The World Told and the World Shown: Multisemiotic Issues

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The chapters discuss the relationship between the discourses that 'tell' and visuals either still or moving, like film that 'show', sharing the point of view that all the various modes specialize in the transmission of particular meanings. The innovative component of this book in comparison to those existing in the fields is the application of current multisemiotic theories to a great variety of genres: picture books, billboards, cartoons, advertising, web games, science documentaries, poetry, etc.

The book, which is divided into five sections, also highlights the importance of cultural and social aspects in the configuration of language and visualizations as well as their multisemiotic use in the community. More Language.

"What is multimodality?"

Multimodal Discourse Analysis: Systemic-Functional perspectives, , Cambridge journal of education 42 2 , , New Directions in the Analysis of Multimodal Discourse, , Educational Technology Research and Development 63 6 , , Challenges to systemic functional linguistics: Theory and practice, , Unpublished masters thesis. National University of Singapore: Singapore , Articles 1—20 Show more. Help Privacy Terms. Developing a systemic functional approach to teach multimodal literacy FV Lim Functional Linguistics 5 1 , 13 , First, as we saw in Section 3.

Second, and perhaps more crucially, as was suggested in Section 3. Baldry and Thibault, , p.

Thibault , pp. Baldry , p. Baldry and Thibault , pp. However, their analysis relies on the notion of intermodal relations: there is no explicit recognition of the fact that the verbal messages to which they refer are themselves realized visually. Notably, Bernhardt and Lemke fill in some of the gaps. Both visually informative and non-visually informative texts achieve rhetorical structure, but the means by which they do so differs.

Bernhardt, , p. Although the points along this continuum lack formal definition and Bernhardt seems to conflate document elements e. Bernhardt compares the resources available for achieving rhetorical control in visually informative as well as in non-visually informative Developing Multimodal Texture 47 texts. In doing this, he integrates well- developed linguistic approaches to cohesion citing, e. Halliday and Hasan, Like Bernhardt, Lemke is particularly interested in the way in which typography interacts with the verbal elements in text.

Rather than offering alternative names for the metafunctions as adapted for other semiotic modes, Lemke proposes names for generalized metafunctions which apply to all meaning-making. Thus, the ideational metafunction of language is part of the presentational semiotic metafunction, interpersonal belongs under orientational, and textual comes under organizational.

He relates the role of typography to his metafunctional approach as follows: Typography is quite conventionally used as an orientational as well as an organizational resource in printed text.

The world told and the world shown : multisemiotic issues

Orientationally, the use of italic and boldface types signals emphasis or importance, as does the relative point-size of type in titles, headings, abstracts, footnotes, captions, labels, etc. Organizationally, paragraphing and sectioning of text, and geometric relations of figure space to caption space indicate to us which elements are to be preferentially read in relation to which other elements; what goes with what. Lemke, , p. However, while he provides examples of these functions in his analyses, Lemke does not attempt to systematize resources for the realization of these types of meaning.

Waller offers two terms to describe the typographic mediation of language: modulation and segmentation. These broadly anticipate the distinction between salience and framing made by Kress and van Leeuwen He goes on to explain It is possible to use italics and bold type to add some vocal quality to writing but only to a strictly limited degree. At the discourse level, though, typographic modulation is common. Waller, , p. In fact, typography contributes to the orchestration of elements in a text in ways which cannot be reduced to a single scale.

Though he does not adopt Hallidayan terminology, it is clear that Waller sees a textual role for the combined resources of typography and language: Segmentation describes the marking of boundaries in spoken or written language. In speech, this may [be] done with pauses, with gesture or with tone of voice. In writing, boundaries may be represented by space, rules or punctuation marks. In writing, metalanguage is often signaled typographically: headings, for example, function because of the way they look as well as through what they say.

Moreover, while his definition of segmentation emphasizes boundaries realized at various levels, his discussion of Gestalt principles illustrated in Figure 3. Typography is especially significant in studies which involve multimodal comparison across languages and cultures because the typographic resources available for modulation and segmentation depend on the writing system of the language that is being realized.

