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Multimodal Discourse Analysis Systemic Functional Perspectives


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Multimodal Discourse Analysis

Multimodal Discourse Analysis

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  • 1. Multirnodal Discourse Analysis Systemic-Functional Perspectives
  • 2. Open Linguistics Series Series Editor Robin Fawcett, Cardiff University The series is 'open' in two related ways. First, it is not confined to works associated with any one school of linguistics. For almost two decades the series has played a significant role in establishing and maintaining the present climate of 'openness' in linguistics, and we intend to maintain this tradition. However, we particularly welcome works which explore the nature and use of language through modelling its potential for use in social contexts, or through a cognitive model of language - or indeed a combination of the two. The series is also 'open' in the sense that it welcomes works that open out 'core' linguistics in various ways: to give a central place to the description of natural texts and the use of corpora; to encompass discourse 'above the sentence'; to relate language to other semiotic systems; to apply linguistics in fields such as education, language pathology and law; and to explore the areas that lie between linguistics and its neighbouring disciplines such as semiotics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and cultural and literary studies. Continuum also publishes a series that offers a forum for primarily functional descriptions of languages or parts of languages — Functional Descriptions of Language. Relations between linguistics and computing are covered in the Communication in Artificial Intelligence series, two series, Advances in Applied Linguistics and Communication in Public Life, publish books in applied linguistics and the series Modern Pragmatics in Theory and Practice publishes both social and cognitive perspectives on the making of meaning in language use. We also publish a range of introductory textbooks on topics in linguistics, semiotics and deaf studies. Recent titles in this series Classroom Discourse Analysis: A Functional Perspective, Frances Christie Construing Experience through Meaning: A Language-based Approach to Cognition, M. A. K. Halliday and Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen Culturally Speaking: Managing Rapport through Talk across Cultures, Helen Spencer-Oatey (ed.) Educating Eve: The 'Language Instinct' Debate, Geoffrey Sampson Empirical Linguistics, Geoffrey Sampson Genre and Institutions: Social Processes in the Workplace and School, Frances Christie and J. R. Martin (eds) The Intonation Systems of English, Paul Tench Language Policy in Britain and France: The Processes of Policy, Dennis Ager Language Relations across Bering Strait: Reappraising the Archaeological and Linguistic Evidence, Michael Fortescue Learning through Language in Early Childhood, Clare Painter Pedagogy and the Shaping of Consciousness: Linguistic and Social Processes, Frances Christie (ed.) Register Analysis: Theory and Practice, Mohsen Ghadessy (ed.) Relations and Functions within and around Language, Peter H. Fries, Michael Cummings, David Lockwood and William Spruiell (eds) Researching Language in Schools and Communities: Functional Linguistic Perspectives, Len Unsworth (ed.) Summary Justice: Judges Address Juries, Paul Robertshaw Syntactic Analysis and Description: A Constructional Approach, David G. Lockwood Thematic Developments in English Texts, Mohsen Ghadessy (ed.) Ways of Saying: Ways of Meaning. Selected Papers of Ruqaiya Hasan. Carmen Cloran, David Butt and Geoffrey Williams (eds) Words, Meaning and Vocabulary: An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology, Howard Jackson and Etienne Zé Amvela Working with Discourse: Meaning beyond the Clause, J. R. Martin and David Rose
  • 3. Multimodal Discourse Analysis Systemic-Functional Perspectives Edited by Kay L. O'Halloran continuum LONDON NEW YORK
  • 4. Continuum The Tower Building 15 East 26th Street 11 York Road New York London SE1 7NX NY 10010 © Kay L. O'Halloran 2004 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 0-8264-7256-7 Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. Typeset by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall
  • 5. Contents Introduction 1 Kay L. O'Hallomn Part I Three-dimensional material objects in space 1 Opera Ludentes: the Sydney Opera House at work and play 11 Michael O'Toole 2 Making history in From Colony to Nation: a multimodal analysis of a museum exhibition in Singapore 28 Alfred Pang Kah Meng 3 A semiotic study of Singapore's Orchard Road and Marriott Hotel 55 Safeyaton Alias Part II Electronic media and film 4 Phase and transition, type and instance: patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordancer 83 Anthony P. Baldry 5 Visual semiosis in film 109 Kay L. O'Halloran 6 Multisemiotic mediation in hypertext 131 Arthur Kok Kum Chiew Part III Print media 7 The construal of Ideational meaning in print advertisements 163 Cheong Tin Yuen
  • 6. vi CONTENTS 8 Multimodality in a biology textbook 196 Libo Guo 9 Developing an integrative multi-semiotic model 220 Victor Lim Fei Index 247
  • 7. This book is dedicated to my mother, Janet O'Halloran
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  • 9. Introduction Kay L. O'Halloran Multi-modal Discourse Analysis is a collection of research papers in the field of multimodality. These papers are concerned with developing the theory and practice of the analysis of discourse and sites which make use of multiple semiotic resources; for example, language, visual images, space and archi- tecture. New social semiotic frameworks are presented for the analysis of a range of discourse genres in print media, dynamic and static electronic media and three-dimensional objects in space. The theoretical approach informing these research efforts is Michael Halliday's (1994) systemic- functional theory of language which is extended to other semiotic resources. These frameworks, many of which are inspired by Michael O'Toole's (1994) approach in The Language of Displayed Art, are also used to investigate mean- ing arising from the integrated use of semiotic resources. The research presented here represents the early stages in a shift of focus in linguistic enquiry where language use is no longer theorized as an isolated phenomenon (see, for example, Baldry, 2000; Kress, 2003; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996, 2001; ledema, 2003; Ventola et al., forthcoming). The analysis and interpretation of language use is contextualized in conjunction with other semiotic resources which are simultaneously used for the con- struction of meaning. For example, in addition to linguistic choices and their typographical instantiation on the printed page,1 multimodal analysis takes into account the functions and meaning of the visual images, together with the meaning arising from the integrated use of the two semiotic resources. To date, the majority of research endeavours in linguistics have tended to concentrate solely on language while ignoring, or at least downplaying, the contributions of other meaning-making resources. This has resulted in rather an impoverished view of functions and meaning of discourse. Language studies are thus undergoing a major shift to account fully for meaning-making practices as evidenced by recent research in multimodality (for example, Baldry, 2000; Callaghan and McDonald, 2002; ledema, 2001; Jewitt, 2002; Martin, forthcoming; Kress, 2000, 2003; Kress et al., 2001: Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996, 2001; Lemke, 1998, 2002, 2003; O'Halloran, 1999a, 2000, 2003a, 2003b; Royce, 2002; Thibault, 2000; Unsworth, 2001; Ventola et al., forthcoming; Zammit and Callow, 1998). Multimodal Discourse Analysis contains an invited paper by Michael
