De Ruiter, J. P. (2004, May 25). On the primacy of language in multimodal communication. In Workshop Proceedings on Multimodal Corpora: Models of Human Behaviour for the Specification and Evaluation of Multimodal Input and Output Interfaces (pp. 38-41). Paris: ELRA – European Language Resources Association.

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In this paper, I will argue that although the study of multimodal interaction offers exciting new prospects for Human Computer Interaction and human-human communication research, language is the primary form of communication, even in multimodal systems. I will support this claim with theoretical and empirical arguments, mainly drawn from human-human communication research, and will discuss the implications for multimodal communication research and Human-Computer Interaction.