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Jennifer Hinnell

Postdoctoral Fellow

English Language & Literatures

Faculty of Arts

Research Themes: 

Evolving Language in an Information Economy, The Communicating Mind and Body

I investigate language in its most natural context – face-to-face communication.

As a cognitive linguist, I focus on both speech and body movement (gesture, gaze, shrugs, etc.) and how they create meaning together. I’m especially interested in how these varied channels express abstract conceptual notions. In my postdoc research I’ll focus on how speakers build what’s called ‘stance’, for example how they express their beliefs or negate or reject other people’s beliefs. I work with large databases of text and multimodal language, 3D motion capture data, and experimental methods.

I’m interested in applying research findings to technical and social problems, such as improving human-avatar communication systems, the procedural generation of dialogue in video games, and applications in clinical situations.