  • 10. 2 INTRODUCTION O'Toole, a founding scholar in the extension of systemic-functional theory to semiotic resources other than language. The collection also features an invited contribution from Anthony Baldry, a forerunner in the use of inform- ation technology for the development of multimodal theory and practice. The remaining seven research papers have been completed by Kay O'Halloran and her postgraduate students in the Semiotics Research Group (SRG) in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore. The SRG has been actively involved in research in systemic-functional approaches to multimodality over the period 1999-2003. The papers are organized into sections according to the medium of the discourse: Part I which is concerned with three-dimensional material objects in space, Part II which deals with electronic media and film and Part III which contains investigations into print media. The theoretical advances presented in this volume are illustrated through the analysis of a range of multimodal discourses and sites, some of which are Singaporean. These contributions represent a critical yet sensitive interpretation of everyday discourses in Singapore. Thus, like all discourse, they are grounded in local knowledge, but due to the universality of the semiotic model being used, they are applicable to similar texts in any culture. A brief synopsis of each paper in this collection is given below. In Michael O'Toole's opening paper in Part I, 'Opera Ludentes: the Sydney Opera House at work and play', a systemic-functional analysis of architecture (O'Toole, 1990, 1994) is used to consider in turn the Experien- tial, Interpersonal and Textual functions ofJ0rn Utzon's (1957-73) Sydney Opera House and its parts, both internally and in relation to its physical and social context. In this paper, the usual definition of 'functionalism' in archi- tecture is significantly extended. Like language, the building embodies an Experiential function: its practical purposes, the 'lexical content' of its com- ponents (theatre, stage, seats, lights, and so forth) and the relations of who does what to whom, and when and where. It also embodies a 'stance' vis-a- vis the viewer and user (its facade, height, transparency, resemblance to other buildings or objects) which also reflects the power relations between groups of users. That is, it embodies an Interpersonal function like lan- guage. The Sydney Opera House also embodies a Textual function: its parts connect with each other and combine to make a coherent 'text', and it relates meaningfully to its surrounding context of streets, quays, harbour, nearby buildings and cityscape, and by 'meaningful' here we include delib- erate dramatic contrast as well as harmonious blending in. In the analysis, certain features are discovered to be multifunctional, marking 'hot spots' of meaning in the total building complex. In terms of all three functions, the Opera House emerges as a playful building: Opera Ludentes. Utzon's build- ing started its life as a focus of architectural and political controversy and most discourses about the building are still preoccupied with the politics of its conception, competition, controversies and completion by different archi- tects. A semiotic rereading of the building can relate its structure and design
  • 11. INTRODUCTION 3 to the 'social semiotic' of both Sydney in the 1960s and to the international community of its users today. The museum is located as the next site for semiotic study in Alfred Pang's 'Making history in From Colony to Nation: a multimodal analysis of a museum exhibition in Singapore'. Pang discusses how systemic-functional theory is productive in fashioning an interpretative framework that facilitates a multi- modal analysis of a museum exhibition. The usefulness of this framework is exemplified in the critical analyses of particular displays in From Colony to Nation, an exhibition at the Singapore History Museum (SHM) that displays Singapore's political constitutional history. From this analysis, Pang explains how the museum as a discursive site powerfully constitutes and maintains particular social structures through the primary composite medium of an exhibition. Of interest is the relationship between the museum, nation and history and how the multimodal representation of history in From Colony to Nation ideologically positions the visitor to a particular style of imagining a 'nation' (Anderson, 1991). Safeyaton Alias investigates the semiotic makeup of the city in 'A semiotic study of Singapore's Orchard Road and Marriott Hotel'. Like a written text, the city stores information and 'presents particular transformations and embeddings of a culture's knowledge of itself and of the world' (Preziosi, 1984: 50-51). In this paper, a rank-scale framework for the functions and systems in the three-dimensional multi-semiotic city is proposed. The focus in this paper, however, is the analysis of the built forms of Orchard Road and the Marriott Hotel. Safeyaton discusses how these built forms transmit mes- sages which are articulated through choices in a range of metafunctionally based systems. This paper discusses the intertextuality and the discourses that construct Singapore as a city that survives on consumerism and capitalism. In Part II on electronic media and film, Anthony Baldry's opening paper, 'Phase and transition, type and instance: patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordancer', explores the use of computer tech- nology for capturing 'the slippery eel-like' (to quote Baldry) dynamics of semiosis. Baldry demonstrates that the online multimodal concordancer, the Multimodal Corpus Authoring (MCA) system, provides new possibilities for the analysis and comparison of film and videotexts. This type of concord- ancing transcends in vitro approaches by preserving the dynamic text, insofar as this is ever possible, in its original form. The relational properties of the multimodal concordancer also allow a researcher to embark on a quest for patterns and types. Taking the crucial semiotic units of phase and transition as its starting point, Baldry shows that, when examining the semiotic and structural units that make up a video, a multimodal concordancer far out- strips multimodal transcription in the quest for typical patterns. Kay O'Halloran further explores the use of computer technology for the semiotic analysis of dynamic images in 'Visual semiosis in film'. A sys- temic-functional model which incorporates the visual imagery and the soundtrack for the analysis of film is introduced. Inspired by O'Toole's (1999) representation of systemic choices in paintings in the interactive
  • 12. 4 INTRODUCTION CD-ROM Engaging with Art., O'Halloran uses video-editing software Adobe Premiere 6.0 to discuss the analysis of the temporal unfolding of semiotic choices in the visual images for two short extracts from Roman Polanski's (1974) film Chinatown. While film narrative involves staged and directed behaviour to achieve particular effects, the analysis of film is at least a first step to understanding semiosis in everyday life. The analysis demonstrates the difficulty of capturing and interpreting the complexity of dynamic semiotic activity. Attention turns to hypertext in Arthur Kok's 'Multisemiotic mediation in hypertext'. In this paper, Kok explores how hypertext (re)presents reality and engages the user, and how instantiations of different semiotic resources are arranged and co-deployed for this purpose. This paper formulates a working definition and a theoretical model of hypertext which contains different orders of abstraction. As with many papers in this collection, the semiotic analysis is employed through extending previously developed systemic- functional frameworks (Halliday, 1994; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; O'Toole, 1994). Via an examination of the semiotic choices made in Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) homepage, this analysis seeks to understand how the objectives of an institution become translated, trans- mitted and received through the hypertext medium. In the process, an account of the highly elusive process of intersemiosis, the interaction of meanings across different semiotic instantiations, is given. In Part III on print media, in the first paper, 'The construal of ideational meaning in print advertisements', Cheong Yin Yuen proposes a generic structure potential for print advertisements which incorporates visual and verbal components. Cheong also investigates lexicogrammatical strategies for the expansion of ideational meaning which occur through the inter- action of the linguistic text and visual images. Through the analysis of five advertisements, Cheong develops a new vocabulary to discuss the strategies which account for semantic expansions of ideational meaning in these texts; namely, the Bi-directional Investment of Meaning, Contextual Propensity, Interpretative Space, Semantic Effervescence and Visual Metaphor. Moving to the field of education, Guo Libo investigates the multi-semiotic nature of introductory biology textbooks in 'Multimodality in a biology textbook'. These books invariably contain words and visual images: for example, diagrams, photographs, and mathematical and statistical graphs. Drawing upon the work of sociological studies of biology texts and following O'Toole (1994), Lemke (1998) and O'Halloran (1999b), this paper proposes social semiotic frameworks for the analysis of schematic drawings and math- ematical or statistical graphs in biology. The frameworks are used to analyse how the various semiotic resources interact with each other to make meaning in selected pages from the biology textbook Essential Cell Biology (Alberts et al., 1998). The article concludes by reiterating Johns's (1998: 194) claim that in teaching English for Academic Purposes to science and engineering stu- dents, due attention must be given to the visual as well as the linguistic meaning in what is termed Visual/Textual interactivity' (ibid.: 186).
