Leonardo Lancia

Leonardo_Lancia Coordinator,
email: leonardo.lancia(at)blri.fr
Nature and function of the physiological coordination between speakers involved in linguistic interactions
In this project we study how speakers coordinate their sensorimotor activities during linguistic interactions and conversations. We will test the hypothesis that participants in linguistic interactions react to changes in the behaviors of their interlocutors at many levels of physiological activity, so that their behavior is automatically coordinated as it occurs to subsystems of a complex dynamical system. It has been proposed that this kind of coordinated behavior brings the participants to a conversation into aligned cognitive states favoring the buildup of a shared common ground and contributing to mutual understanding. Language itself has been modeled as a complex system allowing the interaction of the individuals but at the same time shaped by the interaction of many heterogeneous processes evolving on several time scales, going from milliseconds (e.g.: neurophysiological processes) to years (e.g. processes responsible for language development) and decades (e.g.: processes underling language change). A complementary aim of this project it therefore to study how the complex coordinative patterns observed during conversational interactions are related to macroscopic properties of the utterances produced, as their phonological information density and complexity. In order to understand how coordinative relations between the sensory-motor processes across interlocutors help in structuring conversational interactions we will i) test if during coordinated activity speakers link the behavior of their motor systems through a coordinative relation built on the sensorimotor loop; ii) study how and if physiological coordination has an impact on the coordination of their speech acts and makes communication more efficient. In order to understand the relation between the physiological complexity underlying the behavior of performance variables and the complexity of the linguistic structure we will integrate experimental paradigms with the analysis of large scale typological databases.