Hearing the silence: Finding the middle ground in the spatial humanities?:Extracting and comparing perceived silence and tranquility in the English Lake District

Chesnokova, Olga and Taylor, Joanna and Gregory, Ian Norman and Purves, Ross (2019) Hearing the silence: Finding the middle ground in the spatial humanities?:Extracting and comparing perceived silence and tranquility in the English Lake District. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 33 (12). pp. 2430-2454. ISSN 1365-8816

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Abstract

We analyse silence and tranquillity in historical and contemporary corpora to explore ways landscapes were -- and are -- perceived in the Lake District National Park in England. Through macro and microreading we develop a taxonomy of aural experiences, and explore how changes to categories of silence from our taxonomy -- for instance, the overall decline in mentions of absolute silence -- provide clues to changes in the land- and soundscape of the Lake District. Modern authors often contrast silence with anthropogenic sounds, while historical authors adhere to a cultural construction where the Lake District is presented as a tranquil area by ignoring industrial sounds. Using sentiment analysis we show that silence and tranquil sounds in our corpora are, as a whole, more positively associated than random text from the corpora, with this difference being especially marked in contemporary descriptions. Focusing closely on individual texts allows us to illustrate how this increased positivity can be related to the emergence of silence and tranquillity as valuable components of landscape. Mapping our corpora confirmed the influence of Wordsworth's writing on descriptions of silence; and revealed the co-location of pockets of tranquillity near to transport arteries in contemporary descriptions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Geographical Information Science on 10/12/2018, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13658816.2018.1552789
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Subjects:
ID Code:
129075
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Nov 2018 13:26
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2020 04:36