de Shazer (1991) introduced a post-structural view of language in therapy in which the participants' sociai interaction determines the meaning of the words they are using. Broader theories of social construction are similar but lack details about the role of language. This article focuses on the observable details of co-constructing meaning in dialogue. Research in psycholinguistics has provided experimental evidence for how speakers and their addressees collaboratively co-construct their dialogues. We review several of the experiments that have demonstrated the influence and importance of the addressee in shaping what the speaker is saying. Building on this research, we present a moment-by-moment three-step grounding sequence in which the speaker presents information, the addressee displays understanding, and the speaker confirms this understanding. We propose that this micro-pattern and its variations are the observable process by which the participants in a dialogue negotiate and co-construct shared meanings.
Bavelas, Janet Beavin; De Jong, Peter; Smock Jordan, Sara; and Korman, Harry
"The theoretical and research basis of co-constructing meaning in dialogue,"
Journal of Solution Focused Practices: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/journalsfp/vol1/iss2/3