1. The term situationality is a general designation for the factors which render a text relevant to a current or recoverable situation of occurrence (cf. I.19f.). Very rarely are the effects of a situational setting exerted without mediation: the extent to which one feeds one’s own beliefs and goals into one’s model of the current communicative situation (cf. IX.1). The accessible evidence in the situation is fed into the model along with our prior knowledge and expectations about how the “real world” is organized (cf. VII.18.1). If the dominant function of a text is to provide a reasonably unmediated account of the situation model, situation monitoring is being performed. If the dominant function is to guide the situation in a manner favourable to the text producer’s goals, situation management is being carried out. The borderline between monitoring and managing is naturally fuzzy and can vary according to the views of the individual participants. Indeed, people seem to prefer disguising their managings as monitorings, creating the impression that things are going the desired way in the normal course of events. For instance, the spinster aunt managed the situation with her suitor in sample  (VI.16) by pretending to only monitor the situation of her nieces. In sample  (V1.29), Piglet managed a difficult situation by compelling the other participant to accept a phoney monitoring. If it had become apparent in either case that these monitorings were in reality highly mediated and contrary to available evidence, the plans of the monitoring participants would have failed. Despite such cases of plan concealment (cf. VI.17), the distinction between monitoring and managing, if viewed in terms of dominances, is a useful one.1
2. One obvious variety of monitoring would be “simply describing” in the sense of Osgood’s (1971) well-known experiments where people were asked to describe objects and events presented before them.2 Even here, the texts are more than mere “responses” to the “stimuli” of the scene. For one thing, people have established beliefs about what is worth noticing, i.e., expending processing resources on registering and identifying something present. The ways in which noticed material is expressed in texts is often influenced by normal ordering strategies like those cited in VII.18.2. Erving Goffman (1974) suggests that situations are sorted into various “tracks” of objects or events worth “attending” or “disattending”. For instance, some gestures of a speaker are deemed significant, e.g., pointing to objects or indicating directions, while others are not, e.g., blowing one’s nose. However, normal ordering strategies and conventions for distributing attention could be overridden by some highly improbable (and hence informative) object or event.
3. One very basic kind of improbability would be a disproportion in frequency, as stressed by the statistical approach to information theory (cf. VII.2). If a person present does something much more often than normal, monitoring is likely to follow:
 “Damn that boy, “ said the old gentleman, “he’s gone to sleep again.” “Very extraordinary boy, that, “ said Mr. Pickwick, “does he always sleep in this way?” “Sleep!” said the old gentleman, “he’s always asleep. Goes on errands fast asleep, and snores as he waits at table.” “How very odd!” said Mr. Pickwick. “Ah! odd indeed, “ returned the old gentleman. (Dickens 1836-37: 55)
The monitoring may be accompanied by some attempt to account for the unusual frequency of events or objects and hence to downgrade it:
 “Look here, sir; here’s a oyster stall to every half-dozen houses. The street’s lined with ‘em. Blessed if I don’t think that when a man’s very poor, he rushes out of his lodgings, and eats oysters in regular desperation.” (Dickens 1836-37: 301f.)
Monitoring can also serve to point out some lack of continuity to be downgraded, e.g. when people’s actions seem to have no reason:
 The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. “What are they doing?” Alice whispered to the Gryphon. “They can’t have anything to put down yet, before the trial’s begun.” “They’re putting down their names, “ the Gryphon whispered in reply, “for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.” “Stupid things!” Alice began in a loud indignant voice. (Carroll 1960: 144f.)
