The multimedia library of VerbaAlpina contains an extensive, constantly growing collection of geocoded photographs. These serve a double purpose: on the one hand, they refer to concrete referents with all their idiosyncratic characteristics, which can be very distinctive especially in case of buildings. On the other hand, the photographs should illustrate a concept as clearly as possible and become the basis for the collection of further designations of the concept. Thus, the aim of this function is not to recognise the specific referent, i.e. a particular alpine herdsmen's hut. On the contrary, this would rather be annoying because informants tend to name the mountain pasture by its proper name in such cases and not by the designation of the concept. However, this is a contained risk: a fundamental misunderstanding results only if informants recognise known persons. In such cases, the individual characteristics attract the observer's whole concentration so that the depicted person is called spontaneously and instinctively by the name ("this is Willi!") – and not by the function the person performs on the photograph (ALPINE DAIRYMAN). Strictly speaking, the use of idealised drawings instead of photographs of concrete objects would be better to collect designations. However, this fails because of the lack of appropriate patterns. All depictions of referents are joined to the categories "concept" and "designation" through the database.
(auct. Thomas Krefeld | Stephan Lücke – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)
Tags: Extralinguistic context