Facial Displays and Their Dialogical Meanings

Language and Logic Courses

Advanced Course

Facial Displays and Their Dialogical Meanings,
Jonathan Ginzburg (Paris Diderot University, France) and Ye Tian (Amazon Research Cambridge, UK & Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle, Université Paris Diderot, France)

The course aims at modelling the discourse impact of non-verbal social signals (nvss) such as laughter, smiling, frowning, and the like, but also including conventionalised pictorial representations (“emoji”) as textual manifestations. We will start with a brief overview of the two main theoretical sources for this course: first, work in computational and theoretical linguistics on the semantics and pragmatics of dialogue and second, psychological and computational approaches to emotion appraisal. The course will offer detailed argumentation, contrary to received wisdom until recently, as to the mutual interaction between nvss/emojis and content emanating from verbal material, in particular that nvss/emojis bear propositional content. We propose viewing nvss/emojis as akin to an event anaphors and show how to deduce various pragmatic functions from the basic meanings posited in combinination with enthymatic reasoning and emotional appraisal. The course will also include practical sessions on multidimensional laughter classification of speech using ELAN and emoji data analysis in social media.