, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 399-423
Date: 21 Nov 2012

A corpus-based approach to the multimodal analysis of specialized knowledge

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Modern communication environments have changed the cognitive patterns of individuals, who are now used to the interaction of information encoded in different semiotic modalities, especially visual and linguistic. Despite this, the main premise of Corpus Linguistics is still ruling: our perception of and experience with the world is conveyed in texts, which nowadays need to be studied from a multimodal perspective. Therefore, multimodal corpora are becoming extremely useful to extract specialized knowledge and explore the insights of specialized language and its relation to non-language-specific representations of knowledge. It is our assertion that the analysis of the image-text interface can help us understand the way visual and linguistic information converge in subject-field texts. In this article, we use Frame-based terminology to sketch a novel proposal to study images in a corpus rich in pictorial representations for their inclusion in a terminological resource on the environment. Our corpus-based approach provides the methodological underpinnings to create meaning within terminographic entries, thus facilitating specialized knowledge transfer and acquisition through images.