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Establishing goals and maintaining coherence in multi-party computer-mediated communication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Martin G M Groen
  • Jan M Noyes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-106
JournalDiscourse Processes
Volume50
Issue number2
Early online date30 Sep 2012
DOIs
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2012
DatePublished (current) - 2013

Abstract

Communicating via text-only computer-mediated communication (CMC) channels is associated with a number of issues that would impair users in achieving dialogue coherence and goals. It has been suggested that humans have devised novel adaptive strategies to deal with those issues. However, it could be that humans rely on “classic” coherence devices too. In this study, we investigate whether relevancy markers, a subset of discourse markers, are relied on to assess dialogue coherence and goals. The results of two experiments showed that participants oriented systematically on the relevancy markers and that substitution of the original markers for other (dis)similar words affected eye movements and task performance. It appears that, despite the loosely connected dialogue contributions, the multiple concurrent dialogues, and the multiparty nature of text-only CMC dialogues, humans are able still to locate coherence- and goal-related information by relying on the presence of the relevancy markers

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