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Landscape Categories in Yindjibarndi: Ontology, Environment, and Language

MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based media and advertising research, incorporating a range of neuro-measures including biometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin, MediaScience is discovering actionable insights in advertising, technology, media, and consumer trends.

Dr. Duane Varan, the global authority of neuromarketing research, founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) during his tenure at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2001. In 2005, he launched the Beyond : 30 Project, a consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape, and in 2008, he was approached by Disney Media Networks to set up a dedicated custom research lab on a broader scale – and so MediaScience was born. Though he officially left Murdoch in 2015, he continues to maintain some research links with the University of South Australia and has been widely recognised for his innovative contributions to teaching and the neuromarketing industry as evidenced by a long list of awards and over 90 published academic papers in his field.

Below is an abstract from a paper Dr. Varan oversaw about Landscape Categories in Yindjibarndi: Ontology, Environment, and Language from the International Conference on Spatial Information Theory.

This paper describes categories for landscape elements in the language of the Yindjibarndi people, a community of Indigenous Australians. Yindjibarndi terms for topographic features were obtained from dictionaries, and augmented and refined through discussions with local language experts in the Yindjibarndi community. In this paper, the Yindjibarndi terms for convex landforms and for water bodies are compared to English-language terms used to describe the Australian landscape, both in general terms and in the AUSLIG Gazetteer. The investigation found fundamental differences between the two conceptual systems at the basic level, supporting the notion that people from different places and cultures may use different categories for geographic features.

Mark, D. M. & Turk, A. G. (2003).
Landscape Categories in Yindjibarndi: Ontology, Environment, and Language In: Kuhn, W., Worboys, M. F., and Timpf, S., (eds). Spatial Information Theory: Foundations of Geographic Information Science. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2825.
Berlin: Springer, 2003. pp. 28-45.