A new corpus has been recorded. The transcription of this “DVD-Corpus” is nearly finished. One aim of the project is to analyse conversational feedback at different interactional situations (spontaneous conversation, task-oriented dialogue and an intermediate condition). Therefore, a corpus involving discussions and negotiations about movies has been recorded, as the first two conditions are already covered by the CID corpus and the Maptask (remote and audio-visual) corpus.
After the visual maptask corpus has been recorded, annotation guidelines for the visual modality are developed. In parallel to the verbal transcriptions, the first version of the visual annotation guidelines is underway to be tested on the pilot recordings. The guidelines are largely informed by guidelines suggested by David McNeill and the MUMIN scheme. The aim was to take the advantages from both schemes and simplifying the new guidelines without a major loss of information and detail. The guidelines are tailored to the needs of (i) annotating nonverbal feedback as well as the movements of the interlocutor and (ii) annotating vast quantities of data. If improvements to the guidelines are necessary, a second version is to be created that is then used for the annotate the visual maptask corpus. According to time constraints, a strict limit to a certain amount of data or a focus on the verbal feedback items might be envisaged, but has not been decided yet.
The annotations of the visual behaviour will be used in two manners. On the one hand, a qualitative analysis of interactional sequences will be performed using methods of CA. On the other hand, a quantitative analysis is used for a general overview on the visual resources used by participants of task-oriented dialogues and in particular for statistical support.
The 3rd and 4th of July were used to look at initial data recordings and trial transcripts. The focus was on the visual modality, i.e. gestures, gaze, facial displays.
For this occasion we invited a specialist in gesture research, Gaëlle Ferré from Nantes (http://www.lling.univ-nantes.fr/index.php?option=com_profils&user=64&lang=en).
The underlying material for a CA-style data-session (CA = Conversation Analysis) were taken from an extract of the CID corpus and three extracts of the pilot recordings of the new Maptask corpus. Two with each participant being the director or the recipient of the map. And one part of free conversation. With other researchers from the Project the following was points have been discussed and decisions were taken.
The data-session was used to make initial observations on how the interacting participants made use of gestures to achieve what we call “feedback”. The focus was: regularities, sequential organisation, participant’s orientation, feedback as social action. The usefulness of CA procedures on the way to a description of feedback according to phonetic resources, such as Prosody, Gesture, Lexical content, etc. was discussed. This resembles an Interactional Phonetics approach (cf. research by John Local, Richard Ogden, Bill Wells and many others).
The annotation of gestures was discussed with respect to the minimum amount of detail needed in order to explain the interactional processes, and the maximum amount of detail in order to achieve statistical power.
One important aspect is also to avoid the risk of circularity in using the annotated gestures for the classification of communicative functions of feedback. The information given with the classification guidelines may not be used in the subsequent analysis of the annotation results in relation with the communicative functions.
Another important point is the annotation and analysis of gaze. What kinds o gaze should be distinguished? Are mid-distance gaze and gaze-to-participant sufficient? What is gaze and what is facial display. E.g. are closed eyes part of the one or the other?