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ONAMA - Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages

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  • Project duration : 2019 - 2021
  • Head of sub-project : Isabella Nicka
  • Research associate : Miriam Landkammer

ONAMA

Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages

The project ONAMA – Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages – enables the systematic comparison of the structures and building blocks of many narratives in medieval literature and images. The ontology developed in the project forms the basis for the identification of patterns and peculiarities in the construction of narratives, which can then be examined for their underlying causes and functions.



The project ONAMA – Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages – enables the systematic comparison of the structures and building blocks of many narratives in medieval literature and images. The ontology developed in the project forms the basis for the identification of patterns and peculiarities in the construction of narratives, which can then be examined for their underlying causes and functions.

Analysing narratives with an ontology

ONAMA develops a model for a cross-media description of actions, actors, settings and temporal structures. In addition to the constituting basic elements of transmedial “narrative nuclei", in these descriptions the respective textual and pictorial realizations are recorded in detail. They thus go far beyond the “plot" of a story or picture cycle. The digital processing of narratives is realized with semantic web technologies in order to allow for an integration into machine-readable contexts and for comprehensive analyses. In the course of the project, a developed frontend will provide easy access to the components of narratives in image and text. In addition, the data will also be available for complex queries via SPARQL. With the ontology of narratives, image and text sources can be annotated so that the generated data provide information about the emergence and transmission of narrative nuclei, figure constellations, patterns of actions, etc. in the respective medium and in cross-media synopses.

Two angels summon Saint Ulrich, who is critically ill, to celebrate mass. In the course of Elevatio, Ulrich sees God's hand. Right: Saint Ulrich heals sick people. Master of the Saint Ulrich Legend, panel painting, Augsburg, St. Urich and Afra, around 1450. REALonline Bildnr. 015644.

Using existing digital humanities projects as a basis

ONAMA draws on the extensive pool of data from two long-term digital humanities projects at the University of Salzburg: the Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank (MHDBDB) and the image database REALonline from IMAREAL in Krems. In REALonline, visual media of different genres and techniques (mainly from the 14th to 16th century) are recorded in such a way that all semantic components of an image are included as well as their properties and the relationships between these individual image elements. In the MHDBDB, an onomasiological terminology system provides access to over 650 texts, ranging from heroic epics to small religious poems to fables.

ONAMA is designed and developed by Katharina Zeppezauer-WachauerPeter Hinkelmanns and Manuel Schwembacher of the MHDBDB and Miriam Landkammer and Isabella Nicka of IMAREAL.

The ONAMA project runs from 01.03.2019 to 28.02.2021 and is funded by the go!digital program of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.