Focus Marking via Gestures


  • Cornelia Ebert
  • Stefan Evert
  • Katharina Wilmes


This paper contributes to the recent investigations of speechaccompanyinggestures under a formal semantic view. We show that gestures can serve to disambiguate a sentence with respect to its possible focus domains. We provide a statistical evaluation of data gained from a corpus annotated with gestures and information structure. The language under investigation is German. We argue that a sentence that, in isolation, is ambiguous concerning the extension of its focus domain is disambiguated via speech-accompanying gestures. Gesture thus is a means to mark information structure next to intonation and word order.


How to Cite

Ebert, C., Evert, S., & Wilmes, K. (2019). Focus Marking via Gestures. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 193–208. Retrieved from