest Systematic for the Organization of Turn-Taking in Conversation. Language, 50(4), 696–735.

Searle, J. R. (1992). Conversation. In J. R. Searle, H. Parret, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), On Searle On Conversation. John Benjamins.

Week 2 - 27 of April 2022 - Turn-taking, Transcription


Levinson, S. C. (2019). Natural Forms of Purposeful Interaction among Humans: What Makes Interaction Effective? In K. A. Gluck & J. e. Laird (Eds.), Interactive Task Learning: Humans, robots, and agents acquiring new tasks through natural interactions.


Clark, H. H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.; Chapter 1

Bögels, S., Casillas, M., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Planning versus comprehension in turn-taking: Fast responders show reduced anticipatory processing of the question. Neuropsychologia, 109(November 2017), 295–310.

Bull, M., & Aylett, M. (1998). An Analysis of the Timing of Turn-Taking in a Corpus of Goal-oriented Dialogue. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Speech and Language Processing (ICSLP1998) (pp. 1175–1178). Sydney, Australia.

Schegloff, E. A. (2000). Overlapping talk and the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language in Society, 29(1), 1–63.

Week 3 - 11 of May 2022 - Turn-taking, Transcription


Heldner, M., & Edlund, J. (2010). Pauses, gaps and overlaps in conversations. Journal of Phonetics, 38(4), 555–568.

Background reading

Gravano, A., & Hirschberg, J. (2011). Turn-taking cues in task-oriented dialogue. Computer Speech & Language, 25(3), 601–634.

Mathet, Y., Widlöcher, A., & Métivier, J.-P. (2015). The Unified and Holistic Method Gamma (γ) for Inter-Annotator Agreement Measure and Alignment. Computational Linguistics, (October 2014).

de Ruiter, J. P., Mitterer, H., & Enfield, N. J. (2006). Projecting the end of a speaker’s turn: a cognitive cornerstone of conversation. Language, 82(3), 504–524.

DUEL consortium. (2015). DUEL ("Disfluencies, Exclamations and Laughter in dialogue" project): Transcription and Annotation Manual.

Week 4 - 18 of May 2022 - Turn-taking, Disfluencies


Skantze, G. (2021). Turn-taking in Conversational Systems and Human-Robot Interaction: A Review. Computer Speech & Language, 67.


Hjalmarsson, A. (2011). The additive effect of turn-taking cues in human and synthetic voice. Speech Communication, 53(1), 23–35.

Kendrick, K. H., & Torreira, F. (2015). The Timing and Construction of Preference: A Quantitative Study. Discourse Processes, 52(4), 255–289

Koiso, H., Horiuchi, Y., Tutiya, S., Ichikawa, A., & Den, Y. (1998). An Analysis of Turn-Taking and Backchannels Based on Prosodic and Syntactic Features in Japanese Map Task Dialogs. Language and Speech, 41(3–4), 295–321.

Razavi, S. Z., Kane, B., & Schubert, L. K. (2019). Investigating Linguistic and Semantic Features for Turn-Taking Prediction in Open-Domain Human-Computer Conversation. In Interspeech (pp. 4140–4144).

Week 5 - 25 of May 2022 - Disfluencies, Speech Acts


Shriberg, E. (2002). To ‘errrr’ is human: ecology and acoustics of speech disfluencies. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 31(01), 153–169.


Ginzburg, J., Fernández, R., & Schlangen, D. (2014). Dysfluencies as Intra-Utterance Dialogue Moves. Semantics and Pragmatics, 7.

Hough, J., & Schlangen, D. (2017). Joint, incremental disfluency detection and utterance segmentation from speech. In 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, EACL 2017 - Proceedings of Conference (Vol. 1).

Kontogiorgos, D., Pereira, A., & Gustafson, J. (2019). Estimating uncertainty in task-oriented dialogue. In 2019 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (pp. 414-418).

Week 6 - 1 of June 2022 - Reference, Grounding


Clark, H. H., & Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition, 22, 1–39.


Heeman, P. A., & Hirst, G. (1995). Collaborating on referring expressions. Computational Linguistics, 21(3), 351–382.

Isaacs, E. A., & Clark, H. H. (1987). References in Conversation Between Experts and Novices. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 116(1), 26–37.

Schlangen & Fernandez (2008). The Potsdam Dialogue Corpora Experiment Handbook.

Schlangen & Fernandez (2008). The Potsdam Dialogue Corpora Transcription and Annotation Manual.

