The volume deals with the relationship between language, dialogue, human nature and culture by focusing on an approach that considers culture to be a crucial component of dialogic interaction. Part I refers to the so-called ‘language instinct debate’ between nativists and empiricists and introduces a mediating position that regards language and dialogue as determined by both human nature and culture. This sets the framework for the contributions of Part II which propose varying theoretical positions on how to address the ways in which culture influences dialogue. Part III presents more empirically oriented studies which demonstrate the interaction of components in the ‘mixed game’ and focus, in particular, on specific action games, politeness and selected verbal means of communication.
The contributions thus shed light on how human beings as cultural beings act and behave in the mixed game of dialogic interaction. They contribute to a view of dialogue as culturally based interaction which comes about not by the addition of parts but by the interaction of components in the mixed game. The concept of culture emerges as an internal concept inherent to human beings in general as well as being individually shaped, and as an external concept evident in habits and cultural conventions.