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Language − Literature − the Arts: A Cognitive-Semiotic Interface


Edited By Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska and Olga Vorobyova

The book offers an interdisciplinary discussion of the cognitive-semiotic interface between language, literature, and the arts, with a special focus on creativity and imagination. It brings together international contributors suggesting a wide range of innovative perspectives on the correlation between verbal discourse and creative artefacts. The book reveals the specificity of such phenomena as parallax, transparency, corporeal imagination, and multimodality. Alongside interpreting artistic texts, the contributors search for cognitive and semiotic manifestations of creativity in political and everyday discourse.

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Rhetorical Message in Words, Images and Music (Tetyana Sayenko)


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Tetyana Sayenko

Nagoya University, Japan

Rhetorical Message in Words, Images and Music

Abstract: The study discusses prosodic mechanisms of turning a sentimental, seemingly innocent melody of ‘Tomorrow belongs to me’ from the movie Cabaret (1972) into a Nazi rallying song. Analyzing the impact of changes in speech rhythm, intensity, fundamental frequency and speech rate on the song’s pragmatics, the author of this contribution focuses upon the role of visual support in the rhetorical construction of the song’s meaning. The paper argues that changes in speech rhythm and prosody can alter the song’s pragmatic meaning from sentimental to triumphant. The sounds of the trumpet and cymbals enhance the rallying effect of the performance. In addition, visual support for each part of the song in the movie adds up to its emotional impact and contributes to the shift in the song’s pragmatics. Strong nationalistic feelings are built up as a resulting effect of the changes in the audience’s emotional state and their self-identification.

1. Introduction

Any dramatic political changes are brought about or supported not only by verbal rhetoric, but also by visual and musical art reflecting the ideas and feelings imposed on the public. An interesting example of a strong rhetorical message delivered in a seemingly innocent song by a young singer can be traced in Bob Fosse’s movie Cabaret (1972). In a scene from the movie, a boy sings the song “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” at a...

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