Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

Multimodal Discourse Analysis of the Interactive Meanings of English Printed Food Advertisements

Author ChuYunYun
Tutor ChenYouLin
School Central China Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Food Advertisements Interactive Meanings MDA
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2014
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With the technology and the multimedia developing rapidly, the ways for people to communicate with others are not restricted to the mono-modality, language any longer. Other modalities such as images, sounds and gestures also play a prominent part in the process of constructing meaning. Therefore, people tend to resort to multimodalities to interact with others, which can help them to realize their goals effectively. Unfortunately, the majority of the theories and methodologies in the field of traditional discourse analysis are targeted to study language while neglecting the roles of other modalities in construing meaning. This situation leads to its invalidity to be a tool of analyzing the multimodal discourses, thus strangling this field and endowing it some limitations. However, multimodal discourse analysis, originating in1990s in the west, can solve this problem for the traditional discourse analysis for it is concerned with both language and other modalities.Although the advertisements have got lots of attention from the scholars, fewer researchers separate the food ads, a subtype of ads, from the big family of ads to study them for their own sakes. Besides, among the fewer researches about food ads, most are approached from the non-linguistic perspectives like laws, advertisement designing and marketing while those adopting the approaches of linguistics and discourse analysis are far fewer. However, with the improved productivity and technology, the competition between the food producers becomes fiercer and fiercer. In order to approach the prospective customers as many as possible, introduce the information about the food effectively and persuade them to purchase this food, the producers resort to food advertisements. And they employ the multimodality to design their ads in most cases to make their ads interact with the viewer effectively, beat their competitors and then realize their commercial purposes. On the other hand, as to the viewer, reading food ads is a process of interacting with the ads as well as decoding a multimodal discourse constituted by images, language and sometimes even sounds.Since printed food ads consisting of images and language are mainly responsible for interacting with the viewer and do not get the due attention from the researchers, this research combines the theories of interpersonal meaning from Halliday’s SFL, Martin and Robin’s AT and Kress and van Leeuwen’s VG together to uncover the interactive meanings conveyed by these two different modalities and the relations between them to construct the overall interactive meanings.From what are discussed above, it can be found that this research is of theoretical and practical significance. Firstly, this research adopts a new perspective to analyze food ads, which can enrich the previous researches about this field. Secondly, adopting these three theories as the analysis tools, this research can prove their applicability and the exploration about the relations between the two modalities to construe the comprehensive interactive meanings is also meaningful. Thirdly, this research can shed some lights on the ways of employing multimodality for the advertiser, which can help him to design the better works to interact with the viewer effectively, attract more customers and realize his commercial purposes. Lastly, this research also provides a new perspective for the customer to appreciate food ads, which can help him to choose the suitable food.

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