Farina Freigang

+49 521 106-12174
Faculty of Technology
Project title: 
Modal functions of meta-communicative gestures in multimodal communication (MetaGest)
Meta-communication is an integral part of natural conversations among humans. Speakers add (indirect) cues to the intended meaning of their utterances to communicate their viewpoints, convictions, knowledge, and attitudes, among others. Listeners perceive those signals in addition to the semantics and integrate everything into a congruent message. We analyse these modal (pragmatic) functions in human gesture and evaluate them with our virtual humans. Virtual humans employing modal functions of gestures have richer communicative abilities. Humans can recall content better when the virtual human presents it with a positive focusing function (`this is important') as compared to a negative epistemic one (`I don’t know'). The ultimate aim of this research project is to integrate our empirical findings with other background findings in a hybrid computational model that captures pragmatic modifications as they occur in ordinary human interactions.