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Preliminary investigation into the construction of multimodal grammar

Issue: Vol 10 No. 1 (2014)

Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v10i1.27273


The present article is intended to investigate the issues in the construction of multimodal grammars according to level, type and dimension of semiotic systems. It is found that, in terms of level, only three-level semiotic systems are appropriate for the construction of a multimodal grammar; in terms of type of semiotic systems, generally speaking, it is not necessary to construct a grammar for the semiotic systems of the iconic type and those of the indexical type; in terms of dimension of semiotic systems, those of different dimensions exhibit different grammatical patterns and systems, so it is necessary to construct a separate grammar for each semiotic system. The compositional devices: framing, information value and salience can be used to determine the units of grammar in a semiotic system. It is also found that the discourse from a two-level semiotic system can be a one item text, or a text of one recursive item, or of a series of items in a fixed pattern.

Author: Zhang Delu

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