Daniel Alcaraz Carrión
I finished my BA in English Studies at University of Murcia, Spain. I also completed my MA in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at University of Murcia Spain.
How do English speakers conceptualise time? Gesture and discourse analysis using the NewsScape Library
Chris Hart, Lancaster University
This project is the first large-scale corpus-driven analysis of time conceptualisation based on multimodal data. The project exploits the NewsScape Library, an extensive television database constructed as part of the Little Red Hen lab, to investigate co-speech gestures of temporal expressions in English. It comprises almost fifteen years of television news in English, with more than 200,000 hours and more than 3,000 million word textual database formed by subtitles. The project aims to understand the way time is conceptualised by studying gesture patterns in discourse relating to time. While much has been written about time conceptualisation based on linguistic evidence, comparatively little analysis has been made of time conceptualisation based on other communicative modalities.
This is an important gap because non-linguistic data can help triangulate existing findings, if found to be congruent with linguistic data, while it would suggest new insights into time conceptualisation if found to differ from the linguistic data. The analysis of the data will shed light not only on the processes that are involved in human communication, but also it will expand our knowledge about human cognition, which plays an important role in processes such as creative thinking. Cognitive Linguistics have so far developed a number of theories concerning these issues and gesture information could corroborate the different hypothesis.
After the completion of the thesis, cross-linguistic and cross-cultural studies could be carried out, allowing us to compare how speakers talk and gesture about time in different languages and eventually explaining if the language we employ has an effect on the perception of the world and the conceptualisation of the same.
My interest focused on metaphor and multimodality, particularly gesture, as well as Linguistic Relativity and cross-cultural and cross-linguistic variation. Although the central point of my thesis is time conceptualisation, I am also interested in other conceptual domains such as space, number or emotions. I am also part of a larger research team, the CREATIME project, whose aim is to expose the patterns for time in our minds by going beyond the lab and the dictionary, comparing big data from speech, gesture, poetry, and film.