ArgLab • Colloquium

Stéphane Dias

Communicative agency - an enterprise in dialogue analysis

In this talk, I will focus on the question whether the notion of agency is relevant to the analysis of dialogue. The answer I will provide is positive, given that notion’s descriptive and explanatory advantages. I will illustrate the point in two domains of dialogue activity, i.e. deliberation and negotiation. More specifically, I will consider three main levels of human dialogical agency: (1) the reasoning process of individuals when speaking in the name of institutional groups (‘we’ or ‘me as a representative of the group’), (2) their reasoning as members of a group, and (3) their reasoning as individuals, who communicate their goals, reasons and feelings. I will thereby offer good reasons for that positive claim. Moreover, these theoretical tools have the advantage of clarifying dialogue types and moves, speakers’ intentions, reasons and goals and, consequently, conflicts. Finally, I will address central results and applications of this ongoing project.


Stéphane Dias, Instituto Federal Farroupilha, Brazil