Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Writing and Rhetoric > Of Stylistics

Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Movie Posters from Functional-semiotic Perspective

Author DongZuo
Tutor LuoQianJun
School Shantou University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords multimodal discourse analysis functional-semiotic approach visual communication movie poster
CLC H052
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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In the domain of representation, language has no longer occupied the dominating position; instead, visual communication is growing. There is no reason to doubt that language and visual communication differ in many aspects with relatively independent systems, but we should concern more on the connections of language and image, even all the multiple modes in a broader semiotic sense. That is how multimodal discourse analysis comes into being and becomes research focus. Visual communication study has a long history since very beginning of semiotics, with a great number of scholars devoted like Saussure, Peirce, Eco, and Barthes. Even though, visual study from perspective of functional-semiotics turns to be brand new.A multimodal analytic framework for discourse analysis is bound to contribute to the study of image-enabled discourse. Visually-based study not only centers on image artifact itself, but also opens a new perspective of investigation on phenomenon of image creation as social communicative practice. As long as visual communication is multi-dimensional, we should know the relationship between different modes, especially between image and language. Actually, language-image relation is far more complicated than it looks and at this point, the author will illustrate the interplay of visual and verbal modes in practical text analysis.In light of functional-semiotic approach towards multimodal discourse analysis, this thesis makes movie poster as the analytical object. Its distinctive design and prominent theme are able to arouse people’s attention and fulfill task of selling goods or service. Movie itself is an important means for the expression of thoughts, so that movie poster, being a‘card of movie’, is shouldering much responsibility in delivering information, interacting with viewers as a coherent visual text. Conventional studies on movie poster are always from perspectives of aesthetics, semiotics, or artistic design, different from which, this thesis adopts functional-semiotic approach to investigate meaning-making, considering it as a visual discourse.Hence this intensive study would be certain to contribute to discourse analysis and visual exploration. It gives a comprehensive introduction to multimodality and poster, does a rich literature review and theoretical framework investigation, and undertakes a thoroughly practical analysis with case study. Its applicability and validity in movie poster study suggest that visual communication becomes as powerful as language in social life and contemporary visual culture. In addition, this study leaves us more thinking on multi-literacy in modern educational field.

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