Multimodality, resemiotization: Extending the Analysis of Discourse as Multi-Semiotic Practice

Sage Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Visual Communication, 2003, 2 (1), pp. 29 - 57
Issue Date:
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This article has the following two overarching aims. First, it traces the development of multimodal discourse analysis and sets out its main descriptive and analytical parameters; in doing so, the article highlights the specific advantages which the multimodal approach has to offer and exemplifies its application. The article also argues that the hierarchical arrangement of different semiotics (in the way common sense construes this) should not be lost from sight. Second, and related to this last point, the article will advance a complementary perspective to that of multimodality: resemiotization. Resemiotization is meant to provide the analytical means for (1) tracing how semiotics are translated from one into the other as social processes unfold, as well as for (2) asking why these semiotics (rather than others) are mobilized to do certain things at certain times. The article draws on a variety of empirical data to exemplify these two perspectives on visual communication and analysis.
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