Linguistic Forum 2020: Language and Artificial Intelligence. CEUR Workshop Proceedings 2852
The International conference “Linguistic Forum 2020: Language and Artificial Intelligence” took place in 2020 on November 12-14 in Moscow, Russia. The conference is organized by the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences. This conference is part of a series of annual forums initiated by the Institute of Linguistics RAS in 2019. The aim of the 2020 forum is to foster dialogue among researchers working at the interface of linguistics and artificial intelligence including those engaged in computational linguistics and natural language processing. Developments in AI have been responsible for recent advances in natural language generation and comprehension; they have also expanded the boundaries of these technologies’ applicability. Neural networks and dense embeddings have replaced models based on feature engineering and traditional discrete categories of linguistic analysis. As a result, the boundary between fundamental and applied linguistic research is being eroded. Empirical linguistics is taking on board these new technologies, in part, to enable better modelling of language and documentation of data. AI is also increasingly becoming a part of the everyday life of language users. Can fundamental linguistics currently offer technologically viable ideas or methods? These and similar conceptual and methodological problems were the focus of the forum.
The paper explores head and hand movements as markers of direct and indirect evidentiality, along with some lexemes in Russian. While there are numerous examples of evidential markers in speech, especially in languages where the category is grammaticalized, much less is known about non-verbal evidential markers. We claim that although there are no systemic rules for coding evidentiality, some polysemic hand and head gestures, such as palm up open hand gesture and head turns to the source of information can be regarded as indirect evidentials in line with the lexeme vidimo (‘apparently’). More interestingly, character viewpoint hand gestures and their combinations of vidimo with representative gestures can be considered as direct evidential means, despite the fact that Russian lacks obligatory evidential marking.