  • 13. INTRODUCTION 5 Lastly, in order to further theorize the meaning made in texts containing language and visual images, Victor Lim proposes a meta-model in 'Develop- ing an integrative multi-semiotic model'. This model allows for an integra- tive approach to the interpretation of texts where the simultaneous co-deployment of choices from various systems contextualize each other at each instance of the meaning-making process. It takes into account the independent meanings made by each semiotic resource and, further to this, theorizes a space of interaction and integration where inter-semiotic pro- cesses for the expansion of meaning (for example, 'homospatiality' and 'semiotic metaphor') take place. The model also accounts for systems of Typography and Graphics that operate on the Expression plane. Building on the pioneering work done in this field (for example, Baldry, 2000; Baldry and Thibault, forthcoming; Lemke, 1998; O'Halloran, 1999a; Thibault, 2000), as with each paper in this collection, the model is conceived in the tradition of the systemic-functional theory. Michael Halliday has always been ready to extend and enrich his lin- guistic theory when particular types of text demanded it. The contributors to this volume may be seen to be attempting to extend productively these categories for multimodal analysis. Note Regrettably it has not been possible to reproduce coloured plates in this publication. However, as will become evident in what follows, the contribu- tors in this volume recognize that colour is a significant resource for mean- ing (see also Kress and van Leeuwen, 2002). While the papers have been somewhat comprised by the black and white reproductions, every possible effort has been made to ensure that the analysis refers to the original colour of the texts. References Alberts, B., Bray, D., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter, P. (1998) Essential Cell Biology: An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell. New York: Garland. Anderson, B. (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of National- ism (revised edn). London: Verso. Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000) Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore. Baldry, A. P. and Thibault, P. (forthcoming) Multimodal Transcription and Text. London: Equinox. Gallaghan, J. and McDonald, E. (2002) Expression, content and meaning in lan- guage and music: an integrated semiotic analysis. In P. McKevitt, S. O'Nuallain and C. Mulvihill (eds), Language, Vision and Music. Selected papers from the 8th Inter- national Workshop on the Cognitive Science of Natural Language Processing, Galway, Ireland, 1999. Advances in Consciousness Research, Volume 35. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 205-220.
  • 14. 6 INTRODUCTION Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. ledema, R. (2001) Analysing film and television: a social semiotic account of hos- pital: an unhealthy business. In T. van. Leeuwen and C. Jewitt (eds), Handbook of Visual Analysis. London: Sage, 183—204. ledema, R. (2003) Multimodality, resemioticization: extending the analysis of dis- course as a multi-semiotic practice. Visual Communication 2(1): 29—57. Jewitt, C. (2002) The move from page to screen: the multimodal reshaping of school English. Visual Communication 1(2): 171—195. Johns, A. (1998) The visual and the verbal: a case study in macroeconomics. English for Specific Purposes 17(2): 183-197. Kress, G. (2000) Multimodality. In B. Cope and M. Kalantzis (eds), Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures. London: Routledge, 182—202. Kress, G. (2003) Literacy in the New Media Age. London: Routledge. Kress, G, Jewitt, G., Ogborn, J. and Tsatsarelis, C. (2001) Multimodal Teaching and Learning: The Rhetorics of the Science Classroom. London: Continuum. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2001) Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2002) Colour as a semiotic mode: notes for a grammar of colour. Visual Communication 1(3): 343-368. Lemke, J. L. (1998) Multiplying meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in scientific text. InJ. R. Martin and R. Veel (eds), Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspec- tives on Discourses of Science. London: Routledge, 87—113. Lemke, J. L. (2002) Travels in hypermodality. Visual Communication 1(3): 299—325. Lemke, J. L. (2003) Mathematics in the middle: measure, picture, gesture, sign and word. In M. Anderson, A. Saenz-Ludlow, S. Zellweger and V Cifarelli (eds), Educational Perspectives on Mathematics as Semiosis: From Thinking to Interpreting to Know- ing. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 215-234. Martin, J. R. (forthcoming) Sense and sensibility: texturing evaluation. InJ. Foley (ed.), Mew Perspectives on Education and Discourse. London: Continuum. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999a) Interdependence, interaction and metaphor in multi- semiotic texts. Social Semiotics 9(3): 317—354. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999b) Towards a systemic-functional analysis of multi-semiotic mathematics texts. Semiotica (124-1/2): 1-29. O'Halloran, K. L. (2000) Classroom discourse in mathematics: a multi-semiotic analysis. Linguistics and Education 10(3): 359—388. O'Halloran, K. L. (2003a) Educational implications of mathematics as a multi- semiotic discourse. In M. Anderson, A. Saenz-Ludlow, S. Zellweger, and V V Cifarelli (eds), Educational Perspectives on Mathematics as Semiosis: From Thinking to Interpreting to Knowing. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 185-214 O'Halloran, K. L. (2003b) Intersemiosis in mathematics and science: grammatical metaphor and semiotic metaphor. In A.-M. Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverni- ers, and L. Ravelli (eds), Grammatical Metaphor: Views from Systemic Functional Lin- guistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 337—365. O'Toole, M. (1990) A systemic-functional semiotics of art. Semiotica (82—3/4): 185-209. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. O'Toole, M. (1999) Engaging with Art [CD-ROM]. Perth: Murdoch University.
  • 15. INTRODUCTION 7 Preziosi, D. (1984) Relations between environmental and linguistic structure. In R. P. Fawcett, M. A. K. Halliday, S. M. Lamb and A. Makkai (eds), The Semiotics of Culture and Language Volume 2. Language and Other Semiotic Systems of Culture. Dover, NH: Frances Pinter, 47-67. Royce, T. (2002) Multimodality in the TESOL classroom: exploring visual—verbal synergy. TESOL Quarterly 36(2): 191-205. Thibault, P. J. (2000) The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: theory and practice. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore, 311—385. Unsworth, L. (2001) Teaching Multiliteracies across the Curriculum: Changing Contexts of Text and Image in Classroom Practice. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Ventola, E., Charles, C. and Kaltenbacher, M. (eds) (forthcoming) Perspectives on Multimodality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Zammit, K. and Callow, J. (1998) Ideology and technology: visual and textual analysis of two popular CD-ROM programs. Linguistics and Education 10(1): 89-105. Acknowledgements The research presented here is only made possible through the foundational work of Michael Halliday and Michael O'Toole. I am also indebted to Jay Lemke for originally pointing me in this direction many years ago, and for his continued support since that time. I also thank Joe Foley, Eija Ventola, Frances Christie and Anthony Baldry for their friendship, advice and active support over the years. My special thanks also to Michael O'Toole for his invaluable reading of the first draft of the manuscript. His comments, corrections and suggestions have contributed to the final form of this volume, although of course any errors of interpretation are mine. I am also most grateful to Guo Libo for his careful proof-reading and corrections to the manuscript. My sincere thanks to my talented group of postgraduate research stu- dents for their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to push the bound- aries of multimodal analysis. This volume would not be possible without their contributions. And special thanks to my past and present colleagues in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National Uni- versity of Singapore (NUS), especially Linda Thompson, Chris Stroud, Ed McDonald and Desmond Allison for their continued friendship and support. I would also like to thank Anne Pakir and the Faculty Research Commit- tee (FRC) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS for providing the research grant (R-103-000-014-107/112) in 2000 to establish the Labora- tory for Research in Semiotics (LRS) in the Department of English Language and Literature. The research grant has directly supported the research presented in this publication.
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  • 17. Parti Three-dimensional material objects in space
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  • 19. 1 Opera Ludentes: the Sydney Opera House at work and play Michael O'Toole Murdoch University, Western Australia Here the trick was to get people up. When you go up the steps you see no buildings. You see the sky and you get separated from being between houses. I like procession very much: sky — foyer — windows — sea. It takes you to another world. That's what you want for an audience: to separate themselves from their daily life. (J0rnUtzon, 1998)1 Clearly, for the architect of Sydney Opera House (Plate 1.1) 'Interpersonal' meanings are very important: the building's height and orientation to its visitors; the play of vistas as one approaches the entrance; the stress on architecture as theatre; constructing an audience; a working building at play. In a systemic-functional semiotic model of architecture2 (O'Toole, 1994; Table 1.1) these kinds of meaning are analogous to the Interpersonal semantic functions in language: Mood constructing the roles to be played in a verbal interaction; Modality constructing a hinge between the real and the hypothetical; Attitudinal Modifiers and Intensifiers expressing the speaker's position and influencing the response of the hearer. If you look out here [at Utzon's home in Helebek, Denmark], you see a field with flowers and a small bush and small trees and big trees. They all consist of small elements. And if you take them up and put them on the table it's a number of elements. Together they make this. In architecture you have a floor, your walls, you have windows, doors, and you have a lot of materials. And you select them. You must have in mind that they make a whole or an expression of some kind. (J0rnUtzon, 1998)3 Here Utzon's focus is on 'Textual' meanings: the way distinct architectural components are combined to make a coherent whole, that is to say, an important dimension of the meaning ('an expression of some kind') is in the composition.4 As in language, the Collocational potential of architectural elements - their Conjunction in rooms and floors and buildings, their Reference to each other and to their environment - is what makes them into coherent and usable 'texts'.
