Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Valerie L. Shalin, Ph.D. (Advisor); Scott Watamaniuk, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Ion Juvina, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This research expands upon the research conducted by Clark and Wilkes-Gibbs (1986) on how individuals collaborate and reach common ground in the domain of objects into the domain of action. Pairs of participants (N = 22) were asked to complete a set of six maneuvers with a remote-control car. Dialogue was transcribed and analyzed for total word count, verb phrase count, number of turns taken, number of errors committed, and selected other linguistic characteristics. Total word count, verb phrase count, number of turns taken, and number of errors committed all significantly decreased over time, either linearly or logarithmically. This research shows support for a general distinction between path and manner verbs by showing different associated language patterns for the different verb types. A key finding in this study is that learning of path maneuvers is dependent on learning features in the environment, whereas this is not important in manner maneuvers.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded