Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Writing and Rhetoric

A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of the Interactive Meaning in Print Public Service Advertisement

Author CuiYan
Tutor NiuZuoMei
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords multimodal discourse analysis public service advertisement visual grammar mood system interactive meaning
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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The present study takes public service advertisement (PSA) as the object and makes a multimodal study of print PSA with respect to the interactive meaning. On the one hand, the present study extends multimodal discourse analysis (MDA) into the interpretation of print PSA and testifies the applicability of Visual Grammar (VG) proposed by Kress and van Leeuwen in 1996 to Chinese PSA. On the other hand, the present study suggests a new approach-MDA-to the interpretation and appreciation of images and aims at making contributions to the improvement of people’s visual literacy.The data of the present study consist of three English PSAs and four Chinese ones. Drawing on Kress and van Leeuwen’s VG, the data were analyzed in terms of visual contact, social distance, perspective and modality to define the interactive meaning. The interpersonal meaning of the verbal text in the data was explored by applying Mood system and Person system. After separately analyzing the visual and verbal modes, the present study adopted Royce’s framework of Intersemiotic Complementarity to find out how the visual and verbal modes in PSA work together to create meaning, influence people’s ideology and achieve the best persuasive effects.Fruitful findings are derived from the analysis of the data. Firstly, the visual and verbal modes in PSA are not employed in a random fashion. According to the analysis results, the visual and verbal modes in PSA work together to achieve the best persuasive effects and influence people’s ideology mostly through reinforcement of address and attitudinal congruence. Secondly, VG is as applicable to Chinese PSAs as to English ones. The viewers can apply VG to the interpretation and appreciation of static images in Chinese culture.Through the analysis of PSAs both in English and Chinese, the present study validates the applicability and practicability of VG in interpreting Chinese images, testifying a new approach for the analysis of domestic PSAs. Besides, the analysis of the visual-verbal relations also further validates the previous studies in this field. The present study attempts to provide a detailed study of the interactive meaning in print PSA, in the hope of enriching the study on print PSA, improving people’s visual literacy and making people better at understanding PSA.

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