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This book unites speech act theory and conversation analysis to advance a theory of conversational competence. It is predicated on the assumption that speech act theory, if it is to be of genuine empirical and theoretical significance, must be embedded within a general theory of conversational competence capable of accounting for how we do things with words in naturally occurring conversation, and it can usefully be seen as a synthesis of traditional speech act theory, conversation analysis, and artificial intelligence research in natural language processing. Michael L. Geis analyses a variety of naturally occurring conversations, presenting them within a framework of computational interest and within discourse representation theory. In particular, he offers an explicit mapping of semantic and pragmatic (i.e. speech-act-theoretic) meaning features and politeness features into so-called conventionalized indirect speech act forms.