The Gryphon downgrades the seemingly unmotivated action and elicits another monitoring. Alice’s exclamation “Stupid things!” is typical of how salient objects and events are likely to be monitored (i.e. those which represent striking extremes on some scale).3 Salience may be subsequently downgraded into a predictable standard:
 “What curious attitudes he goes into!” (For the Messenger kept skipping up and down, and wriggling like an eel) …“Not at all”, said the King. “He’s an Anglo-Saxon Messenger and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes.” (Carroll 1960: 279)
Fillmore (1977) suggests that salience affects surface formatting. Salient objects are readily assigned to the subject or direct object slots of English sentences to bring them into a prominent perspectives .3a
4. Situation monitoring as observed in our samples is akin to PROBLEM-SOLVING as treated in III.17. The text producer notices some non-expected object or event and makes it the TOPIC of the text. There are two normal outcomes. Either the matter is left as observed—as ‘odd’ in  or ‘stupid’ in — or a means is found to downgrade it such that it does not appear to be a violation of expectations after all—the outcome in  and  ( remaining in dispute). On the face of it, only the latter outcome would seem to actually solve the problem by integrating the occurrence. But by simply commenting on non-expected occurrences, the participants re-affirm their own standards and seek similar affirmation from the others. Hence, expectations are validated at the very moment when they seem to have failed in a confrontation with an actual situation. Such a process belongs to the means for NEGOTIATING the socially accepted model of reality and its norms (cf. VII.18.1). Situation monitoring is thus extremely likely whenever different participants have opposed notions about what is going on:
 1st servant: Will’t please your lordship drink a cup of sack?
2nd Servant: Will’t please your honour taste of these conserves?
3rd Servant: What raiment will your honour wear to-day?
SLY: I am Christophero Sly; call not me ‘honour’ nor ‘lordship.’ I ne’er drank sack in my life; and if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef. Ne’er ask me what raiment I’ll wear; for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet ...
Lord: Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour! O that a mighty man of such descent, of such possessions and so high esteem, Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
Sly: What, would you make me mad?
(Taming of the Shrew, Induction [sic] ii 2-17)
Until some agreement is reached, even very basic human goals in , the provision of drink, food, and clothing may be suspended while the participants keep asserting their own outlooks. Notice the tendency to consider people ‘mad’ (insane) who arrive at a divergent view on the “real” situation another mechanism for defending society’s expectations.
Departures from the evidence of the situation are, however, allowed for certain
text types, notably dramatic texts. As a subclass of literary
texts, dramatic texts have the prerogative of presenting alternative
organizations for objects and events (cf. IX.8); due to their mode of live
presentation, they draw the receivers into a situation whose monitoring often
requires extremely high mediation (in the sense of VIII.1). Dramatic texts
usually provide an “exposition” early on to specify the kind and extent of
mediation needed. The most famous example might be Shakespeare’s Prologue
to King Henry the Fifth (lines 19-31):
 Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confin'd two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' th' receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,
Turning th' accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass;
Although dramatic texts are a special sub-type, they nonetheless provide illuminating demonstrations of how situational evidence can be negotiated by participants in social interaction (cf. Goffman 1974).
6. Situation monitoring can be simplified by the use of pro-forms rather than conceptual names for objects or events present. Halliday and Hasan (1976) suggest the term exophora for this usage (in analogy to “anaphora” and “cataphora”, cf. IV.22ff.). Exophora is not strictly co-reference (IV.21), since there is no other expression in the text besides the pro-form; one could argue that there is some corresponding expression held in active storage without being uttered, but this argument is certainly contestable.
7. The first and second person pronouns are by nature exophoric, singling out the text producer and receivers, and sometimes signalling their social relationship:
 2nd Citizen: Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet, if you be out, I can mend you.
Marullus: ‘What mean’st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow! (Julius Caesar I i 16-19)
The workman must say ‘you’ to the government official, who responds with ‘thou’ to show social dominance (cf. Brown & Gilman 1960). Exophora can designate other participants besides producer and receiver, for instance, via third-person pronouns or deictics (“pointing words”) like ‘this’ and ‘that’:
 Cassius: This is Trebonius.
Brutus: He is welcome hither.
Cassius: This, Decius Brutus.
Brutus: He is welcome too.
Cassius: This, Casca; this, Cinna; and this Metellus Cimber.