Of course, Bringhurst is not alone in pointing to the language- dependent nature of layout: as we have seen, Kress and van Leeuwen , p.

The World Told and the World Shown: Multisemiotic Issues

However, Bringhurst provides concrete examples of ways in which typographic realization depends on features of the language being realized. For example, he , p. Elsewhere, and of particular relevance to present concerns, he , p. More work is needed to assess the extent to which pack designs from Chinesespeaking locales take this typographic choice. Aside from these language-specific features of typography, Bringhurst , p. I will focus on the Sensodyne pack shown in Illustration 3.

As we saw in Section 3. It therefore offers a good opportunity to see what other resources contribute to its texture. Neither do the functions that the choices seem to be intended to serve necessarily meet our expectations. For example, while we might expect an italic style to be used to add emphasis Lemke, , p. Thus, in terms of Gestalt principles, it would seem that the italic style has the effect of grouping through similarity.

Equally, we might expect upper- case type to be chosen in order to add emphasis. However, it is not unusual for entire lists of ingredients to be realized in upper case, which suggests that motivations other than increasing salience might be involved cf. Finally, if size were simply about salience Kress and van Leeuwen, , pp. In this case, it would seem that production and consumption constraints have played a defining role Delin, Bateman and Allen, , pp.

Dr Lisa El Refaie

In the Sensodyne example, the dominant resources used in the modulation and segmentation of messages are shape, colour and space. This device not only links the Sensodyne brand name and logo to the background on the front of the pack, but also serves to create cohesion across the faces of the pack.

Another obvious feature of the visual design of the Sensodyne pack is the use of a very restricted colour palette. Indeed, the Head and Shoulders examples see Illustration 3. Such a stance would also seem to be realized by the heavy use of the imperative mood in the verbal messages on Face 2 of the pack in Illustration 3. While this complementarity between the choice of linguistic and typographic resources might be argued here to support interpersonal meaning, it simultaneously contributes to textual meaning by creating relationships between parts of the text.

In terms of the typographic realization of specific messages, various patterns can be noted. First of all, on Face 2, the same brighter hue of blue is used for all headings. However, this colour is also used for some non-heading text, which is realized in a smaller font. Moreover, there is a hierarchy of headings, which is realized through type case selection: the headings indicating the important information in the first two left and middle columns are realized in upper case; the lists of ingredients are signalled by headings in sentence case followed by a colon.

It might be noted that while such case distinctions are frequently used in the setting of English verbal messages, this resource is not available for the expression of Chinese. One such example would be the use of lists in which an abridged form of each item is presented on the front of a given pack with the same items reproduced in an elaborated form on the back. The back of our Sensodyne pack Face 3 in Illustration 3. In terms of colour and case, the headings and body text on Face 3 follow the patterns we saw on Face 2. White space is used to segment the messages into chunks, though this time the three chunks of text are arranged in a single, much wider column.

In terms of linguistic choices, each bright blue heading consists of a Wh-interrogative clause, the answer to which is contained in the following dark blue body text.

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Thus, rather than salience, colour here seems to be used to differentiate typographically between the two voices present in the verbal text. As well as binding each chunk together as a semantic unit, this repeated visual and linguistic pattern builds cohesion across the face. While it moves beyond the scope of most linguistic analysis, this might be considered as intramodal analysis: typography is largely functioning as a set of resources for the expression of verbal messages.

However, as was mentioned in the introduction, packs communicate through pictorial as well as verbal and schematic resources Twyman, , such as the recycle icon shown on Face 2 in Illustration 3. Pictorial elements may serve a number of purposes, among them building brand and product recognition, illustrating the difference before and after use, and providing evidence for a claim, which may be realized verbally. In some cases, there may be explicit deictic references between verbal and pictorial messages. In other cases, the relationship is implicit.