Trading in a multiplayer board game: Towards an analysis of non-cooperative dialogue


We collected and analysed a small dialogue corpus of people playing The Settlers of Catan. Dialogues are trading negotiations where Gricean maxims of cooperativity often break down as players adopt conflicting intentions in their attempt to win the game. This has consequences for what information players are sharing and for the sincerity of their contributions. In this paper, we motivate and describe a two-level scheme for analysing non-cooperative dialogues, where both levels are interdependent. Each dialogue move is a move in the game (e.g., an offer to trade), and a coherent contribution to the dialogue so far, connected to a prior segment with a coherence relation, such as indirect answerhood or rejection. Parsing and generating coherence relations is computationally feasible (e.g., Baldridge & Lascarides, 2005), and here we’ll argue that their semantics help to identify the game move, even when it is implicated rather than linguistically explicit.

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