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Conference Papers Year : 2022

From gestures to kinesthetic modality: how to express epistemicity in a haptic device for human-machine interaction

Du geste au mode kinesthésique: comment exprimer l'épistémè avec un système haptique

Dai gesti alla modalità cinestetica: come esprimere l'episteme con un sistema tattile


The LexiKHuM project (Human-Machine Kinesthetic Lexicon) [1] studies and develops kinesthetic communication solutions for human-machine interaction. Our objective is to implement a kinesthetic lexicon that will be held on a haptic device for human-machine communication. We therefore explore human gestuality (both co-verbal gesture [CVG] and sign language [SL]) to extract features which can be reinvested in the kinesthetic lexicon, in order to ensure its closeness to natural language. One of the features we would like to introduce in our system is the epistemic dimension of the messages transmitted toward the human being, and thus the degree of certitude of the machine [2]. For this purpose, we have gathered the articulatory and phonetic properties of the epistemic gesture in CVG and SL. Previous studies have shown that the head is an epistemic marker and its articulatory characteristics express the different degrees of certitude. For example, in German and Turkish SL, the extent of certitude is expressed by rapid head nods and the incertitude by slow head tilts and nods [3-4]. Similarly, in French, English and Catalan CVG, the degree of certitude is marked by a clear and strong nod of the head, and the incertitude by a tilt [5-6-7-8]. We hypothesized that it is possible to identify in these head movements – just broadly described in the literature – some sub-parametric articulatory features which carry epistemic meaning. We thus propose to identify these traits through the study of a corpus of French CVG and SL [LSF], based on an analysis grid of the articulatory characteristics of these movements resulting from previous works [9-10-11-12-13]. Thereafter, we will show how these traits can be used to build a kinesthetic lexicon as close as possible to the natural language. This work is the precursor of a larger study on the identification of epistemic sub-parametric traits which are also present on other articulators. References: [1] LexiKHuM project (2021-2025). [2] Gosselin L. (2015). De l’opposition modus / dictum à la distinction entre modalités extrinsèques et modalités intrinsèques. Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris, CX-1: 1-50. [3] Herrmann A. (2013).Modal and focus particles in Sign Languages: across-linguistics study. De Gruyter Mouton (Berlin/Boston). [4] Karabüklü S., Bross F., Wilbur R., Hole D. (2018). Modal signs and scope relations in TİD. Proc. FEAST: Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign language Theory, 2: 82-92. [5] Roseano P., González M., Borràs-Comes J., Prieto P. (2016). Communicating epistemic stance: how speech and gesture patterns reflect epistemicity and evidentiality. Discourse Processes, 53: 135-174. [6] Borràs-Comes J., Kiagia E., Prieto P. (2019). Epistemic intonation and epistemic gesture are mutually co-expressive: empirical results from two intonation-gesture matching tasks. Journal of Pragmatics, 150: 39-52. [7] Ferré G. (2012). Functions of three open-palm hand gestures. Multimodal Communication, 1: 5-20. [8] Debras C. (2017). The shrug: forms and meanings of a compound enactment. Gesture, 16(1): 1-34. [9] Puupponen A., Wainio T., Burger B., Jantunen T. (2015). Head movements in Finnish Sign Language on the basis of motion capture data: a study of the form and function of nods, nodding, head thrusts, and head pulls. Sign Language & Linguistics, 18: 41-89. [10] Wilbur R.B., Malaia E. (2018). A new technique for analyzing narrative prosodic effects in sign languages using motion capture technology. in: Hübl A., Steinbach M. [eds], Linguistik Aktuel - Linguistics Today, 247: 15-40. [11] Boutet D. (2018). Pour une approche kinésiologique de la gestualité. HDR, Université de Rouen. [12] Catteau F. (2020). Traduire la poésie en langue des signes : l’empreinte prosodique lors du changement de modalité. PhD dissertation, Université Paris 8. [13] Chevrefils L., Danet C., Doan P., Thomas C., Rébulard M., Contesse A., Dauphin J.-F., Bianchini C.S. (2021). The body between meaning and form: kinesiological analysis and typographical representation of movement in Sign Languages. Languages and Modalities, 1: 49-63.
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hal-03741158 , version 1 (31-07-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03741158 , version 1


Fanny Catteau, Aliyah Morgenstern, Claudia S. Bianchini. From gestures to kinesthetic modality: how to express epistemicity in a haptic device for human-machine interaction. 9th Conference of the Intl Soc. Gesture Studies: Gesture, from description to application (ISGS9), Jul 2022, Chicago IL, United States. ⟨hal-03741158⟩
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