The Florence unit is presently engaged in addressing the general research topic of sense of space, paying special attention to variation in ways of communicating across time, while investigating the role of keywords and semantic sequences in constructing spatial and cultural identities.
To do this, eight machine-readable corpora are being investigated. The corpora (some of which already exist while others need to be further developed or expressly built for the research) comprise texts produced by distinct discourse communities in different historical periods so as to investigate variation across genres and time. As to the corpora content, the corpora have in common a concern for texts that let the research team study forms of private and public communication in the art/heritage field and in news discourse.
As the research will focus on both diachronic and synchronic aspects in relation to the examination of space, and the development of cultural and spatial identities in discourse types through the concept of space, the Florence group will also be comparing results with other research teams in Clavier who are also examining this same research field though in relation to other historical periods. This will help us to trace the development of ways of communicating and construing identities in discourse communities. This is considered particularly relevant since it is assumed that modern ways of interacting and textually constructing identities are built on past discursive practices.