Frédéric Landragin:
Effective and spurious ambiguities due to some co-verbal gestures in multimodal dialogue
Publications here and here

Landragin talks about ‘put-that-there‘, the classic multimodal interface developed by MIT. He also developed a similar application.

He did his PhD in Nancy, but a Dutch Professor of Computational Linguistics, called Henk Zeevat, was one of his promotors. Zeevat is at the UvA… “The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute of the University of Amsterdam, in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate”.

The content of his presentation revolves arounds a single idea that I find puzzling. He treats the transitionary movement between the that-deictic and the there-deictic as a gesture that says something about the manner in which ‘that’ is supposed to be ‘put’ ‘there’. I would contend that normally speaking no meaning resides in the transitional movement.

It starts getting interesting though, as he introduces ‘move that there’ as an indication that a path is intended with the transitional movement. I can imagine the difference between ‘put’ and ‘move’. Moreover, he says that the nature of ‘there’ depends on the nature of ‘that’. If ‘that’ is a carpet, then ‘there’ may be broad. If ‘that’ is a nail, then ‘there’ is probably quite precise. Good point, if you’ll excuse the expression.