CCL guest seminar: Neil Cohn, Visual Language Lab, Tilburg University
Drawings and sequential images are an integral part of human expression dating back at least as far as cave paintings, and appear ubiquitously in contemporary society. Building on contemporary theories from linguistics and cognitive science, I will argue that the underlying structure and cognition of sequential images is similar to language. Specifically, I will show that a “new hierarchy of grammars” can characterize both the sequencing of linguistic grammars and those of sequential images. This taxonomy can effectively describe a range of grammatical structures, from the simple sequencing of instruction manuals, signage, and emoji, to the complex recursive grammars found in the narrative structure of comics. In that these systems use underlying structure argued to be similar to grammar, we then examine the psychological evidence that such processes may be domain-general, and pervade across language, music, and visual narratives. Altogether, this work raises intriguing questions about the connections between language and the diversity of humans’ expressive behaviors in the mind and brain.
You can learn more about Neil Cohn and his research on http://www.visuallanguagelab.com/
To know more about Cognition, Communication and Learning, see www.lus.e/ccl