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      Phonetic differences between affirmative and feedback head nods in German Sign Language (DGS): A pose estimation study

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          Abstract

          This study investigates head nods in natural dyadic German Sign Language (DGS) interaction, with the aim of finding whether head nods serving different functions vary in their phonetic characteristics. Earlier research on spoken and sign language interaction has revealed that head nods vary in the form of the movement. However, most claims about the phonetic properties of head nods have been based on manual annotation without reference to naturalistic text types and the head nods produced by the addressee have been largely ignored. There is a lack of detailed information about the phonetic properties of the addressee’s head nods and their interaction with manual cues in DGS as well as in other sign languages, and the existence of a form-function relationship of head nods remains uncertain. We hypothesize that head nods functioning in the context of affirmation differ from those signaling feedback in their form and the co-occurrence with manual items. To test the hypothesis, we apply OpenPose, a computer vision toolkit, to extract head nod measurements from video recordings and examine head nods in terms of their duration, amplitude and velocity. We describe the basic phonetic properties of head nods in DGS and their interaction with manual items in naturalistic corpus data. Our results show that phonetic properties of affirmative nods differ from those of feedback nods. Feedback nods appear to be on average slower in production and smaller in amplitude than affirmation nods, and they are commonly produced without a co-occurring manual element. We attribute the variations in phonetic properties to the distinct roles these cues fulfill in turn-taking system. This research underlines the importance of non-manual cues in shaping the turn-taking system of sign languages, establishing the links between such research fields as sign language linguistics, conversational analysis, quantitative linguistics and computer vision.

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          The Measurement of Observer Agreement for Categorical Data

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            SciPy 1.0: fundamental algorithms for scientific computing in Python

            SciPy is an open-source scientific computing library for the Python programming language. Since its initial release in 2001, SciPy has become a de facto standard for leveraging scientific algorithms in Python, with over 600 unique code contributors, thousands of dependent packages, over 100,000 dependent repositories and millions of downloads per year. In this work, we provide an overview of the capabilities and development practices of SciPy 1.0 and highlight some recent technical developments.
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              The expression of the emotions in man and animals.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ValidationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLOS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                2024
                30 May 2024
                : 19
                : 5
                : e0304040
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
                [2 ] Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
                University of Missouri Columbia, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4630-4590
                Article
                PONE-D-24-04524
                10.1371/journal.pone.0304040
                11139280
                38814896
                34580658-10e5-4b01-9c9a-cc070cae9ed9
                © 2024 Bauer et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 2 February 2024
                : 4 May 2024
                Page count
                Figures: 14, Tables: 5, Pages: 31
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001659, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft;
                Award ID: BA 4311/3-1
                Award Recipient :
                German Science Foundation (DFG) SPP 2392 Visual Communication (ViCom).
                Categories
                Research Article
                Social Sciences
                Linguistics
                Grammar
                Phonology
                Social Sciences
                Linguistics
                Languages
                Sign Language
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Nonverbal Communication
                Sign Language
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Nonverbal Communication
                Sign Language
                Engineering and Technology
                Signal Processing
                Speech Signal Processing
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Verbal Behavior
                Verbal Communication
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                Behavior
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                Verbal Communication
                Biology and Life Sciences
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                Psychology
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                Cognitive Psychology
                Language
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Cell Biology
                Signal Transduction
                Mechanisms of Signal Transduction
                Signal Initiation
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Quantitative Analysis
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Anatomy
                Head
                Face
                Nose
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Anatomy
                Head
                Face
                Nose
                Custom metadata
                The following sentence is included here and in the manuscript, section “ Supporting information”: The annotations and code produced in the context of this article are publicly available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10838847. The archive contains the following: • the manual annotations created for the article in ELAN (.eaf) format; • the Python code used for quantitative analysis of the annotations with the aid of OpenPose data from MY DGS – annotated; • the R code used to perform the statistical analyses discussed in the article as well as the depicted graphs.

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