A Logical Interpretation of Silence

Alfonso Garcés Báez, Aurelio López López


In human communication process, we often face situations where decisions have to be made, regardless of silence of one of the interlocutors. That is, we have to decide from incomplete information, guessing the knowledge or intentions of the silent person. This behaviour has been studied by several disciplines but barely touched in logic or artificial intelligence. After reviewing some previous studies of silence and conversational implicature of Grice, we focus on apuzzle formerly expressed and solved in Answer Set Programming, to analyze the implications of two different interpretations of silence (Defensive and Acquiescent Silence), in terms of the Says () predicate. Several conclusions are derived from the different possibilities that opened for analysis. In addition, a general strategy for analysis of problems involving testimonies and silence is proposed.


Silence, interpretation, dialogue, speech acts, intention, says predicate, says graph, puzzle, answer set programming

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