Rhetorical and thematic patterns in scheduling dialogues
A generic characterization
This paper provides a corpus-based generic characterization of appointment-scheduling dialogues — a type of task-oriented conversation — by concentrating on the rhetorical and thematic choices made by the speakers that produce them. The analytical tools used for this study are Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), the notion of Theme as defined in Systemic Functional Linguistics, and Thematic Progression (TP) patterns. The results of the corpus analysis revealed a generic structure consisting of three clear stages: Opening, Task Performance and Closing, realized by characteristic thematic and rhetorical patterns. These patterns are interpreted functionally as indicative of the genre under study, providing linguistic evidence of the generic structure that characterizes this type of conversations. The paper also shows the usefulness of analytical tools such as RST and TP patterns, typically applied to written monologue, for the characterization of dialogic genres.
Published online: 12 May 2004
Cited by 11 other publications
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