The symposium follows up on a tradition established by the Swedish Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 1997 until 2000, and continued by the Nordic Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 2003 to 2012. Since 2013 the symposium has acquired a broader European dimension, with editions held in Malta, Estonia, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. This year the symposium will be held in Belgium for the first time.
The past ten years have witnessed a spectacular increase in research on multimodal communication from a variety of perspectives and (sub)disciplines, including (corpus) linguistics, conversation analysis, human-computer interaction research, and (critical) discourse analysis. This has not only led to a range of novel insights into the dynamics of embodied and situated communication (see e.g. Müller et al. 2013, 2014 for an overview), but has also been the catalyst for the development and implementation of methodological innovations, including the use of high-quality (including multi-angle) video recordings, the integration of input from motion capturing systems, biometric sensor systems and eye-tracking into a multimodal analysis pipeline, the exploration of (semi-)automatic annotation techniques for large-scale corpora, and the implementation of multimodal interaction in computer interfaces. Despite the rapid development of the fields involved, many questions still need to be resolved and new challenges emerge for research on multimodal communication. The MMSYM symposium aims to provide a forum for the discussion of these challenges.