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Multimodal Alignment in Social Interaction

LICS Lunch Talk with Marlou Rasenberg, Radboud University and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen

Marlou Rasenberg

Time & Location
12.00-13.00 on November 15th in room 1485-226 or online (zoom link: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/64620236105). 

Conversations often seem fluent and effortless, though on closer inspection people are continuously negotiating mutual understanding. To gain insight into this process we can study the various semiotic resources (speech, gesture) and interactional practices (alignment, repair) that people employ, though it is not straightforward how to (quantitatively) study those. For example, with many fields now working on alignment in dialogue, an abundance of methodological approaches has emerged. To move this multidisciplinary field forward, we need clear and unambiguous terms to compare theoretical perspectives and empirical operationalizations. To this end, we created an integrative framework to decompose the notion of behavioural alignment into its constituent dimensions: time, sequence, meaning, form and modality (Rasenberg et al, 2020). In this presentation I will present the framework, and demonstrate its utility by showcasing its application in recent work on lexical and gestural alignment. I will also share some ideas and discussion points about studying repair and alignment in an ongoing study.

Marlou Rasenberg is a PhD student in the Multimodal Language and Cognition lab at the Radboud University and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. She studies the sequential and multimodal aspects of social interactions in order to gain a deeper understanding of how conversational partners arrive at mutual understanding. She focuses on interactional practices such as alignment and other-initiated repair, and investigates how speech and gesture are flexibly deployed in such practices to reach intersubjectivity.