Cognitive Discourse Analysis for GIScience: What language use can tell us about spatial cognition

Dienstag, 11. Nov 2014, 16:15 Uhr bis 18:00 Uhr

Cognitive Discourse Analysis (CODA; Tenbrink, in press: Language & Cognition journal) is a method that uses linguistic insights to analyse verbal data collected in relation to cognitively challenging tasks. When asked to verbalise their thoughts, speakers draw in systematic ways
from their general repertory of language to express their current concepts. Their choices in relation to a cognitively demanding situation can reveal crucial aspects of their underlying conceptualisations, shedding light on how people solve complex problem solving tasks, as well as how they describe complex problems or scenes. For instance, in a route description context, the utterance 'Turn right at the shopping mall' shows that the speaker has a concept of a unique shopping mall that distinguishes it from other buildings in the environment, and can
therefore be referred to by a definite article and used as a landmark to anchor a direction change. The formulation 'turn right' also reveals the underlying perspective (egocentric as perceived by the traveller, rather than compass based). Patterns of language use such as these
provide a useful pathway to access cognition, drawing on knowledge about relevant featuresof language supported by grammatical theory, cognitive linguistic semantics, and other linguistic findings. In my talk I will briefly present the main ideas of the CODA methodology
and illustrate it using examples from our projects, showing how Cognitive Discourse Analysis sheds light on research questions in GIScience.

Thora Tenbrink is a Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Linguistics at Bangor University (Wales, UK),and a principal investigator in two projects in the Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR 8 Spatial Cognition (Bremen/Freiburg). See her website at for further information and many links to publications.

MitDr. Thora Tenbrink, School of Linguistics & English Language, Bangor University, United Kingdom
Ort Universität Zürich Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich
Raum: Seminarraum, Y25 H 92
VeranstalterGeographisches Institut, UZH
KontaktLisa Büschlen (Mail)