  • 20. Table 1.1 Functions and systems in architecture (reproduced from O'Toole 1994: 86) Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Texture Functions Building Practical function: Public/Private; Size Orientation to neighbours Relation to city Industrial/Commercial/Agricultural/ Verticality Orientation to road Relation to road Governmental/Educational/Medical/ Chthonicity Orientation to entrant Relation to adjacent buildings Cultural/Religious/Residential; Domestic/ Fagade Intertextuality Proportions Utility Gladding reference Rhythms: contrasting shapes, Colour mimicry angles Orientation to light Modernity contrast Textures: rough/smooth Orientation to wind Exoticism Roof/ wall relation Orientation to earth Reflectivity Orientation to service (water/sewage/ Opacity power) Floor Sub-functions: Access: Height Sites of power Relation to other floors Working Spaciousness Separation of groups Relation to outer world Selling Accessibility Relation to connectors; stairs/lift Administration Openness of vista escalator (external cohesion) Storing View Relation of landing/corridor/ Waking Hard/ soft texture foyer/room (internal cohesion) Sleeping Colour Degree of partition Parking Permanence of partition
  • 21. Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Texture Functions Room Specific functions: Comfort Lighting Scale Access Study Foyer Modernity Sound Lighting Entry Toilet Restaurant Opulence Welcome Sound Living room Laundry Kitchen Style: rustic, pioneer, colonial, suburban Relation to outside Family room Gamesroom Bar 'Dallas', working class, tenement, Relation to other rooms Kitchen Retreat Bedroom slum Connectors: doors/windows/ Bathroom Ensuite Foregrounding of function hatches/intercom Bedroom Servery Focus (e.g. hearth, dais, altar, desk) Element Light: window, lamp, curtains, blinds Relevance Texture Air: window, fan, conditioner Functionality: convention/surprise Positioning: to light/heat/other Heating: central, fire, stove "dining Texture: rough/smooth elements Sound: carpet, rugs, coffee Newness Finish partitions acoustic, occasional Decorativeness treatment 'Stance' function desk Stylistic coherence Seating <{ table ' computer Projection (e.g. TV) I comfort drawing
  • 22. Plate 1.1 The Sydney Opera House as procession
  • 23. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 15 It's a curious fact that in all the drama of constructing the building, not much detailed thought had gone into its specific uses. The competition entrants had been asked to provide large and small halls, the larger to accommodate orchestral concerts and opera as its chief forms of entertainment. At this point, seven years after construction began, the Australian Broadcasting Commission decided that a multi-purpose venue wouldn't be good enough as the permanent home of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It was a difficult situation. To argue stubbornly in favour of the original multi- purpose concept for the major auditorium would mean accepting compromises on both sides in terms of stage requirements and acoustics: orchestral music versus opera. There were also practical considerations involved, such as a reduc- tion in the seating capacity for concerts, and the logistics of sharing the hall. Should it be devoted to performances of opera and ballet alone? (Sykes, 1993: 45) A great deal of the political controversy surrounding the design and con- struction of the Opera House focused on the 'Experiential' use-functions of the building and the competing claims of its corporate users. The brief for any commissioned architect or entrant to an architectural competition necessarily starts from the uses proposed for the building. Like a clause in language, a building incorporates Types of Process and their Participants; its specific functions are Modified in terms of material, size, colour and texture; and its component elements are organized taxo- nomically like lexical items in the vocabulary of our language. We clearly need to take account of the Experiential function of archi- tecture. Otherwise, our roof will leak, our rooms will be full of draughts, our cupboards and desk will face the wall, and we will find ourselves cooking or worshipping or taking baths in the bedroom. But the obsession with Tunc- tionalism' in architecture by both its modernist proponents and its Post- modernist critics has taken it for granted either that the Experiential function is the only function and that the design and evaluation of a building stands or falls by this criterion alone, or that the form of the building primarily expresses its practical use, which confuses functions, or modes of meaning, which should be kept distinct. A systemic-functional approach corrects such blinkered approaches by proposing that there are three functions creating meaning in all buildings: an Experiential, an Interpersonal and a Textual function, and that these are all equally valid and equally necessary for a building to be meaningful and socially usable. J0rn Utzon was probably naive in the early phase of designing and con- structing the Opera House in that his revolutionary designs foregrounded the public image (Interpersonal) and sculptural coherence (Textual function) of the building, leaving many features of its use (Experiential) insufficiently resolved. Given the political partisanship, the conflicting client requirements and the media hype surrounding his design from the outset, this bias is understandable, but it meant that his successors had to focus in the first instance on the Experiential function:
  • 24. 16 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS When Utzon resigned in 1966, the construction of the roof and its tile cladding was well under way. But plans for Stage III were scarcely defined, and they involved the elements which would turn the building from a magnificent sculp- ture to a working centre for the performing arts: the walls that would enclose the roof area, the performing venues within it, the stage equipment and the furnish- ing of foyer, backstage and administrative areas throughout. The newly appointed triumvirate of architects (Peter Hall, Lionel Todd and David Littlemore) declared their intention to complete the building as closely as possible to Utzon's intentions. But in the drawings that Utzon left behind, there were no precise dimensions worked out for what would be more than a thousand rooms within the structure. [. . .] The key to finalising the internal designs was to establish what their users wanted. Incredibly, in the Alice in Wonderland development of the construction, there had been no formal compilation of user organisations' expectations in terms of performance characteristics and capacities, dressing room and rehearsal area backup, box office, administration, air conditioning and catering requirements. (Sykes, 1993: 61-62) As our chart of functions and systems in architecture (Table 1.1) shows, a large number of Experiential functions are involved in a building complex like the Sydney Opera House. Practical orientations to light (the sun, reflec- tions off the harbour), to wind (prevailing winds, strength of the highest possible wind gusts), to the earth (the building up of Bennelong Point to form the massive podium, its projection out into the harbour), and the provision of services such as water, sewage, power, scenery and food deliv- ery, car-parking, waste disposal, etc. had already been accounted for either by Utzon and his team of architects or by the consultant engineers, Ove Arup and Partners. But each functioning part requires separate specifica- tions: the concert hall with its open plan and relatively fixed fittings as opposed to the opera theatre with its proscenium arch and constantly chan- ging scenery, its stage tower, backstage, stage and auditorium; the drama theatre (originally designed as a smaller experimental theatre) as opposed to the playhouse (originally designed as a 'music room' for solo recitals and chamber music) or the Broadwalk Studio (originally conceived purely as a recording hall); the Bennelong Restaurant, serving high-quality inter- national cuisine for leisurely eating under its own miniature shell roof, as opposed to the more informal forecourt restaurant, the Cafe Mozart, the performers' cafeteria, or the ad hoc catering arrangements in the foyers. As I discovered in analyzing a church and even a suburban display home in The Language of Displayed Art (O'Toole, 1994), the rank of Floor on the chart may not always be valid as such. And yet even in the complex struc- tures of the Opera House, particular spaces below the rank of Building but above the rank of Room, as likely to be separated horizontally as vertically, still need to be accounted for experientially. To the list of sub-functions listed at floor rank on the chart we could add Rehearsing, Recording, Cooking,
