Linguistics Colloquium – Gina-Anne Levow (01/04/11)

Gina LevowPlease come hear one of our newest faculty members, Gina-Anne Levow, talk about her work on verbal and non-verbal rapport signals. Abstract below.


Investigating Interactional Rapport in Three Language/Cultural Groups
Gina-Anne Levow, Department of Linguistics, University of Washington

Friday, February 04, 2011
Mary Gates Hall Room 241

Aspects of speech and non-verbal behavior allow conversational partners to
establish and maintain rapport by signaling engagement or endorsement.
Previous studies have indicated the use of diverse multi-modal behaviors,
such as headnod, gaze, and posture to support interactional rapport. In the
verbal channel, rapport signals encompass requests for and production of
vocal feedback, as well as lexical and grammatical mirroring.  However,
these cues are often subtle and culture-specific.

Here, we investigate the cross-cultural differences in these multi-modal
cues  across three diverse language/cultural groups: American English, Iraqi
Arabic, and Mexican Spanish.  We describe our corpus of more than 100
videotaped, unrehearsed dyadic story-telling interactions. These
interactions have been fully transcribed and aligned and are being annotated
for nonverbal behavior.  To support the development of Listening Embodied
Conversation Agents, the analysis focuses on participants in the listener
role. We identify key contrasts in listener non-verbal and verbal behavior
and highlight similarities and differences in  expectations for and production
of vocal feedback.

Friday, February 04, 2011
Mary Gates Hall Room 241

Reception to follow in same room.

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