June 21, 2005

Emiel Krahmer, Tilburg

Focus and Questions: Two Functions of Audiovisual Prosody

Abstract: Speakers have a large repertoire of arm gestures and facial expressions at their disposal which they may use to support what they are saying. There is a growing awareness that such visual cues are closely related to auditory cues, although the exact relation is far from well understood. In this two part talk, I will look at the usage of auditory and visual cues for two specific phenomena which may also be of interest for semanticists, namely focus and question-answering. In part 1, a series of experiments is described, looking at the relative importance of auditory cues (e.g., pitch accents) and visual cues (e.g., eyebrow movements, head nods, beat gestures) for prominence signalling and detection. Part 2 discusses a series of experiments looking at audiovisual cues for (un)certainty signalling during question-answering, using the "feeling of knowing" paradigm both with adults and with children.