Brutus: They all are welcome. (Julius Caesar II 194-97)
In , Cassius first identifies men not recognizable from outward evidence because ‘their hats are pluck'd about their ears, and half their faces buried in their cloaks’. Once identity is clarified, Brutus can use the simple anaphoric pro-forms ‘he’ and ‘they’; the reverse order, with pro-form before deictic, would be extremely bizarre. Deictics are useful for pointing to an entire situation or set of events:
 HARDCASTLE: This may be modern modesty, but I never saw anything look so much like old-fashioned impudence. (Goldsmith 1773:29)
Mr Hardcastle is designating all of the actions of his guests since the time of their arrival.
8. We proposed in VIII.1 the term situation management for the use of texts in discourse to steer the situation toward the participants’ goals. We noted that the border between monitoring and management is fuzzy and can best be described in terms of dominances. Monitoring, we suggested, is typically done when the situation fails to match expectations, so that the text producer’s goal is predominantly to resolve discrepancies and discondnuities or at least to reaffirm expectations (VIII.4). In management, there are superordinate goals of the kind we saw in the conversation between the spinster aunt and the vacuous Mr Tupman (cf. VI.16ff.). For example, goals provide heavy mediation when totally disparate monitorings are made of the same situation or event, in this case a primary election in Florida (Gainesville Sun 15 Oct. 1979):
 Kennedy supporters term the Florida showing “one of the greatest political upsets of the century”.
 “They put in the best they had and we put in the best we had and we beat them and beat them bad”, offired Jody Powell [Carter supporter].
Obviously, both sides could not be right, and their goals are so unmistakable that management totally dominates monitoring. Notice the heavy recurrence in Powell’s statement, intended to reinforce his version (cf. IV.13). A still more decisive example was provided by armed men confronting the drivers of a money convoy with (Gainesville Sun 20 Dec. 1978):
 This is a hold up. We’re not kidding.
They are describing the situation solely in terms of their ‘steal money’ plan, hoping that firearms would override everyone else’s version of the situation.4
9. Such samples lead us to conclude that situation management can be profitably explored in terms of plan theory (cf. VI.iiff.). The stabilized plans often called scripts are developed only for situations whose management is routinely demanded in a given society (VI.14f.). In other situations, participants must adapt to a range of variable factors and protect their goals as best they can. They can scan texts from other participants to recognize the latter’s goals (cf. Allen 1979). Or they can simply postulate default goals by assuming that most other people will have the same desires as they do themselves.5 If resources are too limited for fulfilling every participant’s goals, conflict can be expected to result (cf. Wilensky 1978a).6 As is evident in the statements from the supporters of Ted Kennedy  and Jimmy Carter , conflicting goals lead to conflicts in how the same event or situation is monitored.
10. Since many goals are not obtainable through the actions of one agent, situation management must entail goal negotiation: methods of obtaining the compliance and cooperation of others. Schank and Abelson (1977) discuss a set of planboxes7 containing plans frequently used in goal negotiation. You might simply ask other people to do things or to give you something. You might invoke some theme—where “invoking” is a discourse action of mentioning what is already known, as opposed to “informing” something new (cf. IV. 54); and a “theme” is a topic recurring in various parts of a discourse, e.g., long-standing friendship or special fondness for the item you want. You might inform the people of a reason (1.8) why they should be co-operative (or, if the reason is already known, you invoke it). You could bargain to do them a favour in return, or you could bargain to give them some object they would desire. If all these discourse actions (V1. I 1) fail, you could threaten people, overpower them, or steal what you want. When a planner moves down this list toward steadily more extreme actions, we can use the term planbox escalation.” Such escalation could occur within a single planbox as well. You could make your ask, invoke theme, or inform reason more detailed. You could raise a bargain by offering bigger favours or more valuable objects. You could threaten steadily more violent actions, or intensify overpower with more destructive weapons.
