05.06.2024 16:20

Семинар ”Conflicting Modalities: A Multilevel-Grounding Approach“

Корпус 1, зала 20

департамент „Когнитивна наука и психология“

Аня Тошич (Anja Tošić), гост по CEEPUS от Университета на Ниш

проф. д-р Лилия Гурова

преподаватели, студенти и гости на НБУ

The talk will be wrapped around the emerging theory of multilevel-grounded semantics, devised by Prof. Mihailo Antović (University of Niš), which initially arose as a theory of musical meaning but has, since then, proven useful for analyzing linguistic and visual information as well. The theory deconstructs the process of meaning-making or comprehension of musical, linguistic, or visual data into six hierarchical and partly recursive levels of interpretation: (1) formal, (2) cross-modal, (3) affective, (4) conceptual, (5) rich cultural, and (6) individual. The results from two studies will briefly be presented, highlighting the possible application of this theory to analyzing contrasting modalities (incongruous music and language / visuals) in scenes taken from popular TV shows featuring gallows humor and TV commercials for famous brands. The findings indicate that the two conflicting modalities work together rather than against each other to generate novel layers of meaning that typically have a comic or otherwise surprising effect on viewers, disappointing their expectancies, and that incongruity blends are generally preceded by strong congruity blends that are responsible for creating in the minds of the viewers the said expectancies in the first place.


Anja Tošić has been a PhD student of Foreign Philologies at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš since 2021, where she also obtained her BA (2018) and MA (2020) degrees at the Department of English Language and Literature. Since May 2022, she has been working as a junior researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš. Since her MA studies, she has been interested in cognitive linguistics, and has recently joined the University’s Center for Cognitive Sciences team. At the moment, she is part of a team of researchers working on the project called “The Theory of Multilevel-Grounded Semantics: Language, Music, Visual Cognition”, co-hosted by the Serbian Academy of Sciences Branch in Niš and the Center for Cognitive Sciences in Niš.