Sampling Similarity in Image and Language - Figure and Ground in the Analysis of Filmic Audio Description

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Audio description can be defined as intermodal translation in which the visual
representation (for example, of a film) is verbalised and spoken in order to facilitate and enhance reception by visually impaired audiences. By its very essence, audio description requires analysing the relation of language to non-linguistic, visual representation. The theory of Figure and Ground segregation has been developed for both visual perception and language to explain how we perceive “thing-like” figures and “substance-like” grounds in space. This segregation is reflected in language by coding certain elements as figures in reference to a more (static) ground. This paper addresses the Figure and Ground theory both in visual representation and in its linguistic translation. On the basis of theory-led sample analyses on a contemporary film and its different-language audio descriptions, this study presents evidence that the verbal representation can parallel the visual segregation of Figure and Ground. Furthermore, it discusses the application of the theoretical Figure and Ground characteristics and suggests some clarification to them.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Sampling Similarity in Image and Language - Figure and Ground in the Analysis of Filmic Audio Description'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this