CAMeRA

LCC Programme

 

Variation among media has effects on the design as well as the use of texts and communication systems (production, including editing; reception; post-processing, including further use and translation). These effects can be described and explained by properties of the genre knowledge of language users. Of particular interest today is the developing genre knowledge of new forms of communication, including video-conferencing, skyping, e-mailing, chatting, blogging, internet searching, direct computer communication in the form of dialogues (Natural Language Interfaces), filling in questionnaires on sites, writing documents for publication on the internet or for computer-supported live presentations, distance learning, etc.

 

The LCC programme produces and employs expertise about documents and systems of communication for the study as well as design of different forms of communication, with a special focus on Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). Correspondences and differences between CMC and other types of communication are described and explained in order to be applied in digital document and system design. Special attention is paid in this programme to two aspects: effectiveness and international context. Decisions about media choice and document and system design are fundamental to effective communication, as are adequate performance in native or foreign languages in the international context that modern language users (people as well as computer systems) in the Netherlands increasingly find themselves in (whether these languages are Dutch or English or another language). These are two factors which clearly affect the well-being of new media users in communication, including their communicative confidence, politeness, style, and control.

 

For language use and multimodal communication, these media effects have long been described with reference to the broad differences between the traditionally dominant modalities of speech and writing. Current developments in media technologies have caused fundamental changes to the cognitive and communicative use and appreciation of various media, so that the contemporary study of language use and multimodal communication across media is breaking new grounds. As a result, the LCC focus programme has the following aim:

 

        • to describe and explain the properties of a wide range of documents and communication systems,
        • as well as their use in modern western languages,
        • in CMC in comparison with other media,
        • with reference to the genre knowledge of their users,
        • in order to validate novel theories of language use and effective communication,
        • as well as to apply the newly acquired knowledge in document design and system design
        • and in other aspects of professional communicative practice (advice, training, testing).

 

This aim leads to fundamental and applied research in a range of domains, including government and business, health and care, police and courtroom, education and science, literature and the arts, and journalism.

 

The methods of the LCC programme comprise a number of complementary approaches and techniques that are traditionally spread across various faculties: structural-functional linguistic and discourse analysis (Faculty of Arts),  computational modeling of communicative interaction (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Computer Science), behavioral psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic analysis (Faculties of Psychology and of Social Sciences), and a series of computational methods and techniques (Faculty of Computer Science): (semi)automatic text analysis, including data mining, trend analysis, text classification, and text complexity measurements. Since the four main faculties participating in CAMeRA are the faculties of Arts, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Computer Science, the LCC programme is perfectly situated for generating advanced research on language and multimodal communication in the new media from an interdisciplinary and interfaculty perspective.

 

These aspirations place the LCC programme squarely within the developments described in the KNAW report ‘Samenspel in samenhang: Onderwijs en onderzoek in communicatie, media en informatie’ (Collaboration in context: Education and research in communication, media, and information). The report identifies the emergence of a complex new ‘cmi’ field in research and education, and advances a plea for the institutional integration and stimulation of cmi related research and teaching. It places special emphasis on the need for interdisciplinary collaboration. The LCC programme has been positioned in CAMeRA to make a substantial contribution to these developments.