Week 7 - 8 of June 2022 - Speech Acts


Sadock, Jerrold (2004). Speech Acts. In: The Handbook of Pragmatics. Eds. Laurence Horn and Gregory Ward. Blackwell. 2004


Levinson, Stephen (2017). Speech Acts. In: The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics. Ed Yan Huang. Oxford University Press. 2017

Traum, D. (1999). Speech acts for dialogue agents. In M. Wooldridge & A. Rao (Eds.), Foundations and Theories of Rational Agents (pp. 169–201). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Allen, J., & Core, M. (1997). Draft of DAMSL: Dialog Act Markup in Several Layers. October, 1–32.

SWB-DA Manual: http://www.stanford.edu/~jurafsky/ws97/manual.august1.html

Lee, M. (2020). Speech acts redux: Beyond request-response interactions. CUI 2020.

Week 8 - 15 of June 2022 - Clarification Questions, Repair


Kitzinger, Celia (2013). Repair. In: Blackwell Handbook of Conversation Analysis. Eds. Jack Sidnell and Tanya Stivers. Blackwell. 2013.


Schegloff, E. A., Jefferson, G. A., & Sacks, H. (1977). The Preference for Self-Correction in the Organisation. Language: Journal of the Linguistic Society of America, 53, 361–382.

Purver, M., Ginzburg, J., & Healey, P. (2001). On the Means for Clarification in Dialogue. In Proceedings of the 2nd SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue. Aalborg, Denmark.

Rodríguez, K. J., & Schlangen, D. (2004). Form, Intonation and Function of Clarification Requests in German Task-Oriented Spoken Dialogues. In E. Vallduví (Ed.), Proceedings of Catalog (the 8th workshop on the semantics and pragmatics of dialogue; SemDial04) (pp. 101–108). Barcelona, Spain.

Week 9 - 22 of June 2022 - Sequence Organisation


Stivers, Tanya (2013). Sequence Organization. Chapter 10 in Jack Sidnell & Tanya Stivers (eds.), 2013, "The Handbook of Conversation Analysis", Wiley Blackwell.


Stephen Levinson (1983). Pragmatics, Chapter 6.

Pelikan, Hannah & Broth, Mathias. Why That Nao?: How Humans Adapt to a Conventional Humanoid Robot in Taking Turns-at-Talk. CHI 2016.

Week 10 - 29 of June 2022 - Common Ground & Grounding


"Common Ground", Chapter 4 of Clark, H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge University Press.


"Grounding", Chapter 8 of Clark, H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge University Press.

Benotti, L., & Blackburn, P. (2021). Grounding as a Collaborative Process. In EACL 2021 (pp. 515–531).

Clark, H. H., & Brennan, S. E. (1991). Grounding in Communication. In L. B. Resnick, J. Levine, & S. D. Behrend (Eds.), Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition (pp. 127–149). Washington D.C., USA: American Psychological Association Books.

Kontogiorgos, D., Pereira, A., & Gustafson, J. (2021). Grounding behaviours with conversational interfaces: effects of embodiment and failures. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 15(2), 239-254.

Week 11 - 6 of July 2022 - Dialogue Structure


Grosz, B. J., & Sidner, C. L. (1986). Attention, Intentions, and the Structure of Discourse. Computational Linguistics, 12(3), 175–204.


Brennan, S. E. (1991). How Conversation Is Shaped by Visual and Spoken Evidence. In J. C. Trueswell & M. K. Tanenhaus (Eds.), Approaches to studying world-situated language use: Bridging the language as product and language as action traditions (pp. 95–129). MIT Press.

Week 12 - 13 of July 2022 - Gestures


Wagner, P., Malisz, Z., & Kopp, S. (2014). Gesture and Speech in Interaction: An Overview. Speech Communication, 57.


Kucherenko, T., Hasegawa, D., Henter, G. E., Kaneko, N., & Kjellström, H. (2019, July). Analyzing input and output representations for speech-driven gesture generation. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (pp. 97-104).

Manual ELAN Annotation Tool

Week 13 - 20 of July 2022 - Language Acquisition / Interaction Acquisition


Clark, H. H. (2014). How to talk with children. In I. Arnon, M. Casillas, C. Kurumada, & B. Estigarribia (Eds.), Language in Interaction. Studies in honour of Eve V. Clark (pp. 332–352). John Benjamins.


Clark, E. (2016). First Language Acquisition (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316534175; Chapters 2 ("In conversation with children") and 12 ("Honing conversational skills").

Clark, E. V. (2020). Conversational Repair and the Acquisition of Language. Discourse Processes, 57(5–6), 441–459.

Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., & Moll, H. (2005). Understanding and sharing intentions: the origins of cultural cognition. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(5), 675–691; discussion 691-735.

Week 14 - 27 of July 2022 - Wrap Up


No paper presentation this week.

Background text-book

Speech and Language Processing (Jurafsky & Martin), Draft third edition online, Chapters 24 and 25 in particular.

* Earlier editions of this course planned by David Schlangen at the University of Potsdam.