Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Semantics,vocabulary,semantic

A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Harry Potter’s Posters

Author LiuYanBin
Tutor LiuRuShan
School Ocean University of China
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Language and Literature
Keywords multimodal discourse analysis Harry Potter film poster visualgrammar
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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With the rapid development of computer science and multimedia technology,people found that it is difficult to analyze and study the meaning construal just fromlinguistic discourses. Because various social semiotics begin to appear in humancommunicative activities apart from text such as picture, sound, color and so on, allthese multimodal modes have enriched the forms of semantic expression. Based onthis, multimodal discourse analysis has emerged. Since the beginning of the1990s,multimodal discourse analysis has become a new trend of discourse analysis.As a kind of advertisement of movies, film poster is one of the most popularadvertising means, which takes the content related to the film as source material.Taking movie titles and characters as its component elements, film posters are used asa vehicle for movie propaganda. Going back to the past study of posters, theresearches for the analysis of movie posters were always carried out from theperspective of aesthetics, function and other aspects, which are seldom studied fromlinguistics. Movie poster is quite different from the ordinary text, which includes notonly words, but also pictures and different colors. As a result of this characteristic, theanalysis of posters should not just concentrate on one or a few components and ignorethe others.Choosing posters of Harry Potter as the multimodal discourses and based on thefunctional systemic linguistics and visual grammar, the present research aims toexplore how those semiotic modes work together to construct the whole meanings ofthe poster and achieve its persuasive purpose. The study is done by adopting bothqualitative method and quantitative method and selects the posters of Harry Potter asthe subject of the case study.Through the analysis of the posters of Harry Potter, the thesis has proven thatmultimodal discourse analysis’s theoretical framework, especially visual grammar,has both applicability and practicality in interpreting posters. The research not onlyhas broadened the field of multimodal discourse analysis, but also enriched the study dimension of film posters. During the research, the author finds that the study still hasits limitations. For example, the thesis elaborates the image and text in the postersbased on the representative meaning, the interactive meaning, and the compositionalmeaning of visual grammar, but pays little attention to the relationship betweendifferent modes. Hence, the author gives some suggestions for further study.

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