11. Like many other procedures,9 planbox escalation entails a trade-off. The planner must find a balance between efficiency (ease. minimum effort) and effectiveness (maximum success chances) that will be appropriate to the situation and to the participants’ roles (cf. I.23). Asking, invoking, and informing are easy and demand no expenditure except of the processing resources needed to produce the text. Bargaining commits you to an expenditure of material resources, but it provides a greater incentive in many cases (it might, however, offend close friends by suggesting that they won’t help out without reward). Threatening, overpowering, and stealing commit you to an expenditure of physical resources, but they suppress further negotiation; their real disadvantage is that they render the goal unstable (cf. Wilensky 1978a: 253), because people will often try to avenge themselves or recover their property. Most societies have institutional measures for discouraging the extreme planboxes of overpowering and stealing. Threatening is easier to carry out and conceal, but also highly problematic (cf. Apeltauer 1977). Once compliance has been refused, the threatener has little to gain by carrying out the threat, and the goal will usually remain as far away as ever. If threatened people don’t believe in your ability to carry out the threat, it matters little whether you can or not—your goal will not be reached.
12. Planbox escalation is therefore a normal response to continued failure, but must be kept within limits. Wilensky (1978a: 28) proposes to model the computer understanding of simple stories upon knowledge about escalation, e.g.:
 John wanted Bill’s bicycle. He walked over to Bill and asked him if he would give it to him. Bill refused. Then John told Bill he would give him five dollars for it, but Bill would not agree. John told Bill he would break his arm if he didn’t let him have it. Bill let John have the bicycle.
Bill’s continued blocking of John’s ’have-bicycle’-goal leads to a steady escalation from ask to bargain object to threaten. Notice that our knowledge of plans and goals enables us to sort out the vague pro-forms (‘he would give him’; ‘he would break his arm if he’). John’s goal is at length attained, but Bill will hardly be disposed toward co-operation in the future, and he may attempt to get his bicycle back. In , Tom Sawyer asks for another boy’s name and, upon refusal, immediately escalates to threaten: (Twain 1922: 7f.)
 “What’s your name?”
“Tisn’t any of your business, maybe.”
“Well I allow I’ll make it my business.”
“Well why don’t you?”
“If you say much, I will.”
“Much—much—much. There now.”
“Oh, you think you’re mighty smart, don’t you? I could lick you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to.”
“Well why don’t you do it? You say you can do it.”
Predictably enough, the encounter ends with a fist-fight (a recourse to overpower). Although Tom finally does ‘lick’ the other boy, the name is never revealed. Invoking a spirit of courtesy and comradeship, or bargaining a favour might have worked better.
13. We shall now essay to describe situation management in terms of planned negotiation and escalation. By analysing a goal-directed conversation, we shall undertake to extract some plausible strategies of situation management. We make no claim that these strategies would work in all cases or would cover all discourse actions. The implementation of any one strategy might be performed with a range of possible texts or even of non-verbal actions. The fitting of strategies to the actual situation would be an instance of procedural attachment as defined in III.19.
14. Our demonstration text is the celebrated occasion in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain 1922: 16ff.) where Tom has been ordered to whitewash a fence on Saturday, the very time he longs to be engaged in leisure activities. He is not an industrious boy to begin with, to say the least, and will have to endure the additional torment of other boys passing down the street near the fence on their way to sports. We listen in at the point where Tom has begun whitewashing, and a neighbour lad Ben happens to come along:10
  Ben stared a moment, and said:
 “Hi-yi! You’re up a stump, ain’t you?”
 No answer.  Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as before.  Ben ranged up alongside of him.  Tom’s mouth watered for Ben’s apple,  but he stuck to his work.
 Ben said:  “Hello, old chap,
 you got to work, hey?”
 Tom wheeled suddenly and said:
 “Why, it’s you, Ben! I warn’t noticing.”
 “Say, I’m going in a-swimming, I am.  Don’t you wish you could?  But of course you’d druther work wouldn’t you? ‘Course you would!”
 Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:
 “What do you call work?”
 “Why, ain’t that work?”
 Tom resumed his whitewashing,
 and answered carelessly:
 “Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t.  All I know is,  it suits Tom Sawyer.”
 “Oh come now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”
 The brush continued to move.
 “Like it?  Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it.  Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”
 That put things in a new light.  Ben stopped nibbling his apple.
 Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth stepped back to note the effect—added a touch here and there—criticized the effect, ag—ain  Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed.  Presently he said:
 “Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”
[3 5] Tom considered,  was about to consent;  but he altered his mind:
 “No—no—I reckon it would hardly do, Ben.  You see, Aunt Polly’s awful particular about this fence—right here on the street, you know but if it was the back fence I wouldn’t mind and she wouldn’t.  Yes, she’s awful particular about this fence;  it’s got. to be done very careful;  I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done.”
