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Neil Cohn, Sept 29, 2003

Jeremy sent me this, found, he says, with a nice collection of other visual language references on Peter Merholz's site, a fascinating website by Neil Cohn on the subject of visual language. The idea behind this theory is that images in a sequence embody a grammar similar in form to Chomsky's syntactic structures. There is some great work here, and it's worth the time reading not only the web pages but also the two research articles. Cohn argues for what I have suggested in the past: not only do images constitute a grammar, the resulting grammar is more complex than its linguistic analogue. Cohn focuses on the transformations happening in sequences of graphical images - sequences of events, for example - but I would suggest that this is only one dimension to a wide array of representational possibilities.

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