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Challenging Boundaries in Linguistics

Systemic Functional Perspectives


Edited By Stella Neumann, Rebekah Wegener, Jennifer Fest, Paula Niemietz and Nicole Hützen

Linguistics, like any discipline, is full of boundaries. However, in nature, as Ruqaiya Hasan points out, there are no clear cut boundaries. The participants of the 42nd International Systemic Functional Congress held at RWTH Aachen University addressed and challenged the notion of boundaries in linguistics in many creative ways. Twenty-one of the papers presented at the congress are collated in this volume. The six sections cover topics that challenge theoretical notions and stances, and explore historical, interpersonal and lexicogrammatical boundaries as well as those between languages and in language development. The volume presents a state of the art overview of systemic functional linguistic theorising with extensions into other theoretical frameworks.

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Processing reality in picture books: A multimodal systemic functional and cognitive study (Arsenio Jesús Moya Guijarro)


Arsenio Jesús Moya Guijarro Universidad de Castilla-La

Processing reality in picture books: A multimodal systemic functional and cognitive study

Abstract: This chapter intends to determine the extent to which the age of the target audience has an effect on illustrators’ choices of metonymic character representations in nine picture books. The results show that visual metonymies are essentially used in children’s tales to highlight certain aspects of the plot and to establish a bond between the characters and the child-viewer.

1 Aims and scope

This study aims to explore the occurrences of visual metonymic character depictions in picture books designed for children from three different stages of cognitive development (Piaget 1981, 1984): the sensory-motor stage (0–2 years old), the pre-operational stage (3–6 years old) and the concrete operations stage (7–9 years old) and thus determine the existence and extent of a relationship between the use of metonymic manifestations and the age group for which picture books are initially intended. A multimodal cognitive and systemic functional perspective is adopted here to apply the trope of visual metonymy to the nine picture books that form the sample texts—three within each cognitive stage.

Specifically, the frameworks applied to carry out this research are multimodal cognitive linguistics, essentially developed by Forceville (2009), and Forceville and Urios-Aparisi (2009), and Painter, Martin and Unsworth’s (2013) approach to picture books, which draws its inspiration in Kress and van Leeuwen’s (1996, 2006)...

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