A Language of Cooperation?
Cooperation is important in small-group problem solving. It is characterized by certain behavioral features: for example, it is a goal-directed act, involving a common goal or goals, and it exhibits underlying dynamic processes, chief of which is communication. An important medium of communication is language, and it has been proposed that there may be a form of language that is characteristic of cooperation (Clarke and Smyth 1993), since there are specialized languages-in-action’ which have, for example, a vocabulary that is different, relative to its parent language (Sumby 1976). To examine this proposal, we made a linguistic analysis of the dialogs between experimental subjects in the ROCOCO research project which is described in Section 6.1.2. We also analyzed the subjects’ progression in their common tasks, and other indicators, for evidence that cooperation was taking place.
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