  • 25. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 17 Eating, Scenery Construction, Maintenance, Security, and so on. And even the multifunctional (in the old sense) outdoor areas of the forecourt, broad- walk, arcade and steps involve specific but varying activities (Process- Participant relations). The point is that a systemic-functional semiotics takes a rank-scale as one of its starting-points, differentiating the options available at lower ranks in relation to those available at higher ranks. In the Experiential function this is partly a matter of common sense (i.e. the shape of a drinks bar or a box office at Room rank requires different decisions from either the types of Element (desk, chairs, equipment) with which they will be furnished or the shape, illumination, ventilation and accessibility or enclosability of the larger foyer (Floor) spaces in which they are to be found). It is also a matter of different design specialists, with whole firms and even industries being responsible for particular Experiential sub-functions (cooking, drinks- serving, ticketing, public relations, etc.). The heuristic value of the rank-scale becomes more obvious when we relate these Experiential distinctions to Interpersonal and Textual distinc- tions at the same ranks. To illustrate how architectural meanings are made through all three functions I want to start with one of the smallest, most numerous and most visible elements of the whole structure, the 1,056,000 roof tiles. Experientially, the roof covering had to be weatherproof to all climatic conditions and had to be self-cleaning, but curved roofs can be sprayed or sheeted in copper or bronze. As the architect, Harry Seidler relates: I asked him in his office, 'Why do you want to cover a building like that with tiles? A curved surface, it could be sprayed.' And he looked surprised and said, 'But tiles are the best.' And he'd looked all over the world at them, and he'd seen them in the Middle East and elsewhere, mosques covered in gleaming tiles. And he'd been to Japan and China, and he was very concerned with the quality that made them up: what material they used, where they got the clay from and what mixes they used in the clay, till it eventually satisfied him that it gave a slightly rough surface. And this was the natural colour, the white, and over that surface was a very clear glaze, a very shiny glaze.5 The material quality and the rough surface, the texture of the built surface are primarily Interpersonal considerations. Like the shine and the gleam they are part of the impact the Opera House shells have on spectators. And the intertextual references to mosques and Oriental architecture, visual simi- larities which may jog our cultural memory, are Interpersonal issues. The impact on the spectator is crucial to Utzon. For him his Opera House is almost more than a sculpture; it has a human personality: It tells a story, it's not a calm building, it's awake all the time. You cannot make a sculpture better than something that's white or off-white. If you look at bronze sculptures in nature, they're difficult to read. If you had put a copper roof on this house, you wouldn't have benefitted from the light. You would have seen a green
  • 26. 18 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS marvellous colour. So this was my first and only idea for the roof. And Saarinen said to me, 'Keep it white. Sydney harbour is dark.' And at that time the buildings were dark. So it's the right answer.6 The older Finnish architect is as alert as his Danish colleague to the effect on the spectator of the chiaroscuro of a white building against a dark ground and the quality of light in a city on the water like Sydney, Helsinki or Copenhagen. Of course, the Interpersonal function at the rank of Element is not con- fined to the roof tiles. The concrete ribs of the shells have a primary Experiential function of binding and supporting the roof, but as soon as one steps inside, one becomes aware of the contrast between the raw, matt and unpatterned grey concrete of the ribs and the warm brown satin grain of internal balustrades and doors. In terms of its textures, the building (apart from the tiled surfaces) seems to start as rough, raw, grey and abrasive in its outer layers and become progressively more smooth, polished, colourful and comforting as we move to the core of the personal artistic experience in our seat in any of the auditorial it speaks to us Interpersonally through its shine, colours, textures, the very warmth or coldness of the materials used. This play of material qualities has even more impact on the spectator at those points outside the building where the shells meet the metal struts and sheets of glass of the windows in an exciting geometry of tiles, raw concrete, metal and glass (Plate 1.2). As we shall see, this involves an important interplay of the Interpersonal and Textual functions. Interpersonal relevance is obviously a key criterion inside a theatrical building. Audience seats and lighting and sound booths face performers' spaces; conductor's rostra face orchestras; prompt boxes face actors; bar- tenders face customers across bars, counters and tables (as Ervin Goflftnan showed in the 1950s7 - and Fawlty Towers hyperbolized in the 1960s - res- taurants and hotels are highly dramatistic spaces). The public relations mechanisms of display boards, information desks, ticket offices, media interview spaces and Opera House guide routes all have their structure as mini-theatres. And where 'projection' in the home may be confined to one or two TV sets, in theatres it covers the gamut of possibilities from staging, rostra, lighting, sound projection, security video and telephones (fixed and mobile) and even the projection of performances to overflow audiences on closed-circuit television. In all these aspects of a theatre or concert hall you might say that the Interpersonal is Experiential - but we will argue that there is still real heuristic value in keeping them separate. Less obviously 'theatrical' choices at Room rank are involved in the Inter- personal systems of Comfort, Modernity, Opulence and Style. Patrons of concerts and operas are enveloped in a cocoon of almost perfect acoustics and seated on luxuriously upholstered seats (Plate 1.3). These seats in moulded birch ply and contrasting scarlet upholstery carry a message of Scandinavian 'functionalism' of the 1960s and 1970s: like so much of the architecture here, they put their working functions on display. The steel
  • 27. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 19 Plate 1.2 Texture and geometry cable tensioning of the concrete columns, the moulded curves of internal beams and columns, the glass curtain walls, even the acoustic baffles and plexiglass 'doughnuts' which hang in a ring from the roof of the Concert Hall 'show the works' - though less stridently than Richard Rogers's Pompi- dou Centre in Paris and its imitators. The stress here comes from a humanist 'craft' tradition of high-quality but 'natural' materials (wool, varnished ply, grained parquet, shuttered concrete) with a modest unassertive finish. The Interpersonal meaning of many types of building is carried by the placing and styling of 'sites of power', that is, a building expresses the political relations between its various users. A building primarily dedicated to classical musical performance incorporates the power of the conductor's rostrum over the orchestra and the power of both over the audience. Hid- den control booths and 'Private' administration rooms mystify this power further. The stage and orchestra in the Opera House and other theatrical spaces carry the same power relations. We have pinpointed many of the systems realizing the Interpersonal func- tion at the ranks of Floor, Room and Element, but with the Sydney Opera House this function begins and ends at the rank of the whole building complex. Our very opening quotation of Utzon's own words shows the architect's concern with imposing Size and Verticality and Orientation to the
  • 28. Plate 1.3 The Concert Hall
  • 29. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 21 entrant (systems in the top central box of the Chart): the viewer is induced to look up, beyond the steps, beyond the shells to the sky and to imagine themselves into another world of the imagination, even before the official performance starts. Chthonicity is a particularly interesting system in this case, because the Opera House deliberately plays with conflicting options: on the one hand, there seem to be no solid walls embedded in the base. The shells rear up skywards (anti-chthonically, away from the earth), to such a degree that their corners hardly seem to touch their footings, seeming to balance on pinpoints. The smooth spherical curves induce a touch of ver- tigo and it is no wonder that so many of the photographs of the Opera House, whether by official agencies or casual tourists, accentuate the upward thrust of the shells. On the other hand, the podium is highly chthonic: it has turned Bennelong Point into a rock-like headland and, as we know, incorporates many of the key functions of the working building. The light, dynamic, mobile and poetic structures above are embedded in the solid and prosaic podium. A building's orientation to its neighbours and the road by which it is approached are important aspects of its Interpersonal function. Utzon and Saarinen were keen for the white curves of the sails to stand out against the predominantly dark water of the harbour and the high-rise buildings of Sydney's rigidly rectangular central business district at that time. (Since 1973 more of the neighbouring buildings have been constructed in lighter concrete, marble or glass - perhaps in deference to Utzon's building as well as in harmony with changing architectural fashions.) The multiple curves, however, offer visual echoes of Sydney Harbour Bridge (Plate 1.4), Circular Quay and the bays and headlands of the harbour. Of course, good archi- tectural as well as human relations can be spoiled when bad neighbours move in. The Opera House's visual relationship with Circular Quay has been obstructed and, more importantly, the easy natural pedestrian route from the ferry terminals to the entrance steps has been interrupted by the rectangular complex of shops and apartments erected in 1997-8, unpopularly known as 'the East Circular Quay toaster'. The final heading in the Interpersonal box at the rank of Building on the chart is 'Intertextuality'. This was a term coined by Mikhail Bakhtin, the Russian literary theorist and philosopher, to account for the deliberate refer- ences, allusions or echoes that a writer makes to other widely known texts. As with language texts, this would seem to carry primarily an Interpersonal function in architecture: the writer/architect is saying to the viewer 'Nudge- nudge . . . look at my clever reference here to Stonehenge, or Palladian villas, or St Peter's in Rome, or the Pompidou Centre in Paris . . . It is up to you to enrich the meaning further here by your knowledge of that building, its uses, its tradition, its local cultural significance, etc'. And to some extent we as viewers interpret the allusion according to our range of references and our cultural preoccupations at the time. Virtually everyone seeing the Opera House sees the visual metaphor of sails; many see sharks' jaws or clam shells; Barry Humphries saw a drowning nun. Utzon claims that the curves