 “No—is that so?  Oh come, now—  lemme just try  Only just a little—  I’d let you, if it was me, Tom.”
 “Ben, I’d like to, honest injun;  but Aunt Polly— well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn’t let him;  Sid wanted to do it, but she wouldn’t let Sid.  Now don’t you see how I’m fixed?  If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it
 “Oh shucks, I’ll be just as careful.  Now lemme try.  Say —I’ll give you the core of my apple.”
 “Well, here—  “No, Ben, now don’t.  I’m afeard—”
 “I’ll give you all of it!”
[6i] Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart.
15. This situation is decisively more elaborate than the samples we have explored so far. In contrast to the conversation between Mr Tupman and the aunt (in VI.16ff.), the participants in this scene are not previously disposed to cooperate. To obtain his own goal of relaxing rather than working, Tom must manage the situation such that Ben will set up an artificially induced goal of being allowed to whitewash. Whereas Mr Tupman was expected only to accept beliefs, Ben will have to expend substantial physical resources that he would not normally exert of his own free will. The negotiation must be correspondingly intricate and well-planned.
16. The first step to open an interactive situation is that the participants notice each other in the sense of VIII.2. Ben ‘stares’ at Tom ‘a moment’ [139.1] before the conversation begins. The initial text [139.2] illustrates a common strategy:
Strategy 1: Use a situation monitoring to begin a discourse.
One very common example is to open with a remark about the weather. Such a remark is low in informativity, since most people can see for themselves what the weather is like, but at least conflicting opinions aren’t likely (cf. VIII.4). A weather monitoring can be upgraded by assuming that a more informative occurrence Will ensue, as shown here (Wilde 1956: 14):
 Jack: Charming day it has been, Miss Fairfax.
Gwendolyn: Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous.
Jack: I do mean something else.
And  is in fact followed up by nothing less than a marriage proposal.
17. Ben’s opening monitor-text is highly mediated by his own outlook on work (cf. VIII.1), as compared with something like: ]
[139.2a] “Hi! You got to whitewash that fence, don’t you?”
Mediated monitorings are problematic when receivers do not share the outlook of the text producer (cf. VI.18). The receivers then have several options:
Strategy 2: If someone else’s monitoring does not match your own outlook, do not accept it. You may: (a) reject it outright; (b) question it; (c) ignore it; or (d) replace it with your own monitoring.
The selection of one of the options (a) through (d) would depend in part on the social dominance among participants and the rate of escalation that your plan calls for. A highly dominant participant not worrying about possible escalation would be prone to use outright rejection (a):
 “Being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.” “It isn’t, “ said the Caterpillar. (Carroll 1960: 68)
The number of situations where outright rejection is advisable is not large. Utterances of rejection are most common in closely-knit social groups where participants are not likely to take serious offence, e.g.:
 You’re way off!
 Are you out of your mind?
In other kinds of groups, more indirect negotiation is usually done with the questioning option (b), e.g.:
 Are you sure?
 What makes you think so?
 Couldn’t we see that another way?
18. Since Tom’s goal requires Ben’s willing cooperation, he can’t fit the rejection option (a) of Strategy 2 into his plan. Instead, he selects the other three: ignoring the monitoring [139.3], questioning it [139.17], and eventually replacing it [139.26-8]. The “ignoring” option is particularly suitable for the opening phase of a conversation, since one can always claim not to have noticed the other participants, and can thus escape seeming rude. Tom’s ‘no answer’ [139.3] is accordingly a realization of Strategy 2(c). This option also fits with a theme he will invoke many times later on: that whitewashing is a skilled and difficult activity. He pretends to be so engrossed [139.4] that his attention is not free for conversation (cf. VII.1). This state is intended to upgrade the activity from a tedious, everyday one into a valuable rare one.11 A general strategy for deciding when to perform upgrading could be:
Strategy 3: To encourage planbox escalation, upgrade the object or event that you are being asked to give or perform.
