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Language, gesture, and audiovisual communication: a massive online database for researching multimodal constructions

David DeLiema (UCLA), Francis Steen (UCLA), and Mark Turner (Case Western Reserve University)
Sunday, May 20th 

We propose to extend cognitive linguistics in two ways: (1) to the study of multimodal constructions, and (2) to the study of amounts of data so massive as to be intractable absent powerful computational and statistical methods.  As part of an ongoing, multidisciplinary research team, we propose to extend cognitive linguistics to the study of a massive multimodal dataset, the UCLA Communication Studies Archive. This online archive holds 150,000 hours of television news video, indexed by some 800 million words and 50 million images, growing by a hundred programs a day. Television news coverage is an immersive, global, ecologically strong, and culturally central communicative genre, presenting a series of opportunities and challenges to cognitive approaches to the study of narratives incorporating language, gesture, and audiovisual communication. Participants will have full access to the Communication Studies Archive during the conference and the hands-on workshop, including a textual search engine, a coverflow image browser, and a flexible online annotation tool.  The managers of the workshop will have already presented talks at the conference based on our work in the archive.

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