Mapping places and memories through language - the AFOr (Archivio di Fonti Orali) project


The relation between architecture and place mapping has not yet been fully developed by researches on oral history. Mapping is a powerful tool to represent and describe a place; however it often lacks a diachronic dimension that can provide an insight into the dynamics of transformative processes. In order to overcome this issue, we propose the inclusion of a diachronic linguistic dimension in the mapping process. We present AFOr, a digital archive of documents on Villaggio Artigiano (lit. Artisan Village), located in Modena (Italy). The archive contains materials from the last 50 years, including newspaper articles, official documents, as well as transcriptions of interviews to the inhabitants of the Villaggio Artigiano. Through corpus and cognitive linguistics methods and theories, we investigate the language features that characterize the area; in particular we focus on identifying how the Villaggio Artigiano has been represented and “narrated” throughout the years by its inhabitants, the media, and the historiographic community. The results are then used to analyse the relations between the language of the community and the places in a diachronic dimension, and allow for a graphical mapping of the network that the archive outlines.

25 Sep 2018 13:00
Bari, Italy
Matteo Di Cristofaro
Researcher, Lecturer

My research interests include language analysis, cognitive sciences, and Artificial Intelligence.