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Polyphonic Inter-animation of Voices in Chats. Stefan Trausan-Matu 1,2 , Traian Rebedea 1 , Gerry Stahl 3 1 “Politehnica” University of Bucharest, and 2 Romanian Academy Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Bucharest, ROMANIA 3 Math Forum and the I-School at Drexel University,

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polyphonic inter animation of voices in chats

Polyphonic Inter-animation of Voices in Chats

Stefan Trausan-Matu1,2, Traian Rebedea1, Gerry Stahl3

1“Politehnica” University of Bucharest,

and

2Romanian Academy Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence,

Bucharest, ROMANIA

3Math Forum and the I-School at Drexel University,

Philadelphia, PA, USA

cscl needs stahl 2007
CSCL needs: (Stahl 2007)
  • Analysis of how meaning is actually constructed in small-group interactions
  • Investigating specific structures of meaning-making practices
  • We need a theory for structures of collaborative meaning making.

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

bakhtin in cscl
Bakhtin in CSCL
  • Wertch: Lotman - text is a „thinking device” (1981)
  • Koshmann: “the voices of others become woven into what we say, write, and think”(1999)
  • Sfard: “rather thanspeaking about ‘acquisition of knowledge,’ many people prefer to view learning as becoming a participant in a certain discourse”(2000)
  • Stahl “to learn is to become a skilled member of communities of practice …. and to become competent at using their …. speech genres”(2006)
  • Wegerif - teaching thinking skills by inter-animation:“meaning-making requires the inter-animation of more than one perspective“(2005)

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

bakhtin s ideas
Bakhtin’s ideas
  • Dialogism
    • “…Any true understanding is dialogic in nature” (Voloshinov-Bakhtin, 1973)
  • Real life dialog should be the considered, not only written text (as Saussure recommended)
  • Utterances (not sentences) should be the unit of analysis
  • Polyphony
  • Inter-animation of voices
  • Carnival
  • Speech genres

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

polyphony and counterpoint
Polyphony and counterpoint
  • Concept derived from classical music
    • “These are different voices singing variously on a single theme. This is indeed 'multivoicedness,' exposing the diversity of life and the great complexity of human experience. 'Everything in life is counterpoint, that is, opposition,' “ (Bakhtin, 1984)
  • Multiple voices – each utterance contains multiple voices
  • Voices inter-animate in an unmerged way:
    • “a plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses”

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

what is a voice
What is a voice?
  • an individual?
    • voice of a talking person at a given moment
    • participant (person) in general
    • participant at a given time
    • utterance
    • idea
  • a group?
    • a theme (with more than a participant person)
    • a position (liberal or conservative)
    • a topic
    • a thread

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

what is a voice1
What is a voice?
  • “an utterance can exist only by being produced by a voice” (Wertsch, 1991) – and it contains an action of that person, e.g. voice may be present in a dialog even if it contributed with only one utterance
  • Following the musical parallelism, a voice is not fixed to a person, e.g. a piano player improvising on multiple voices
  • a voice is not only the physical emitting features of an individual person, it is more a distinct position in a group, it may be something said by somebody, that has an echo, an influence in the future texts, utterances, ideas etc
  • More important is the idea that, in a dialog, there are multiple equal voices that inter-animate

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

perspective on voices
Perspective on voices
  • Physicalemitting features of individual persons
  • Individual personality - distinct positions in a group
  • Acts that has an echo, an influence in the future texts, utterances, ideas
  • Approach: consider utterances linked in threads, but emphasize that each utterance :
    • is produced by a voice
    • has influence in the future emitted utterances

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

carnival
Carnival
  • “carnival is the concept in which distinct individual voices are heard, flourish, and interact together. The carnival was Bakhtin's way of describing Dostoevsky's polyphonic style: each individual character is strongly defined, and at the same time the reader witnesses the critical influence of each character upon the other. That is, the voices of others are heard by each individual, and each inescapably shapes the character of the other."

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

polyphony
Polyphony
  • “only the difference between difference and unity as an emphatic difference (and not as a return to unity) can act as the basis of a differential theory (which dialectic merely claims to be) – is the methodical point of departure for the distinction between polyphony and non-polyphony.” (Mahnkopf, 2002).

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

polyphony1
Polyphony
  • A merge of:
    • Melody – longitudinal
    • Harmony – transversal, vertical (“the structure of music with respect to the composition and progression of chords”, WordNet; Dissonance is not excluded, it is very important!)
  • Unity vs. Difference
  • Inter-animation of voices – inter-animation patterns

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

example problem solved only collaboratively
Example problem (solved only collaboratively)
  • Three years ago, men made up two out of every three internet users in America. Today the ratio of male to female users is about 1 to 1. In that time the number of American females using the internet has grown by 30,000,000, while the number of males who use the internet has grown by 100%. By how much has the total internet-user population increased in America in the past three years? (A) 50,000,000 (B) 60,000,000 (C) 80,000,000 (D) 100,000,000 (E) 200,000,000

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

polyphony and contrapuntus in chats
Polyphony and contrapuntus in chats
  • Multiple voices
  • Threads
  • Inter-animation on different dimensions
    • Longitudinal vs. transversal, vertical
    • Unity vs. Difference

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

inter animation patterns
Inter-animation patterns
  • Longitudinal
    • Adjacency pairs
    • Repetitions
    • Elaboration
    • Convergence
    • Cumulative talk
    • Repair
  • Transversal, differential
    • Dissonance

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

difference in chats
Difference in chats
  • Multivoiceness
  • A differential position to the others
  • Contemplating others’ ideas
  • Dissonance
  • Critique

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

utterances are linked in threads
Utterances are linked in threads

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

explicit vs implicit links
Explicit vs. implicit links
  • Explicit links
    • ConcertChat
  • Implicit links
    • Linguistic markers
    • Inter-animation patterns
      • Adjacency pairs
      • Repetitions
      • Difference-making

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

why many times there is a difference between implicit and explicit links
Why many times there is a difference between implicit and explicit links
  • You probably feel the need to do an explicit reference when the implicit one is not obvious
  • You can make only one explicit reference in an utterance (why not multiple references?)

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

polyphonic support for inter animation
Polyphonic support for inter-animation
  • Encourage multiple threads (chat allows them, in contrast to f2f dialog)
  • Explicit threading (Wessner)
  • Diagrams
  • Summarization: knowing what came before in clear summaries would help people to respond and carry on the melody

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ

next steps
Next steps
  • Elaborate the theory
  • Develop the analysis tool

VMT workshop at CSCL 2007, New Brunswick, NJ