Institute for Design and Communication
University of Southern Denmark
University of Hamburg
phone: +49 40 42883 2391
|2007- ||Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark |
|Spring 2012 ||Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Psychology Department |
|Spring 2011 ||Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, H-Star Institute |
|Spring 2010 ||Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, H-Star Institute |
|2000-2006 ||Assistant Professor (wiss. Assistentin) in English Linguistics at the University of Bremen |
|1998-2000 ||Researcher in the Verbmobil Project, University of Hamburg |
|1998 ||Doctoral Degree, University of Bielefeld |
|1996-1998 ||Graduate Program `Task-oriented Communication', University of Bielefeld |
|1995-1996 ||Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley |
|1994-1995 ||Researcher at the University of Bielefeld |
|1993 ||MA in English Linguistics, University of Bielefeld |
Here is my (almost) complete list of Publications
- Verbal Human-Computer and Human-Robot Communication
Analyzing the spoken interaction between humans and artificial communication partners has become an important research area for me since it allows me to investigate core topics of human communication (like recipient design, accomodation to a communication partner, or the roble of the partner's feedback) in controlled ways. My book What Computer Talk Is and Is not
consists of conversation analytic and corpus linguistic investigations of the properties of speech directed at dialog systems.
Within the project Ontospace with John Bateman in the framework of the DFG-funded transregional research area Spatial Cognition
, I investigated the variables that determine the way we talk to artificial communication partners.
The proceedings of my Workshop on How People Talk to Computers, Robots, and other Artificial Communication Partners, April 21st-23rd, 2006, at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst can be dowloaded here
. I have also edited a special issue for the Journal of Pragmatics on How People Talk to Computers and Robots
In the framework of the ITALK project
I have extended my work on human-robot interaction to the acquisition perspective, comparing how speakers address children with how they address robots in a language acquisition context. With my ITALK colleagues, I have worked on bootstrapping grammar from human-robot interaction and on the ways human tutors tailor their instructions to the humanoid robot iCub. Our project homepage
at SDU provides further information.
Within the past three years, I have worked as a visiting scholar
at Stanford in the framework of the H-star project and with Herb Clark at the Psychology Department on interpersonal variation in human-robot interaction, as well as on understanding the processes shaping how people deal with robotic agents in general.
- Recipient Design, Alignment and Feedback
In my habilitation thesis (submitted in December 2011, successfully defended in December 2012), I investigate the relationship between recipient design, alignment and feedback. Alignment has been found to be a pervasive mechanism taking place on all levels of linguistic representation (Pickering and Garrod 2004). However, so far it is not clear under which circumstances speakers align, why they do so only sometimes and to particular degrees. I investigate what roles speakers' partner models, alignment to the respective partner's speech and the partner's feedback play and how the different underlying mechanisms are interrelated by studying the structure and function of infant/child-directed speech, so-called foreigner talk, and robotalk, that is, speech directed towards robots.
- Discourse and Modal Particles
I have written my dissertation on the functional polysemy of English and German discourse particles. My collection:
Fischer, Kerstin (ed.): Approaches to Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
in which scholars like Deborah Schiffrin, Bruce Fraser, Eddy Roulet, Harald Weydt, Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen and many others outline their approaches to discourse particles/discourse markers in a comparable form, has appeared as Studies in Pragmatics 1
In my project on Construction Grammar and the Description of Situated Spoken Interaction
, funded by the Danish Velux foundation, we focus on the description of modal particles in German, English, Danish and Swedish.
I came into contact with Construction Grammar as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1995/6. The notion of a construction, a complex form-meaning pair, has proven very useful in the description of numerous linguistic domains, which we also explore for automatic grammar learning in the framework of the ITALK project
With Anatol Stefanowitsch
, I moderated the DFG-funded Scientific Network on Construction Grammar, more on which can be found here
I am also leading a project (generously funded by the Velux foundation) on Construction Grammar and the Description of Situated Spoken Interaction
, in which we investigate how construction grammar can be extended to the description of verbal interaction, with modal particles as the example domain.
I am furthermore interested in various topics in pragmatics, in particular interactional issues. I am associate editor (with Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen and Anne Barron) for Studies in Pragmatics
(Brill) and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Pragmatics
With Jacob Mey and Hartmut Haberland, I was founding co-editor of the journal Pragmatics and Society
(John Benjamins), and since January 2013 I support the journal from the comfortable position as an editorial board member. The journal provides a forum for all socially-oriented pragmatics, including studies investigating the social impact of technology on communication.
At the University of Southern Denmark at Sonderborg, where I teach, we have developed a new master program in Communication Design
I am also a relatively active member of the UmweltTeam Informatik
at the University of Hamburg.