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Beyond Words

Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes

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Edited By András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri

Human thinking depends not only on words but also on visual imagery. Visual argumentation directly exploits the logic of the pictorial, while verbal arguments, too, draw on figurative language, and thus ultimately on images. In the centuries of handwritten documents and the printed book, our educational culture has been a predominantly verbal one. Today the challenge of the pictorial is explicit and conspicuous. In the digital world, we are experiencing an unprecedented wealth of images, animations and videos. But how should visual content be combined with traditional texts? This volume strives to present a broad humanities background showing how going beyond the word was always an issue in, and by now has become an inevitable challenge to, pedagogy and philosophy.

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Images and the Challenge of the Internet

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Ágnes Veszelszki Emoticons vs. Reaction-Gifs Non-Verbal Communication on the Internet from the Aspects of Visuality, Verbality and Time 1. Overview The aim of this paper is to analyze a new form of non-verbal communication on the internet: reaction-gifs. After an overview of fundamental assumptions of linguistic research on digital communication, I am going to show different pos- sibilities of expressing emotions on the internet and in the third step I will present the results of an empirical research on reaction-gifs. 2. Fundamental Assumptions of Linguistic Research on Digital Communication 2.1. Technological Determinism Linguistic – in particular pragmatic – studies of non-verbal signs in digital com- munication are characterized to some extent by technological determinism, the claim of which has been made with various degrees of strength and exclusivity. The fundamental assumptions suggest that the constraints and affordances of the medium and technology determine (linguistic) behaviour. In other words, the digital language variant (also called digilect1) – determined by information and communication technology – continuously keeps up with the latest developments of information technology, thus it constantly changes itself. Based on the find- 1 The term, coined by the author, refers to the language use of computer-mediated com- munication (CMC). Digilect is a new language variant with specific features that are not characteristic of communication transmitted by other media. It can be considered as a new stylistic layer (register); or as a sociomediolect, a new provisional category located somewhere between sociolect and mediolect; or – as the most feasible op- tion – due to its novelty, continuous...

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