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Minding the News

Mark Turner (Case Western Reserve University)  
Thursday, May 17th 

Although we think of TV network news as sober reporting of events—”the latest facts”— a viewer’s understanding of the news is actually the result of elaborate and highly creative cognitive construction of meaning in response to minimal cues.  This talk will analyze the nature of some of these cues and the nature of human communicative creativity.  My data come from the UCLA Communication Studies Archive, a world-class database under construction and not previously announced to the cognitive science community.  It offers over 180,000 hours of TV network news from around the world, as well as over a billion words of close-captioned texts and transcripts.  It will be used for an analysis of the system of linguistic, gestural, visual, and auditory cues used in media and the way that system derives from the creative capacities of the human mind.

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