This strategy is prominent and successful in our sample, at least.
19. Ben realizes that his monitoring is not being acknowledged. He ‘ranges up alongside of’ Tom [139.5] to make noticing more probable. What is in fact noticed is his apple, causing Tom to set up a subgoal ‘have apple’ [139.6] (this subgoal will be watching for an opportunity to assert itself in the course of the interaction). Ben applies another strategy:
Strategy 4: If your monitoring is not accepted, replace it with a less mediated version.
This strategy is based on the assumption that participants are more likely to agree when a text follows the available evidence more closely. Ben repeats his greeting [139.9] in case he hasn’t been noticed, and then replaces his monitoring [139.2] with a less mediated version [139.10]. Tom is now willing to notice Ben [139.11], but not to accept the less mediated monitoring he wants a version mediated toward his own plan. He pursues his upgrading theme by claiming that he ‘warn’t noticing’, presumably being too enthralled by his whitewashing [139.12].
20. Now that the conversation has gotten under way, Ben monitors his own situation and plans [139.13]. His next remark [139.14] illustrates this strategy (cf. VIII.9).
Strategy 5: Project your own desires and goals onto other participants except where there is evidence to the contrary.
Feeling secure of his opinion, Ben ironically assigns to Tom an outlook deemed highly improbable [139.15]; he answers his own question (‘wouldn’t you? ‘Course you would!’) to flaunt its absurdity. At this point, Tom shifts to the “questioning” option (b) of Strategy 2 [139.17], and applies it in combination with another strategy:
Strategy 6: When the monitorings of participants fail to match, negotiate the sense of the topic concepts involved.
In this case, the topic concept to be negotiated is ‘work’ as a proposed description of Tom’s current activity [139.18]. Tom cannot reject this concept outright (Strategy 2(a)), since he could sacrifice his believability. He therefore leaves the question of applying the concept entirely open by attaching &maybe’ to a statement of each possibility [139.21]. A strategy for this tactic might be:
Strategy 7: If your own plan-directed monitoring would be disbelieved, don’t advance it, but don’t commit your self to its opposite either.
The monitoring cannot be contradicted as long as it has not been asserted. Apparently, text receivers are more easily persuaded by content which they have to infer or supply themselves (cf. I.16; VII-28, 42). Tom has already resumed his whitewashing’ [139.19] as if he couldn’t bear to be deprived of it for a moment. He limits himself to asserting that the activity ‘suits’ him, which is all he needs to ‘know’ [139.23]. His use of his own full name rather than the pro-form ‘me’ might suggest that whitewashing is flattering to his social role at large.
21. It is now Ben’s turn to apply the “questioning” option (b) of Strategy 2, since the notion that Tom ‘likes’ the job [139.24] is incompatible with Strategy 5 as well as with common knowledge about Tom’s disposition fir idelness. Tom’s response [13 9.26-27] follows a modified version of Strategy 7:
Strategy 8: If your monitoring might be disbelieved, don’t advance it directly, but ask others for reasons why it would not be plausible.
Tom thus proclaims himself unable to find a reason why he ‘oughtn’t to like it’ [139.27]. He goes on to upgrade the task as being available only on rare occasions [139.28]. His choice of expressions supports the upgrading by suggesting that the task is a ‘chance’ for enjoyment rather than a chore.
22. As we can see, Tom’s monitorings, in contrast to Ben’s, have all been dominated by managing (cf. VIII.1). He has succeeded in ‘putting’ the situation ‘in a new light’ [139.29] while seeming to do nothing more than monitor available evidence. The outcome is a concord of goals (Wilensky 1978a), in which both participants want Ben to be doing the whitewashing. Ben already focuses his attention so heavily on Tom’s motions [139.31-32] that the apple-eating is forgotten [139.30] (cf. definition of “attention” in VII.1.). Tom’s intricate motions [139.31] are intended to invoke once more the upgrading theme (VIII.18) by imitating an ‘artist’ [139.4].
