Worldbuilder: a tool for Text-World annotation and visualization

In this presentation, we demonstrate Worldbuilder, a tool that we have developed at University of Huddersfield, UK, for text-world analysis and visualisation. Worldbuilder allows the user to annotate uploaded texts using an annotation scheme that encompasses the range of descriptive categories found in Text World Theory (Werth 1999; Gavins 2007). The annotation scheme incorporates the range of sub-categories associated with world-building elements, function advancing propositions and world switch possibilities. Once a text has been annotated, Worldbuilder can be used to produce visualisations of the annotated data in the form of text-world diagrams. To demonstrate the software, we present a brief analysis of data from the case of Amanda Knox, whose murder trial in Italy attracted worldwide media attention from 2007 to 2015. We use Worldbuilder to annotate and analyse the text-worlds projected in the controversial statements in the case under study, and then compare the cognitive structures of the statements at the macro level and examine their individual linguistic features at the micro level. We suggest that Worldbuilder enables the systematic analysis and visualisation of longer stretches of texts than is possible manually, and that this expands the range of texts it is possible to analyse and the purpose for which such analyses are carried out.


Gavins, J. 2007. Text World Theory: An Introduction. Edinburgh University Press.

Werth, P. 1999. Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse. Longman.