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.