Funding Extended for the Collaborative Research Centre "Alignment in Communication": German Research Foundation to Fund SFB 673 for a Further 4 Years

The Bielefeld Collaborative Research Centre 673 "Alignment in Communication" is to receive 4 more years of funding according to an announcement by the German Research Foundation (DFG) this week. "That is a great success", says Professor Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth, the speaker, "that rewards the hard work we have done in recent years".

Set up in 2006, the Bielefeld Collaborative Research Centre 673 "Alignment in Communication" is investigating communication-orienting processes as an innovative alternative to the previously popular theories of human communication. Academics at Bielefeld now expect to receive about 7 million Euros over the next 4 years in order to continue working on a topic that research has only touched on up to now. The focus is on the various verbal and nonverbal mechanisms that permit a mutual harmonization and sharing of orientations when people communicate with each other. This shared orientation is labelled alignment. 
Whereas alignment is a key term particularly in the natural sciences and technology, it has scarcely been considered in the humanities and social sciences even though it is fundamental for communication. Therefore, academics at Bielefeld are taking an interdisciplinary approach bringing together linguistic and technological research groups and applying a methodology that combines psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic procedures with those from computer science, machine signal processing, and even robotics and artificial intelligence.