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OnderzoekOnderzoek Faculteit der LetterenOnderzoeksinstitutenCenter for Language and Cognition

CLCG Colloquium: "The grammar of visual narrative: The structure of sequential images", Neil Cohn (Visual Language Lab, Tilburg)

When:Th 10-01-2019 12:00 - 12:45
Where:Harmonie building room 1312.0018

CLCG Colloquium: Neil Cohn (Visual Language Lab, Tilburg)


"The grammar of visual narrative: The structure of sequential images"


Like language, visual narratives like comics and storybooks order information into meaningful sequences. Recent research has shown that the comprehension of visual narratives extends beyond the meaningful relations between images, and uses a “narrative grammar” that organizes this semantic information. I will show that, based on contemporary construction grammars from linguistics, this structure packages meaning into categorical roles into hierarchic constituents to account for phenomena like long distance dependencies and structural ambiguities. In addition, using measurements of brainwaves (EEG), I will show that this grammar is independent of meaning (e.g., N400), and engages similar neurocognitive processing as syntax in language (e.g., anterior negativities, P600). Finally, I will show that sequential image processing is modulated by a person’s fluency in the specific narrative grammars found in different “visual languages” of the world. Altogether, this work introduces emerging research from the linguistic and cognitive sciences that challenges conventional wisdom with a new paradigm of thinking about the connections between language and graphic communication.