ISO Standard for Dialogue Acts

ISO 24617-2 is an international standard that governs dialogue act analysis approved and certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It was co-authored by Alex Fang as a member of international team of experts in the area of semantic annotation. The international standard provides a set of empirically and theoretically motivated concepts and guidelines for the analysis of pragmatic meanings, communicative functions and speaker intensions identifiable with contextual utterances in interactive speech (Fang et al 2011, Bunt et al 2012). This ISO standard serves as a foundation for localised national standards addressing needs from specific languages such as Chinese (Fang et al 2019), German and Japanese. The standard has been adopted by member countries across Europe and Asia as national guidelines to enable interoperable practice in public and private sectors for research and development of language technologies. The standard, first certified and published in 2012, was vigorously reviewed by ISO in the assessment period and was re-certified as international standard in December 2020.


Fang, A. C., Bunt, H., Cao, J., & Liu, X. (2011). Relating the Semantics of Dialogue Acts to Linguistic Properties: A machine learning perspective through lexical cues. In Proceedings of the 5th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA, September 18-21, 2011.
Bunt, H., Alexandersson, J., Choe, J.-W., Fang, A. C., Hasida, K., Petukhova, V., Popescu-Belis, A., & Traum, D. (2012). ISO 24617-2:2012 Language resource management – Semantic annotation framework (SemAF) – Part 2: Dialogue acts. Geneva: The International Organization for Standardization. 104 pages.
Fang, A. C., Cao, J, Liu, X, & Bunt, H (2012). Lexical Characteristics of Dialogue Acts in the Switchboard Corpus of Telephone Conversations. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Research, No 3, Vol 44. pp 28-40.
Bunt, H., Petukhova, V., Malchanau, A., Fang, A.C., & Wijnhoven, K. (2018). The DialogBank: Dialogues with Interoperable Annotations. Language Resources and Evaluation. DOI 10.1007/s10579-018-9436-9
Fang, A.C., Li, Y., Cao, J. and Bunt, H. (2019). Dialogue Act Analysis for Chinese Spoken and Multimodal Resources. In C.-R. Huang, Z. Jing-Schmidt, and B. Meisterernst (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Chinese Linguistics. Routledge.