Introducing Social Semiotics

By Theo Van Leeuwen | Go to book overview

PART III

Multimodal cohesion
In this part of the book I introduce four ways in which different kinds of semiotic resources are integrated to form multimodal texts and communicative events:
Rhythm

Rhythm provides coherence and meaningful structure to events unfolding over time. It plays a crucial role in everyday interaction as well as in time-based media such as film and music.

Composition

Composition provides coherence and meaningful structure to spatial arrangements. It plays a crucial role not only in images and layout but also in three-dimensional spatial arrangements such as exhibition displays and architecture.

Information linking

Under this heading I discuss the cognitive links between the items of information in time - as well as space-based media, for instance the temporal or causal links between words and images in multimodal texts.

Dialogue

Under this heading I explore how the structures of dialogic exchanges and forms of musical interaction can be used to understand the relationships between the semiotic modes used in multimodal texts and communicative events.

Again, although I discuss these dimensions one by one, they never occur in isolation. Although rhythm will play the lead role in time-based media and composition in space-based media, in other cases - for example, film - the two combine.

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