At some point in their processing, natural language dialogue systems typically perform some pragmatic analysis to compute the dialogue act (or speech act, dialogue move, illocution, etc.) underlying an utterance. The Verbmobil system, despite the fact that it is not engaged in the dialogue but only mediates it, is no exception. At present, both symbolic reasoning and statistical recognition are used for this purpose. This paper discusses the relative merits of both approaches and of various ways of integrating the two, which are currently subject to experimentation. 1 Dialogue acts in Verbmobil Natural language dialogue systems typically analyze utterances on various levels of abstraction, and often the "deepest" representation they construct involves dialogue acts (DAs). These are constructs that abstract from specific lexical, syntactic, and semantic information, and represent only the pragmatic force that is relevant for the processing system. In the Verbmobil project [Wahls..
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