Analyzing Multimodality in Specialized Discourse Settings
Innovative Research Methods and Applications
Veronica Bonsignori, Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli, Denise Filmer (Eds.)
Contemporary society has witnessed radical changes in the field of communications in terms of how messages and meanings are disseminated. Digitalization and the Internet have signalled an exponential rise in the circulation of multimodal texts in which different semiotic resources are orchestrated together to construct meaning in all areas of social life, across languages and cultures, and in diverse specialized discourse domains. This has foregrounded the need to examine the semiotic functions, affordances, and issues at stake in a range of multimodal discourse forms, while simultaneously highlighting the importance of critical multimodal literacy in audiences and learners.
This volume develops and extends pioneering research on the intersection between multimodality and specialized discourse. Eight newly commissioned studies offer innovative perspectives on multimodal research methodologies and applications in a variety of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) contexts for practitioners and scholars alike. The volume offers a glimpse at future directions in this dynamic and ever-evolving area of investigation focusing on the synergy between verbal and non-verbal modes of communication in the digital age. Each chapter explores an original area of application: academic, economic, scientific, marketing, legal, medical, political, and tourism. The contributors approach multimodality from a range of theoretical and methodological viewpoints including synchronic and diachronic corpus-based and corpus-aided studies, critical discourse analysis, and systemic functional linguistics. Analytical tools such as multimodal (critical) discourse analysis, multimodal transcription, and multimodal annotation software capable of representing the interplay of different semiotic modes – speech, intonation, direction of gaze, facial expressions, gesturing, and spatial positioning of interlocutors – are employed. The diversity of research strands contained in the volume illustrates just some of the vast areas of multimodal knowledge dissemination that are still unmapped. As a cornerstone of communication, multimodality needs exploring in all its facets. These contributions aim to further that cause.