Creating Conversations: Improvisation in Everyday Discourse

Published by Hampton Press in 2001.

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Conversation is one of those everyday, common-sense abilities that we can all do without thinking. But paradoxically, understanding how conversation works is one of the most difficult problems for scientists. And even after decades of research, computers are still miserable conversationalists. Creating Conversations explores this paradox: How can conversation be so difficult, and at the same time come to us so naturally? The answer to the paradox is found in the creativity of everyday conversation. Sawyer shows that the same basic creativity, improvisational creativity, is found in conversation, jazz, children's play, and theater.

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