In this paper, the notion of “the content of a dialogue” is
shown to be problematic in light of the phenomena of semantic coordination
in dialogue, and the associated notion of semantic plasticity – the
ability of meanings to change as a result of language use. Specifically, it
appears that any notion of content in dialogue based on classical modeltheoretical
semantics will be insufficient for capturing semantic plasticity.
An alternative formal semantics, type theory with records (TTR) is
briefly introduced and is show to be better equipped to deal with semantic
coordination and plasticity. However, it is also argued that any
account of content in dialogue which takes semantic coordination seriously
will also need to consider the problems it raises for some concepts
central to traditional notions of meaning, namely inference and truth.