Workshop: Documentation and Analysis of Multimodal Data

Workshop leader: Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, SOAS

Date and venue

April 24th - 25th, 2015 | Hotel Eurosol, Alcanena / Portugal.

About the Workshop

Language use is fundamentally multimodal. When we speak point to places, we nod to signal our understanding and we outline our thought with our hands. Moreover, we coordinate our actions with our conversational partners. The way we talk, the words we use, the information we include depends on the common ground we share with our interlocutors and different social and contextual dimensions. This complexity of language use is best captured with video. Language documentation projects as well as any linguistic research project investigating dimensions of conversational language use should record video. However, video training is often limited to the technicalities of how to use a video camera and microphones but does not provide a theoretical framework for the features of language use. What is missing is an understanding of the social, linguistic and cognitive foundation of language use so that it becomes clear what needs to be captured how.

In this workshop we will address these topics and participants will learn about the theoretical foundation of language use as a joint activity. Focusing on manual gesture, participants will learn how gesture data play an important role in understanding the fundamentally multimodal nature of language use. In the second part we will provide detailed guidelines of how to video record and this will be trained with hands on practice. Participants will collect natural language use data of different types and learn how to use video equipment. In the third part of the workshop the recordings will be reviewed and discussed and guidelines for improvements will be given. In a fourth part participants will be introduced to how to use ELAN for gesture annotation and analysis.

The number of participants is limited to 30. The minimum number of participants is 20.


Friday, April 24

08:45 - 09:00: Registration
09:00 - 11:00: Language use and multimodality
11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00: Language use and multimodality
13:00 - 14:00: Lunch
14:00 - 15:30: How to record video in the field
15:30 - 16:00: Coffee break
16:00 - 18:00: Hands on session: recording gesture indoors and outdoors

Saturday, April 25

09:00 - 11:00: Review of recordings & Equipment Guidance
11:00 - 11:30: Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00: How to code gesture with ELAN
13:00 - 14:00: Lunch
14:00 - 15:30: How to code gesture with ELAN
15:30 - 16:00: Coffee break
16:00 - 18:00: Hands on session: coding gesture with ELAN


The workshop costs 260 Euro. The fee includes accommodation in shared rooms (2 people) at Hotel Eurosol (Alcanena, Portugal) from April 23rd to April 26th, breakfast, lunches and coffee breaks during the workshop and workshop materials.

Individual rooms are also available by payment of an extra charge (45€). 

Important Dates

Deadline for registration: March 31st, 2015
Deadline for fee payment: March 31st, 2015

Organizing Team

Vera Ferreira
Peter Bouda
Rita Pedro
Pedro Manha 

For more information, please contact