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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which aims to give an account of production and interpretation of natural language utterances that would be linguistically, psychologically, and computationally plausible. It explains the fact that human speakers trust they will reach coordination with their hearer on the intentions that motivates them to speak. It also presents an argument for a theory of production and interpretation where the role of competence grammar is restricted to one aspect of production, the linguistic rules that constrain the mapping from a speaker intention to its verbal expression. Interpretation is understood as analogous to interpretation in computer vision, a mapping from the utterance to the interpretation that maximises the product of its prior probability in the context and the probability that it will be produced given the interpretation, a probability defined by the competence grammar.

Keywords: competence grammar; computer vision; language; linguistic rules; speaker; verbal expression

10.1163/9789004252905_002
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