23. Ben first advances his newly-created goal with an ask [139.34]. At this point, Tom could hand the brush over, and his own main goal would be attained. But he would destroy his subgoal ‘have apple’, set up early in the scene (cf. VIII.19) if he accepted Ben’s ask.11a. He therefore follows Strategy 3 in order to encourage planbox escalation. A specific strategy in this case would be:
Strategy 9: If you desire objects or favours from people, reject any ask, invoke theme, and inform reason until planbox escalation reaches bargains.
This strategy must be applied carefully to prevent two undesirable outcomes: (a) the people may abandon their goals at once; or (b) escalation may shoot past the bargain stage into the violent extremes. In sample , Bill clung to his bicycle so long that he nearly got hurt and lost it anyway, whereas he might have at least obtained a bargain value of five dollars. In sample , the ask was rejected so emphatically that escalation immediately moved to THREATEN, You must be able to judge other people’s patience and the extent to which they are willing to pursue their goals. A corresponding strategy might be:
Strategy 10: Prevent goal abandonment or extreme escalation by showing indecision in your refusals.12
Tom signals his indecision both by gestures or facial expressions [139.35, 36, 61] and by utterances [139.38-39, 48, 52-53, 57-59].
24. To motivate his initial rejection of Ben’s ask, Tom invokes themes and informs reasons. His first reason is Aunt Polly’s strong concern for a conspicuous fence along the street in front of her house [139.39]. This tactic, which will be used again (cf. VIII.26), seems to represent a strategy like this:
Strategy 11: To upgrade your contribution and steer escalation toward a good bargain, inform or invoke outlooks of people who are absent and can’t contradict you, so that you will not seem unreasonable or greedy.13
Aunt Polly’s purported outlook supports the now familiar theme about the skill and artistry required to whitewash a fence (VIII.18). For added effect, Tom follows up with a recurrence [139.40] (cf. IV.12ff) and then a paraphrase [139.41] (cf. IV.18f) of his previously presented material. His culmination is comparing himself (‘one boy’) to ‘a thousand’ or even ‘two thousand’ less competent boys [139.42]. These numerical proportions suggest the dimensions which a truly adequate bargain ought to meet and make a mere apple seem like a bargain.
25. If a claim such as [139.42] had been made earlier in the conversation, it would doubtless have been energetically rejected by Ben. But thanks to extensive development of the upgrading theme, Ben shows only momentary scepticism [139.43-44] and then returns to his ask with a partial limitation (‘only just a little’) [139.45-46]. A corresponding strategy could be:
Strategy 12: To encourage co-operation, downgrade the expenditure of time and resources that others must make to further your goal.
In , John might have persuaded Bill to relinquish the bicycle for a few minutes rather than permanently.
26. Ben’s next discourse action [139.47] might be both invoke theme (that Ben and Tom are old friends) and inform reason (that Tom should be as generous as other people would be in the same circumstances). Tom follows suit by assuming the role of a helper anxious to remove obstacles to Ben’s goal. Though disposed to help out, Tom reverts to his upgrading theme, this time comparing himself to two known persons (‘Jim’, ‘Sid’) rather than to ‘thousands’ of unknown ones—a further realization of Strategy 11 (cf. VIII.24). Again, recurrence is deployed as reinforcement, with the experience of ‘Jim’ and ‘Sid’ expressed in almost identical terms [139.50-51]. Ben is led to suppose that whitewashing would therefore elevate him also over Jim and Sid. From here, Tom moves yet once again to his upgrading theme by indicating that something bad would ‘happen’ if a less talented boy were to ‘tackle this fence’ [139.53].