  • 30. Plate 1.4 Visual echoes
  • 31. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 23 of the sails were inspired by the segments of an orange; the relation between the outer shell and the inner roof of the auditoria - by the snug fit between shell and kernel in a walnut; the structural relations between the construc- tion units and the whole building — variously by the leaves on a palm tree or by Meccano toy construction sets. But in terms of other built texts, we have Utzon's word for it that he had in mind a relationship between water and built forms at Kronborg Castle, Helsingor; the soaring vaults of Gothic cathedrals; and the shining segmentation of tiles on a mosque. The tiles bring us at last to the Textual function (which does not have to be the last function examined: the three functions are all equally meaningful and may be considered in any order). At the lowest rank of Element the finish of the tiles and the chevron patterning create the surface texture of the Opera House shells. This is texture as such - Textual meaning - as opposed to their practical (Experiential) function of keeping out the rain and their decorative or dramatic (Interpersonal) functions. At the rank of Room, each auditorium, or foyer, or office, or restaurant has its own scale and proportions, it is lit or in shadow, and has its own acoustic properties in contrast to other spaces around it. Its relation to outside carries Textual meaning, so that our response to the isolated and insulated worlds of the concert hall, opera theatre, drama theatre or cinema is quite different from how we feel in the foyers, where our gaze is delib- erately projected out to the harbour and city views - where we are no longer fully enclosed in the built text. At this rank we experience a Textual focus as well as the power relation (Interpersonal) between the rostrum and the orchestra and the audience. This is facilitated by aisles and stairways within the auditoria, and all such 'connectors' as corridors, stairs, lifts, escalators, hatches and interconnecting windows throughout the building are primarily Textual in function: they work like the cohesive devices of conjunction in language. Like cohesive devices in language, these connectors work across several ranks, since they also work to relate floors and the various auditoria and other internal spaces to each other. Doors and windows, of course, relate the internal spaces to exterior parts of the built text: walkways, entrance steps and terraces, and thence to the Broadwalk and approach road. The most striking Textual systems of the Opera House at the rank of Building are listed in the top right-hand box of the Chart. We will consider them from the bottom up - as if we were moving from near the building to vantage points further away. Opacity/Reflectivity/Transparency is a system of options that tends to have meaning when we are near a building. The shells of the Opera House are opaque, but, being shiny and white or off- white, reflect the light, whereas the podium is opaque and comparatively matt, giving a denser, less light-responsive texture. The windows, of demi- topaz coloured laminated glass, are highly transparent for the viewer from inside and for those outside when the interior is lit - after dark, when most of the building's theatrical functions are at play. Unlike most glass facing water and sky, they do not reflect much of their environment, except from
  • 32. 24 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS an aerial vantage-point; the three distinct surface planes of the northern foyer windows draw our gaze in rather than reflecting us and the world we stand in. These windows also make a major contribution to other kinds of Textual meaning such as the Roof-Wall relation, Rhythms and Proportions. As Jill Sykes explains, after Utzon's resignation it took his replacement architects nearly four years: to solve the design problems, at first working through trial proposals and then tackling tricky situations as they arose under construction [. . .] Linking the curves of the sails to the rectangular lines of the podium required a concept that combined the aesthetic with the pragmatic. Without a mathematical relationship between the shape of the shell and that of the podium to use as a starting point for a geometrical solution to devising the structure of the two largest glass walls overlooking the Harbour, a new design element had to be introduced. The result was a combination of three surface planes: vertical at the top, coming down to a half-circle leaning outwards from the vertical, then pulling back in a cone shape [Plate 1.5]. This verandah-style approach provided the practical advantage of extending the area within the building well beyond the feet of the shells, as well as offering non- reflective views over the Harbour through the inward-slanting glass that ended at floor level. (Sykes, 1993: 62-63) Sykes is here describing the resolution of Experiential ('pragmatic') and Interpersonal ('aesthetic') problems through the Textual functions ('geom- etry') of shell-glass wall-podium relations and the contrasting shapes, angles and proportions created by the windows. Even she has difficulty in articulat- ing the sheer visual excitement of this brilliant and unique interplay of the parallel lines of the vertical mullions, gradually diverging in the other two planes, with the stepped window spacers and the curve of the intersections of the planes and the curve of the front of the canopy creating an intricate harmony with the curve of the shells above: only a musical metaphor can do justice to the Textual meaning of these mathematical relationships. We have discussed the Opera House's relation to adjacent buildings and to the road already in terms of their Interpersonal tensions and mimicry, but a full account must also recognize the Textual relations created by their shared geometry (partly discernible in Plate 1.5). The strong vertical fluting of some of the tower blocks, the proportions of the relations between glass curtain and solid plane walls and the curves of some towers or roof features all give the Opera House a distinctive role in the urban texture of Sydney. Its relation to the city as a whole is highly dynamic. Because of its prom- inent and open, uncluttered site, it is visible from many vantage points, both near and distant, low and high. From the foot of the podium steps or a passing ferry it rears up colossally, as Utzon intended, but from the ferry
  • 33. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 25 Plate 1.5 Intersecting geometries
  • 34. 26 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS terminals or the far side of Circular Quay it has diminished to an imposing sculpture against the skyline, or another sailboat cutting through the waves, while from the Harbour Bridge or the roads descending to the Harbour through North Sydney it has become a tantalizing jewel on a dark velvet cloth. We have allowed ourselves a lyrical passage here out of deference to the many encomiums that have been written and spoken and filmed for this 'Eighth Wonder of the Modern World'. So much has been written, indeed, that we must ask whether anything remains to be said about the Sydney Opera House. Can a systemic-functional analysis (with or without the lyri- cism) add anything to the mass of books, magazine, journal and newspaper articles, architectural, historical or political speeches, interviews or discus- sions devoted to it? Apart from attempting to extend the limits of systemic-functional semi- otic theory by applying it to a complex three-dimensional work of art (which is one of the aims of this book), I believe that a functional approach allows one to see certain features in a new light. In the first place, it counters the simplistic tendency to interpret 'functionalism' as concerned only or primar- ily with the utilitarian, Experiential, functions of a building. While recogniz- ing that the practical functions may have a priority in all kinds of text about buildings, from architects' briefs to security manuals or tourist brochures, it asserts - and tries to prove - that the Interpersonal and Textual functions are just as important in the elucidation of what a building 'means', whether to the individual viewer, the citizens of Sydney, contemporary society or pos- terity. It does this not by generalizing, but in detail, teasing out the systems of choice which are available to the architects, engineers and builders at different ranks of unit - Building Complex - Building - Floor - Room - Element in each of the three functions. This then enables us to pinpoint those features of the building where the meaning is 'hottest', where specific functional meanings overlap, interplay or conflict to produce more complex, sometimes contradictory interpretations. The process may well generate new insights we can share with others in an agreed common language. The chart of systems and functions becomes a kind of hypertext - a non- sequential tool for exploring the hypertext of the building itself: the user can start with any system in any box of the chart, analyse that part of the building and interpret it in terms either of higher or lower ranks in the same function or in terms of related systems in other functions. Like any good map, it will still help us know where we are - theoretically as well as practic- ally - at any stage of our exploration. Similarly, as I have tried to show, we may stand on the Opera House podium looking at the tiles on the shells rearing above and around us. An appreciation of their colour and shine may lead us to the imposing grandeur of each shell or the whole building com- plex against the harbour and sky (higher ranks in the Interpersonal func- tion), or the geometrical textures of the tiles and chevrons may draw our attention to the complex interplay of materials and geometry in the win- dows which I discussed under the Textual function.
