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Building Bridges for Multimodal Research

International Perspectives on Theories and Practices of Multimodal Analysis

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Janina Wildfeuer

While multimodality is one of the most influential semiotic theories for analysing media artefacts, the concepts of this theory are heterogeneous and widespread. The book takes the differences between approaches in Germany and those in international contexts as a starting point, offering new insights into the analysis of multimodal documents. It features contributions by researchers from more than 15 nations and various disciplines, including theoretical reflections on multimodality, thoughts about methodological, empirical, and experimental approaches as well as analyses of various multimodal artefacts.
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Spotlight on the Image: Adding the Missing Visual Piece to the Multimodal Puzzle

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1 Introduction

The visual basis of multimodality’s production, reception, and analytical processes is uncontested throughout the literature on the subject. Multimodal documents are designed, created, disseminated, perceived, and analysed with the unavoidable reliance on human vision and with the assumptions of varying degrees of pre-existing visual expertise to aid each of these processes. Most of the popular analytical approaches in the field, however, are quite far removed from the realms of visual communication and visual studies. This chapter’s goal is to bring the visual up front and centre in multimodal document analysis and map out the transdisciplinary synergies which can support visually based content analysis.

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