27. Of course, all of Tom’s discourse actions are designed to prompt Ben into a bargain object with the apple. Ben remains obtuse for a minute, renewing his ask with a promise to ‘be just as careful’ as Tom [139.54-55]. Finally, it occurs to him to offer a bargain [139.56], though the apple core is understandably not Tom’s goal. Accordingly, Tom falls back on Strategy 10 and manifests his indecision by first assenting [139.57] and then refusing [139.58]. As he begins anew on his outworn upgrading theme [139.59], Ben interrupts (no doubt sick of hearing about it) with an escalated bargain object for the whole apple [139.60]. Having obtained both his major goal and his subgoal, Tom at last agrees, not forgetting to signal reluctance with a facial expression [139.61] and thus to uphold his theme to the very end; perhaps too much rejoicing on Tom’s part would have alerted Ben even now to the extent of manipulation being perpetrated. Impressed by the success of his plan, Tom stabilizes it into a script and practises it on all the boys passing by, so that, ‘if he hadn’t run out of whitewash, he would have bankrupted every boy in the village’ (Twain 1922: 18).
28. This chapter has been devoted to describing some significant ways in which texts are correlated with discourse actions and applied to a situation. The correlations involved are far from simple reflections of the apperceivable evidence in the situation alone. Instead, the content of texts is usually removed via mediation from the evidence according to the producer’s outlook, beliefs, plans, and goals. Whether a text is acceptable may depend not on the “correctness” of its “reference” to the “real world,” but rather on its believability and relevance to the participants’ outlook regarding the situation. We have argued that discourse actions can be viewed as realizations of general strategies for monitoring and managing all sorts of situations in which people communicate and interact.
1 The notions of “monitoring” and “managing” as used here are common in automatic data processing, but not well developed in linguistics so far.
2 To be precise, Osgood’s experiments entailed both “describing” and “narrating” (in the senses set forth in IX.6), because both situations and event sequences were involved.
3 On salience, cf. Kintsch (1977a: 397ff.). See also note 5 to Chapter VII.31 This approach finally allows a satisfactory explanation of the much discussed sentence pairs like ‘I smeared the wall with mud’ versus ‘I smeared mud on the wall’: the element in the direct object slot is given more prominence than that in the prepositional phrase. Hence, one assumes that the first sentence of the pair implies the entire wall was smeared (cf. Fillmore 1977:79).
4 On the use of firearms in re-defining situations, cf. Goffman (1974:447).
5 On desirability, cf. VI.13; note 6 to Chapter VII.
6 Wilensky distinguishes between cases where one agent has conflicting goals (“goal conflict”) and cases where goals of two or more agents work against each other (“goal competition”). The latter type of case is computationally more interesting and hence is used more often in stories (cf. Beaugrande & Colby 1979). We shall see both types in sample  below.
7 Schank & Abelson (1977: 90) define “planboxes” as a “key action that will accomplish the goals”, plus three kinds of “preconditions”: “controllable”, “uncontrollable”, and “mediating”. They would view “escalation” as a means for creating “mediating” preconditions (see note 8 to this chapter).
8 Schank & Abelson (1977: 90) speak of “invoking some other planbox farther up the scale of potential benefit or potential danger” in order to create some “mediating precondition” for a goal, e.g. “willingness”.
9 Cf. IV.29, 37; V.15.
10 The numberings in this sample mostly follow the borderlines of actions and discourse actions rather than single sentences, as far as we could determine. Sentence boundaries can be used as boundaries of discourse actions, but there is no obligation to do so. There are a number of regional dialect forms: ‘warn’t’  = ‘wasn’t’; ‘a-swimming’  = ‘swimming’; ‘druther’  = ‘would rather’; ‘lemme’  = ‘let me’; ‘honest injun’  = ‘honest as an Indian’ (an avowal of one’s truthfulness); ‘afeard’  = ‘afraid’.
11 Notice that Tom never actually describes his action in such terms; the closest he comes is in [139.28]. In VIII.20, we suggest a strategic rationale for Tom’s actions (what isn’t asserted can’t be contradicted).
11a This is a case of “goal conflict” in the sense of Wilensky (1978a); see note 6 to this chapter.
12 As recently witnessed by one of the authors (RdB), sellers are prone to intersperse into their negotiations utterances like: ‘I don’t believe I really want to sell it, sir.’ The utterances are not of course intended to be taken seriously, but only to drive up the price of the sale. However, in this case the prospective RdB did take them seriously and abandoned the negotiation altogether.
13 This manoeuvre is used in a memorable scene in Molière’s play The Miser (L’Avare) Act II, Scene i.
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