I am currently a Killam postdoctoral research fellow at UBC working with Dr. Barbara Dancygier.  I completed my PhD at the University of Alberta with Dr. Sally Rice and was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal in June 2020 for my doctoral research. Recent publications include a study on the kinesic enactment of aspect marking in North American English (Cognitive Linguistics, 2018), a study of contrast from a cognitive and embodied perspective (The American Journal of Semiotics, 2019), studies on automated gesture recognition (International Journal of Semantic Computing, Digital Humanities Quarterly), and I was co-editor of the volume Language and the Creative Mind (2013, CSLI press). I serve as the  Emerging Scholar’s Representative on the Board of Directors of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association.

Hinnell, J. (2019).  The verbal-kinesic enactment of CONTRAST in North American English. The American Journal of Semiotics,35(1-2): 55-92. doi: 10.5840/ajs20198754.

Hinnell, J. (2018).  The multimodal marking of aspect: The case of five periphrastic auxiliary constructions in North American English. Cognitive Linguistics, 29(4): 773-806. doi: 10.1515/cog-2017-0009.

Schüller, D., Beecks, C., Hassani, M., Hinnell, J., Brenger, B., Seidl, T., & Mittelberg, I. (2017). Automated pattern analysis in gesture research: Similarity measuring in 3D motion capture models of communicative action. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 11(2), 1-14.

Beecks, C., Hassani, M., Brenger, B., Hinnell, J., Schüller, D., Mittelberg, I. & Seidl, T. (2016). Efficient query processing in 3D motion capture gesture databases via the gesture matching distance. International Journal of Semantic Computing, 10(1), 5-25.
doi: 10.1142/S1793351X16400018.

Taboada, M., Carretero, M. & Hinnell, J. (2014). Loving and hating in the movies in English, German and Spanish. Languages in Contrast 14(1), 127-161. doi: 10.1075/lic.14.1.07tab

Borkent, M., Dancygier, B. & Hinnell, J. (eds.). (2013). Language and the Creative Mind. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press.

I specialize in the study of natural discourse from a cognitive linguistic and embodied cognition perspective. In addition to text and spoken language, I examine diverse genres to investigate multimodal meaning – how speech and body movement (gesture, gaze, shrugs, etc.) create meaning together. I explore how these varied modalities express abstract conceptual and grammatical notions. I am currently working on a series of experimental studies of how gesture influences our assessment of a speaker’s preferences. As a Killam postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Barbara Dancygier, I am investigating how speakers build ‘stance’, or how they express their beliefs or negate or reject other people’s beliefs.

I work with large databases of text and multimodal language (e.g. as a member of the Red Hen Lab), 3D motion capture data (with the HumTec Centre at RWTH Aachen), and experimental methods.

I’m interested in applying research findings to technical and social problems, including the improvement of human-avatar communication systems, procedural generation of dialogue in video games, and clinical applications.