Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Alignment in Communication

Date: July 7 - 9, 2004
Scientific Organizers: Gert Rickheit (Bielefeld), Simon Garrod (Glasgow), Hannes Rieser, Helge Ritter, Lorenz Sichelschmidt, Ipke Wachsmuth (all Bielefeld)

Different aspects of alignment and misalignment in communication were presented in over 20 papers. Generally speaking, alignment comprises the implicit coordination of interacting agents. Although there is no generally accepted definition of alignment beyond that, the workshop participants agreed that this notion represents an ensemble of phenomena, which pertain to a common orientation of the communicating partners without explicit negotiation.
Scientists from the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Jordan and Germany attended the international workshop and represented the following disciplines: Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Psychology and Informatics. The participation of international scientists from these interdisciplinary fields resulted in very fruitful discussions, which gave the participants a new insight into the multilayered aspects of human-human and human-computer interaction. The many possibilities of common orientation in verbal and nonverbal successful interaction were discussed alongside disturbed communication. Common world knowledge and the fundamental congruence in the evaluation of the communication form the basis for successful communication. Whenever serious differences arise explicit negotiation can still lead to success.

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