Combining modes

Multimodality across communicative contexts

Authored by: Agnieszka Lyons

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Media

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138014176
eBook ISBN: 9781315673134
Adobe ISBN:


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Interest in communication beyond written text and spoken language – to include aspects such as gestures, colors, layout, and image – follows observations that everyday life is experienced in multimodal terms – through sight, smell, sound, and so on. There is an increasing amount of work devoted to the analysis of communication from a multimodal perspective, both in interpersonal interactions and mass communication. Gestures, positioning in space, and other forms of embodied communication are recognized as meaning-carrying alongside spoken and written language, while the use of such semiotic resources as image, layout, or the choice of font in print and digital media are analyzed from the perspective of effectiveness of communication and reader/viewer experience. None of the resources included in the composition of a text acts on its own. Rather, the overall meaning of a text is constructed as a whole, taking into account all forms of meaning-making present.

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