Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Alignment in Communication: Towards a New Theory of Communication

Date: July 19-21, 2012

Convenors: Ipke Wachsmuth (Bielefeld), Jan de Ruiter (Bielefeld)

Midway-through a 12 year research agenda of Bielefeld's Collaborative Research Center 'Alignment in Communication', the ZiF workshop exposed our research progress to an interdisciplinary round of experts from 13 countries for discussion and critique. The following questions were addressed: Synchronization of timing: how important a prerequisite? Surface vs. structural alignment: which is more important? Which role does common ground of the participants in dialogue play? Interactive alignment vs. negotiation: automatic or strategic? What are the requirements for a process model of communication? How do evolutionary mechanisms constrain a theory of communication? What can we learn about communication through artificial systems? In conclusion participants agreed that further research is needed to explain the multitude of alignment phenomena observed, but that a discussion towards a new theory of communication was set up successfully between the different streams in communication research. A volume comprising selected contributions is in preparation.


Ipke Wachsmuth Towards a new theory of communication
Michael Spivey Synchrony during conversation
Julia Hirschberg Prosodic dimensions of entrainment in dialogue
Petra Wagner Interaction phonology-towards a temporal co-ordination of alignment
Martin Pickering, Simon Garrod An integrated theory of language production and comprehension
Jan de Ruiter Communication and intention
Susan Brennan The role of common ground in alignment
Dale Barr Using the voice to put a name to a face: a case study in perspective-free pragmatics
Sven Wachsmuth, Hannes Rieser "The hand is no banana" - developing a robot's grounding capabilities
Holly Brannigan Alignment: automatic or strategic?
Pia Knoeferle From linguistic to communicative alignment
David Traum What are the requirements for a process model of dialogue
Stefan Kopp From intra- to interpersonal alignment

Panel How do evolutionary mechanisms constrain a theory of communication

Chaminade, Karl Grammer, Horst M. Müller, Byoung-Tak Zhang

Panel What can we learn about communication through artificial systems?

Elisabeth André, Gordon Cheng, Ana Paiva, Catherine Pelachaud, Helge Ritter


Jens Allwood (Göteborg, SWE), Elisabeth André (Augsburg, GER), Jolanta Bachan (Posen, POL), Dale Barr (Glasgow, GBR), Janet B. Bavelas (Victoria, CAN), Lucas Bietti (Essen, GER), Holly Branigan (Edinburgh, GBR), Susan Brennan (Stony Brook, USA), Thierry Chaminade (Marseille, FRA), Gordon Cheng (München, GER), Jens Edlund (Stockholm, SWE), Christian Freksa (Bremen, GER), Susan Duncan (Chicago, USA), Simon C. Garrod (Glasgow, GBR), Karl Grammer (Wien, AUT), Patrick G.T. Healey (London, GBR), Julia Hirschberg (New York, USA), Maciej Karpinski (Posen, POL), Ruth Kempson (London, GBR), Günther Knoblich (Budapest, HUN), Pia Knoeferle (Bielefeld, GER), Stefan Kopp (Bielefeld, GER), Anna Kuhlen (Berlin, GER), Staffan Larsson (Göteborg, SWE), Claudia Maienborn (Tübingen, GER), Horst M. Müller (Bielefeld, GER), Ana Paiva (Porto, POR), Catherine Pelachaud (Paris, FRA), Martin Pickering (Edinburgh, GBR), Hannes Rieser (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER), Natalie Sebanz (Budapest, HUN), Michael J. Spivey (Merced, USA), David Traum (Playa Vista, USA), Astrid von der Pütten (Duisburg, GER), Constanze Vorwerg (Bern, SUI), Sven Wachsmuth (Bielefeld, GER), Petra Wagner (Bielefeld, GER), Byoung-Tak Zhang (Seoul, KOR)

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