Irene Mittelberg

Irene Mittelberg
Irene Mittelberg

Irene Mittelberg is Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Semiotics at the Human Technology Centre (HumTec) at RWTH Aachen University in Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany, where she directs the Natural Media Lab and interdisciplinary research on gesture. She also co-directs the Aachen Center for Sign Language and Gesture (SignGes) and in the past served as member of the RaAM board.

She has done extensive research on several semiotic systems, especially language and visuo-spatial modalities such as coverbal gesture and the visual arts, drawing connections to aesthetics and art history (e.g. iconography / iconology). Her theoretical work combines traditional semiotic theories (notably by C.S. Peirce and Roman Jakobson) with contemporary embodied approaches to language, cognition, and multimodal communication.

Selected publications

Methods in Cognitive Linguistics (Ed., with Gonzalez-Marquez/Coulson/Spivey) John Benjamins 2007.

Editor for a special issue of the journal Sprache und Literatur (Language and Literature) on Language and Gesture (2010).

Book chapters on the “exbodied mind”, abstraction and image schemas in gesture and painting (e.g. in the 2013 CSLI volume Language and the Creative Mind), as well as on metaphor, metonymy, indexicality and iconicity in gesture (e.g., in the handbook for Language – Body – Communication, Mouton de Gruyter 2013 & 2014, with Waugh).

Articles on multimodal communication research in the context of digital humanities (Schüller et al. 2015 in Digital Humanities Quarterly) and on fMRI studies investigating metaphor and metonymy in gesture reception (Joue et al., submitted).