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Creativity across modalities in viewpoint-construction

Eve Sweetser  (University of California, Berkeley)
Thursday, May 17th
Buchanan A104

Because cognition and language are based in human embodied experience, which is essentially viewpointed, human representations are pervaded by viewpoint. Within the frameworks of mental spaces and conceptual blending, I will discuss some of the ways in which complex viewpoint is creatively built in language (spoken, written and signed), as well as in co-speech gesture. An interesting new direction for this work is the examination of crosslinguistic as well as crossmodal differences in constraints on viewpoint construction strategies. These differences can be seen both in representation of literal spatial viewpoint and in abstract temporal and social viewpoint structure. The workshop will also touch on ongoing work by Stec and Sweetser on multimodal mental space network negotiation and viewpoint shifts in English-language story-telling events. 

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