Publication details [#56035]

Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


Decades ago André Martinet pointed to the crucial issue of theorizing when he distinguished between object and methodology and told us not to distort our natural object by methodological exigencies. A theory that approaches dialogue as it occurs in the stream of life will inevitably be a holistic adventure: starting from premises about the natural object and deriving from them an adequate methodology of representation. The complex whole in the end is human beings’ minds and their extraordinary ability of competence in performance. The paper first outlines the theoretical challenge of a holistic theory of dialogue. Premises about human beings’ actions and behaviour in complex surroundings are put forward and justified by recent findings in neuroscience. From them the methodology of principles of probability is derived. Second, different types of authentic examples are analysed in order to illustrate how human beings’ actions and behaviour can be described and explained in a holistic theory.