Press releases


May 27 2022

Goethe University Frankfurt’s Science Magazine, Forschung Frankfurt, on the topic of motion has now been published in English – New Priority Programme focuses on facial and manual gestures 

Motion with meaning

Communication consists not only of spoken words and phrases. We also convey important information by gesturing with our arms, hands and face. Visual communication, a field so far scarcely studied by theoretical linguistics, is the focus of a new Priority Programme of the German Research Foundation coordinated by Goethe University Frankfurt. Read more in the current issue of “Forschung Frankfurt" entitled “In motion".

FRANKFURT. How gestures and facial expressions can underline, supplement and modify the meaning of words and phrases is something that several disciplines at Goethe University Frankfurt are exploring. Linguistics professor Cornelia Ebert is interested in how the contribution of the meaning of gestures can be modelled. Until recently, visual contributions to meaning were not dealt with in formal linguistics, but instead first and foremost in communication sciences as well as in rhetoric, semiotics and psychology.

Together with Professor Markus Steinbach, sign language researcher at the University of Göttingen, Ebert has successfully applied for a Priority Programme of the German Research Foundation and is responsible for its coordination. The objective is to bring together existing findings from various disciplines and link them with linguistics. You can read about the research questions that the programme will address in the latest issue of Forschung Frankfurt, the Science Magazine of Goethe University Frankfurt, which is dedicated to the topic of motion.

In other articles, scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt report on their research projects related to various aspects of motion, for example how they teach computers to recognise different movements such as “cutting" or “waving", how ADHD can affect adults too or how two movements in quantum physics are superimposed, each of which only occurs with a certain probability. Other articles explore, for example, how smartphones, which are almost ubiquitous, are changing film as a medium or how sports clubs can foster the integration of immigrants.

Journalists can order the current English-language issue of Forschung Frankfurt (2/2021) free of charge from:

All articles are available online at (then go to EN)

Editor: Dr Markus Bernards, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: -49 (0) 69 798-12498, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531,