  • 35. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 27 A further theoretically principled step may then be possible if the func- tional meanings in the 'text' of the building itself are projected onto the manifestations of the 'social semiotic', that aggregation of opinions, assumptions and prejudices about what should be built and how it should look that prevails in a given culture (which might be the political right or the artistic avant-garde of Sydney in the 1960s, or world architectural opinion in the 1990s, or mass tourist culture in 2000, Sydney's Olympic Year). On a more prosaic and technical level, the specification of distinct ranks of unit in the systemic-functional model allows one to discriminate the kinds of choices the architect has made and the kinds of construal we ourselves make as viewers, visitors and users of the building. And the specifi- cation of the systems which make up the 'grammar of architecture' helps us to understand the nature of the choices the architect has made in relation to the practical, aesthetic, social, political and financial constraints which are laid on him — and his justification in calling it quits when those constraints become unmanageable. Notes 1 J0rn Utzon in an interview for the film The Edge of the Possible: J0rn Utzpn and the Sydney Opera House, director: Daniel Dellora, ABC Television, 20.10.98. 2 Michael O'Toole, The Language of Displayed Art (1994), Chap. 3 'A Semiotics of Architecture', pp. 85-144. 3 J0rn Utzon in an interview for the film The Edge of the Possible. 4 My versions of Halliday's model for the systemic-functional analysis of painting and sculpture (O'Toole, 1994) use the term 'Compositional function' for this kind of meaning in those arts which are primarily for display. In the case of archi- tecture, which, like language, is of practical use as well as display, it seems appropriate to retain Halliday's notion of the 'Textual function'. 5 Harry Seidler in an interview for the film The Edge of the Possible. 6 J0rn Utzon in an interview for the film The Edge of the Possible. 1 Ervin Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1965). References Dellora, D. (1998) The Edge of the Possible: J0rn Utzon and the Sydney Opera House. ABC Television, 20.10.98. GofTman, E. (1965) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Penguin Books. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. Sykes, J. (1993) Sydney Opera House from the Outside In. Sydney: Playbill Proprietary Ltd/Sydney Opera House Trust.
  • 36. 2 Making history in From Colony to Nation: a multimodal analysis of a museum exhibition in Singapore Alfred Pang Kah Meng National University of Singapore Introduction This paper explores how systemic-functional (SF) theory may be extended to a social semiotic analysis of the museum exhibition as a multimodal site. The museum exhibition is obviously multimodal in that different semiotic resources, such as photographs, three-dimensional physical objects, space and language, are co-deployed in complex ways to construct meaning. I sketch here a preliminary SF framework for the multimodal analysis of a museum exhibition and exemplify its usefulness in articulating the critical construction of historical meaning by particular displays in From Colony to Nation, an exhibition at the Singapore History Museum (SHM) that repre- sents the national history of Singapore. By critical, I mean understanding how the communicative complexity of the exhibition connects with the discursive institution of the museum as 'a dynamic power-play of compet- ing knowledges, intentions and interests' (Macdonald, 1998: 3). In particu- lar, I reflect on how the making of Singapore's national history in From Colony to Nation serves to (re)produce particular dominant imaginings of Singapore as a 'nation'. The general point here is that making history is never value-free; it is, rather, imbued with power-knowledge relations1 invested in the site of historical production. From systemic-functional linguistics (SFL) to systemic-functional semiotics The project to extend SF theory into the analysis of multimodal terrains such as the museum exhibition entails, in the first place, an understanding of the theory. SF theory, as Halliday (1970, 1973, 1978, 1994) originally formulates it, has principally centred on language as the object of analysis. Hence, the emergence of SFL as a method of linguistic analysis informed by the theoretical conception of language as a social semiotic; that is, language as meaning potential that evolves with the functions it has to serve in social living (HaUiday, 1973; HaUiday and Martin, 1993). As HaUiday (1973: 34) asserts, 'Language is as it is because of what it has to do'. From the
  • 37. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 29 standpoint of SFL, then, language constitutes the social practice of meaning-making. Recently, there has been much interest among some practitioners of SF theory in the analysis of specific non-linguistic semiotic modes of meaning (e.g. visual images in Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; displayed art in O'Toole, 1994; movement in Martinec, 1998), as well as in the co- articulation of meaning between them and language (e.g. Lemke, 1998; O'Halloran, 1999; RaveUi, 2000; Thibault, 2000). Such an interest makes explicit the fact that conceiving language as meaning potential necessarily entails a broadening of perspective that recognizes its co-deployment (and hence co-evolution) with other non-linguistic semiotic resources in meaning- making. As Thibault (1997: 342, emphasis original) argues, '[t]he linguistic semiotic is strongly coupled with the various other semiotic modalities in social semiosis'. It follows, then, that language is as it is not only because of what it has to do, but also what it does with and to other semiotic resources. Implicit in the choice of SF theory to facilitate an understanding of what multimodal texts mean is the assumption that the theory has reached a point of development where the descriptive tools elaborated for analyzing lan- guage can be useful in articulating the dynamic processes of meaning- making within and across various semiotic resources (Baldry, 2000). How valid is this assumption? That is, what are the spaces within SF theory that render viable (or not) its extrapolation from linguistic to general semiotic theory able to cope with the analysis of multimodal texts? Unfortunately, there is no space here to explore in-depth these questions.2 For the purpose of this paper, however, it suffices to recognize that the viability of extrapo- lating SF theory into the field of multimodal analysis may be claimed on the grounds that the principles that underpin its description of language are conceptualized at a level of abstraction relevant to social meaning-making in general (Kress et al., 1997) These principles are: 1. The generality of Halliday's three metafunctions of language (Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual) as abstract semiotic functions (see Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; Lemke, 1998; O'Toole, 1994). 2. The exotropic lens of SF theory, which conceives of the non-accidental relation between language and social context, potentially affords the foundation for modelling contextual semiotics. The crucial implication here is that 'there are no contextless signs' (Harris, 2000: 81). That is, the language system which powers various instances of text comes into mean- ingful existence only in their situation within social context. More than just the socio-cultural environment, the exotropic lens of SF theory, in the light of multimodality, entails a refining focus on co-contextualizing rela- tions between language and other semiotic modalities. Notwithstanding the two principles above, it is crucial to recognize what Lemke (1998: 110) has termed as the principle of incommensurability between sign systems. That is, every semiotic system embodies its own unique complexity
