Classifying the form of iconic hand gestures from the linguistic categorization of co-occurring verbs

Magdalena Lis
University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Costanza Navarretta
University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Ingår i: Proceedings from the 1st European Symposium on Multimodal Communication University of Malta; Valletta; October 17-18; 2013

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 101:5, s. 41-50

NEALT Proceedings Series 21:5, p. 41-50

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Publicerad: 2014-06-24

ISBN: 978-91-7519-266-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper deals with the relation between speech and form of co-occurring iconic hand gestures. It focuses on multimodal expression of eventualities. We investigate to what extent it is possible to automatically classify gestural features from the categorization of verbs in a wordnet. We do so by applying supervised machine learning to an annotated multimodal corpus. The annotations describe form features of gestures. They also contain information about the type of eventuality; verb Aktionsart and Aspect; which were extracted from plWordNet 2.0. Our results confirm the hypothesis that the Eventuality Type and Aktionsart are related to the form of gestures. They also indicate that it is possible to some extent to classify certain form characteristics of gesture from the linguistic categorization of their lexical affiliates. We also identify the gestural form features which are most strongly correlated to the Viewpoint adopted in gesture.


Multimodal eventuality expression; iconic co-speech gesture; wordnet; machine learning


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