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The Integrated Dynamics of Natural Language Performance

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018. 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Building 460, Room 126
Workshop: 
Cognition and Language Workshop
Meeting Description: 

Natural human communication is a highly complex multimodal performance. I will discuss prior research my collaborators and I have conducted that quantifies this performance. I will argue that there remain a number of interesting open questions about the interaction among the many processes that make up multimodal communication. This interaction underlies our capacity to weave processes on a millisecond timescale into complex language performances that span many minutes. I will end by summarizing a recent project with Camila Alviar and Dr. Alexia Galati using semi-automated video analysis of dozens of academics as a convenience dataset to explore these complex dynamics. We find preliminary evidence that there is interesting covariation between fast timescale processes (speech, body) and longer timescale process of an academic talk itself. So-called "interaction-dominant" mechanisms may be profound: Fractal analyses of body dynamics also show similar covariation with progression into an academic talk. I will end by discussing theoretical implications for understanding natural language performance as an integrated dynamic system.

Rick Dale is a professor of cognitive science in the Department of Communications at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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