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Exploring the Relationship Between Lexical Behavior and Concept Formation in Design Conversations

[+] Author Affiliations
Andy Dong, Kevin Davies

University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

David McInnes

University of Western Sydney, Penrith South, NSW, Australia

Paper No. DETC2005-84407, pp. 61-71; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2005-84407
From:
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5a: 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4742-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME

abstract

Designers bring individual knowledge and perspectives to the team. The hypothesis tested in this research is that semantic and grammatical structures (the language through which concepts are expressed) enable designers to bridge relations among ideas stored in each designer’s mind and from this to generate design concepts. This paper describes a linguistic and a computational method to examine the grammatical and semantic structure of design conversations and the linguistic processes by which individuals bridge their knowledge to the group’s ongoing knowledge accumulation. To test the hypothesis, we conducted a linguistic (systemic functional linguistics) and computational linguistic (lexical chain analysis) analysis of a design team conversation The computational analysis revealed hypernym relations as the primary lexico-syntactic pattern by which designers offer, interrelate and develop concepts. The linguistic analysis highlighted the grammatical linguistic features that actively contribute to the generation of design content by teams. These analyses point to the prospect of a functional correspondence between language use and a team’s ability to construct knowledge for design. This interrelation has implications both for computational systems that assess design teams and design teamwork education.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Design

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