Recent approaches to language processing have focused either on individual cognitive processes in producing and understanding language or on social cognitive factors in interactive conversation. Although the cognitive and social approaches to language processing would seem to have little theoretical or methodological common ground, the goal of this book is to encourage the merging of these two traditions. The contributors to this volume hope to demonstrate that attention to both cognitive and social approaches is important for understanding how language is processed in natural settings.
The book opens with four review/position papers; these are followed by shorter reports of experimental findings—"a snapshot of current work that begins to bridge the product and action traditions." These treat linguistic processing issues in conversational settings, the interactions of language and nonlinguistic information from visual scenes, product approaches to issues traditionally discussed in the action tradition, and Gricean phenomena.