[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visual abstraction enables us to survive in complex visual environments by augmenting critical features with minimal elements
– words. In this chapter, we explore how culture and aesthetics impact visual abstraction. Based on everyday life experience
and lab experiments, we found that the factors of culture, attention, purpose and aesthetics can help reduce visual communication
to a minimal footprint. As we saw with the hollow effect, the more familiar we are with an object, the less information we
need to describe it. The Image-Word Mapping Model we have discussed allows us to work toward a general framework of visual
abstraction in two directions, images to words and words to images. In this chapter, we present a general framework along
with some of the case studies we have undertaken within it. These studies involve exploration into multi-resolution, symbol-number,
semantic differentiation, analogical, and cultural emblematization aspects of facial features.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A dominant trend relates written genres (e.g., narrative, information, description, argument) to cultural situations. To learn
a genre is to learn the cultural situations that support it. This dominant thinking overlooks aspects of genre based in lexical
clusters that appear instinctual and cross-cultural. In this chapter, we present a theory of lexical clusters associated with
critical communication instincts. We show how these instincts aggregate to support a substrate of English genres. To test
the cross-cultural validity of these clusters, we gave three English-language genre assignments to Chinese students in rural
China, with limited exposure to native English and native English cultural situations. Despite their limited exposure to English
genres, students were able to write English papers that exploited the different clusters in ways consistent with native writers
of English. We conclude that lexical knowledge supporting communication instincts plays a vital role in genre development.