A web experience (a user browsing through a website) has often been compared to a kind of dialogue: the user’s conversation consists in selecting and activating links; the web’s conversation consists in providing content (responding to the user’s choices) and o¬ering new possibilities of conversation (links). This paper is based on the hypothesis that, by interpreting a web experience as a ‘web dialogue’, it is possible to obtain both scienti¼c and practical results. On the one hand we would ask the linguistic sciences to pay attention to a new kind of interaction, with challenging new features that may require adaptations or extensions to existing theories. On the other hand, on the practical side, we can obtain two main results: 1. to make web experiences in general more effective, natural and ‘human-like’ and 2. to understand rules and guidelines to transform the ‘visual’ experience offered by a website, into an ‘oral’ experience, useful in speci¼c situations and absolutely relevant for blind users. The paper brie½y discusses the general issues, andfocuses on the role of the phoric elements (anaphora, cataphora, and textual deixis) within a web dialogue. It turns out, in fact, that a great deal of the user interactions with a website has strong similarities to anaphora (or textual deixis, sometimes), and many machine actions have strong similarities to cataphora.

“There and back again”: What happens to phoric elements in a “web dialogue”

DI BLAS, NICOLETTA;PAOLINI, PAOLO
2003-01-01

Abstract

A web experience (a user browsing through a website) has often been compared to a kind of dialogue: the user’s conversation consists in selecting and activating links; the web’s conversation consists in providing content (responding to the user’s choices) and o¬ering new possibilities of conversation (links). This paper is based on the hypothesis that, by interpreting a web experience as a ‘web dialogue’, it is possible to obtain both scienti¼c and practical results. On the one hand we would ask the linguistic sciences to pay attention to a new kind of interaction, with challenging new features that may require adaptations or extensions to existing theories. On the other hand, on the practical side, we can obtain two main results: 1. to make web experiences in general more effective, natural and ‘human-like’ and 2. to understand rules and guidelines to transform the ‘visual’ experience offered by a website, into an ‘oral’ experience, useful in speci¼c situations and absolutely relevant for blind users. The paper brie½y discusses the general issues, andfocuses on the role of the phoric elements (anaphora, cataphora, and textual deixis) within a web dialogue. It turns out, in fact, that a great deal of the user interactions with a website has strong similarities to anaphora (or textual deixis, sometimes), and many machine actions have strong similarities to cataphora.
Dialogue; World Wide Web; phoric elements; webdesign; accessibility
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/512363
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