International Perspectives on Theories and Practices of Multimodal Analysis
Edited By Janina Wildfeuer
Visual Rhetoric and Cognitive Semantics: The Relevance of Entrenched Conceptual Patterns for the Reconstruction of Visual and Multimodal Arguments
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Visual Rhetoric and Cognitive Semantics:The Relevance of Entrenched Conceptual Patterns for the Reconstruction of Visual and Multimodal Arguments
1 Examining pictorial and multimodal documents: Visual rhetoric and cognition
In a time where “visual communication is ubiquitous in public, private and even academic discourse” (McComiskey 2004: 188), theories which provide tools for the analysis of pictorial messages become increasingly relevant. However, visual communication is often not fully pictorial. Frequently, pictures are combined with other modes of expression – particularly often words play an important part. Examples from academic discourse are the nowadays so popular slideshow presentations (cf. Kjeldsen 2013). Most of them comprise pictorial material which is usually combined with language, at least in the sense that slideshows accompany verbal communication, but they also commonly contain verbal elements such as, for example, headlines, keywords, captions of diagrams, etc. So, ideally, the scope of theories that seek to explicate how addressees decode such visuals is not limited to the pictorial mode but flexible enough to also account for the role played by accompanying or interspersed linguistic elements.
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