The verbalisation of cultural landscapes: research into the multiple meanings of cultural landscapes in the Netherlands, and how these are expressed in language
02 / 2009 - 12 / 2013
This research aims at gaining empirical knowledge on the meanings ordinary people attach to cultural landscapes in the Netherlands. Meaning should be understood as both involving cognitive meaning in the sense of what is meant with something, and affective meaning in the sense of emotional and affective value. Special attention is paid to the distinction between socially shared and individual meanings attached to cultural landscapes. This research is innovative as a linguistic/narrative approach is adopted focusing on the language ordinary people use when they verbalise the meanings they attach to particular cultural landscapes. Thereby giving space to a multiplicity of meanings and an acknowledgement of the voice and stories of ordinary people as valuable on their own. A linguistic analysis of the meanings of cultural landscapes has thus far not been adopted within landscape studies. The object of study is, therefore, the language people use when talking about cultural landscapes. The distinction is made between expressions of knowledge focused on the understanding of and interpretation of cultural landscapes by people, and expressive language focused on what landscapes do with people, what kind of feelings are brought about by landscapes and what kind of feelings people have with landscapes. In this sense, this research aims at filling up an empirical gap within cultural landscape studies in the Netherlands, as there is a lack of empirical material on what people perceive and understand of cultural landscapes, how these affect them, and what people think and feel about these.