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The pragmatics of natural language poses a challenge both at a theoretical level and at a practical level, in part because of the absence of simple one–one mappings between form and meaning. This is exemplified by the recognition of speech act or dialogue act types. The linguistic tradi- tion of research in this area has been primarily taxonomic in its focus and has had relatively little to say about the processes underpinning speech act recognition in real time. Similarly, the rich body of applied computational research on dialogue has chief ly addressed the practical consid- erations of how to build working artificial systems that can handle natural language. Neverthe- less, both strands of research have the potential to offer useful psycholinguistic insights, which have only recently begun to be explored. This course presents some of the relevant background and discusses the relevance of computational and theoretical dialogue work to active research questions in linguistics.