[Humanist] 22.358 seminar on Capturing Context

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Nov 27 08:13:20 CET 2008

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 358.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 22:16:19 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: seminar on Capturing Context

Special seminar sponsored by
the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, and
the Centre for Computing in the Humanities,
King's College London

Capturing Context for the Analysis of Human Interaction
Svenja Adolphs (Nottingham)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008
1/16 Waterloo Bridge Wing, Franklin Wilkins Building
3-5 pm

Contextual dependencies of linguistic choices are well documented and 
theorised and there is now a substantial body of research concerned with 
the development of context-sensitive descriptions of language. In order 
to be able to develop such descriptions, it is necessary to capture 
meaningful aspects of context and to group those aspects into meaningful 
categories. While the notion of ‘context’ has been widely discussed in 
different research traditions, and various criteria for possible 
contextual categories have been drawn up and used over the years, the 
dynamic and multi-modal nature of naturally occurring discourse has long 
been an issue in many different areas of applied linguistics.

In this talk I will explore the role of context and contextual 
categorisation for the purpose of discourse analysis. I will introduce 
the Digital Replay System which has been developed at the University of 
Nottingham to support the analysis and representation of different types 
of context in relation to language in use. I will then discuss new 
mechanisms and technologies for capturing aspects of interactions that 
may be meaningful to the participants in a discourse event, or to the 
analyst of such discourse. This will include an overview of new types of 
data that we are now starting to be able to capture in natural settings, 
including video data and GPS data. The ability to capture such 
contextually relevant data, and to represent the data in a searchable 
format, opens up new opportunities for discourse analysis and should 
enable a much more comprehensive analysis of human communication in 
social settings.
Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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