Large annotation projects, typically those addressing the question of multimodal annotation in which many different kinds of information have to be encoded, have to elaborate precise and high level annotation schemes. Doing this requires first to define the structure of the information: the different objects and their organization. This stage has to be as much independent as possible from the coding language constraints. This is the reason why we propose a preliminary formal annotation model, represented with typed feature structures. This representation requires a precise definition of the different objects, their properties (or features) and their relations, represented in terms of type hierarchies. This approach has been used to specify the annotation scheme of a large multimodal annotation project (OTIM) and experimented in the annotation of a multimodal corpus (CID, Corpus of Interactional Data). This project aims at collecting, annotating and exploiting a dialogue video corpus in a multimodal perspective (including speech and gesture modalities). The corpus itself, is made of 8 hours of dialogues, fully transcribed and richly annotated (phonetics, syntax, pragmatics, gestures, etc.). 1
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