  • 38. 30 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS and the co-articulation between two or more semiotic systems in multimodal texts is multiplicative of the relative specificity of each semiotic (Lemke, 1998). Hence, the descriptive tools elaborated for language in SFL cannot be directly imported and applied to the analysis of other non-linguistic modalities. It may be necessary to formulate SF descriptions of specific non-linguistic semiotic resources (e.g. O'Toole, 1994). However, this defines only partially the prob- lematic of multimodality. The development of such specific descriptive tools should hopefully culminate in some means of (un)packing the processes of intersemiosis, which Ravelli (2000: 508) defines as 'a co-ordination of semiosis across different sign systems'. In sum, we need to cultivate an integrational semiolog/1 to better understand how multimodal texts work. Towards the analysis of From Colony to Nation In this section, I sketch a preliminary SF framework for the interpretative analysis of the museum exhibition as a multimodal text. It is important to recognize that the conceptualization of any framework to understand any social phenomenon is inherently a reductive abstraction from the dynamic worlds that we inhabit. As such, it is not my intention here to insist on a strict conformal fit between the proposed framework and the myriad exhibition styles that one encounters in social living. Rather, I aim to explore those dimensions that can be useful in articulating and negotiating one's (dis)- agreement with others about how an exhibition means. I also develop the framework as far as it allows me to adequately unpack the ideological nature of particular displays in the exhibition, From Colony to Nation. A semiological approach towards museum communication is not new. Delibasic (cited in Maroevic, 1997: 29), for example, has conceived of the museum as 'filled with signs or systems of signs, which are at the disposal of those who know how to interpret them'. It is important to recognize, though, that museum communication is more than the exhibition. As Hooper-Greenhill (1999) observes, catalogues, books and souvenirs in museum shops, for example, also form a strategy through which museums communicate with the public. Nonetheless, the exhibition warrants primary attention in museum communication as it is still 'a typical museum medium for expressing the museum message' (Maroevic 1997: 30). Broadly speaking, at least two perspectives may be discerned from the development of various semiological approaches undertaken in museum studies. The first tends to centre narrowly on the collection of material objects as the means par excellence of communication in a museum (e.g. Pearce, 1991, 1994). Noteworthy in such analyses is the conclusion that the artefactual significance of objects lies in the socio-cultural relations of their production, circulation and use. However, it is crucial to recognize that the values of artefactual objects are as much mediated by the institutional environment of their display in a museum. This leads us to the second perspective, which emphasizes the (re)appropriation and (re)interpretation of artefactual objects in relation to the composite design of an exhibition as a
  • 39. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 31 whole (e.g. Hooper-Greenhill, 1999; Kavanagh, 2000; Vergo, 1989). As Smith (1989: 19) puts it: artifacts do not exist in a space of their own, transmitting meaning to the specta- tor, but on the contrary, are susceptible to a multiform construction of meaning which is dependent on the design, the context of other objects, the visual and historical representation, the whole environment. Such a perspective may be increasingly relevant now, given the prevailing trend to democratize museums through the creation of audience-oriented exhibitions, where 'a shift in focus from individual objects to a "whole gal- lery experience"' (Martin, 1997: 36) is encouraged. Herein lies the pressing motivation to conceive of the exhibition as a multimodal social semiotic, where objects are rarely left to 'speak for themselves' (Vergo, 1989: 49), but mean in collaboration with other semiotic modalities such as space, visual images and language. Multimodality in an exhibition implies the multi-tiered complexity of museum messages. While this has been generally acknowledged in various studies on the museum exhibition (e.g. Belcher, 1991; Hall, 1987; Hooper- Greenhill, 1999), what remains insufficiently elucidated is the 'what' of these tiers that underlie the exhibitionary construction of meaning. In this regard, Halliday's (1994) three metafunctions for language - Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual - provide a useful dimension to organize this multi-tiered meaning potential of exhibitions '[as] pieces of functional design with the purpose of doing a specific task' (Belcher, 1991: 41). Indeed, this tripartite organization of meaning seems latent in Bennett's (1995: 67, emphasis mine) conception of the exhibitionary complex., which is an 'ability to organize and coordinate an order of things and to produce a. place for the people in relation to that order1. The museum exhibition performs an Ideational function in representing a cultural practice that construes social 'realities'. It realizes an Interpersonal function by powerfully addressing and shaping the inter- ests of visitors in particular ways. The Textual function orders the intercon- nected flow of both ideational and Interpersonal meanings to compose an exhibition as a coherent and cohesive whole. The metafunctional organization of the meaning potential of a museum exhibition has been broadly conceived in Ravelli (1997, 2000). According to her, the exhibition is a site for intersemiosis, which is 'a co-ordination of semiosis across different sign systems' (Ravelli, 2000: 508). Rather than the specific analyses of individual semiotic codes per se, Ravelli (2000) emphasizes the productivity of a macro-level analysis in unpacking the interaction between them in an integrated way. The framework formulated here aims to abstract such macro features of meaning that emerge from the dynamic interplay of various semiotic modalities deployed in an exhibition. However, it does not (and perhaps should not) preclude the relevance of micro-level analyses of individual semiotic systems whenever possible. To recall an earlier discussion, the nature and extent of their interaction
  • 40. 32 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS depends on the relative specificities of each semiotic resource co-deployed. As such, the interpretative framework I suggest is open to apply eclectically particular SF descriptions conceptualized for specific semiotic codes (for example, language in Halliday, 1994; visual images in Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; displayed art - including sculptural and architectural texts - in O'Toole, 1994). The point of integrating such descriptions is directed to discern that level of deep detailed analyses required for each sign system so as to explicate its interconnection with other semiotic modalities. It is thus my view that analytical approaches to unpacking multimodal texts in gen- eral need to maintain a balance between micro- and macro-level perspec- tives of the range of semiotic resources coordinated. In practice, of course, this balance is also subject to the purposes of the research analyst. Apart from the metafunctions, the logic of a rank-scale in SFL also provides another dimension to conceptualize the multi-tiered complexity in an exhibition. In the case of a museum exhibition, it is possible, by analogy, to postulate a rank scale based on a hierarchical layering of spatial constitu- ents: Museum, Gallery, Area and Surface/Item. These rank units, which I term as Sites, are conceived as different environments wherein an exhibition can be viewed. Each environment presents a set of dimensions that orients the analytical 'eye' to interpret the (multi)semiotic space of an exhibition from a particular angle. Thus, as conceived in Table 2.1, the three metafunctions and the order of sites may serve as two axes of a matrix of systemic components that charac- terize the meaning potential of a museum exhibition. There is, however, no space here to explain in detail each systemic component in the matrix. It is hoped that the analysis in the section which follows will sufficiently illumin- ate some of the components in the matrix. At this juncture, it is worth stressing that the various components in the proposed functional semiotic model are, in reality, more fluid than their discrete placing in the matrix suggests; that is, 'certain features [can] either operate in more than one function or have consequences for other features from other systems, func- tions or ranks of unit' (O'Toole, 1999: 6). I also explore how the co-patterning of these options from various semi- otic modalities may be organized by the co-evaluation of some phenomena along some foregrounded parameter. In this respect, I consider the possibil- ity of extending Appraisal Theory (Martin, 2000a) into the domain of multi- modal discourse analysis. The point here is that evaluation can serve as an integrative principle organizing intersemiosis. The basis for this may be located deeply in the question whether one can mean anything outside evaluation. That is, when are humans not evaluating if the view is that the 'worlds' which selves inhabit are always created in dynamic relation with., for and to others? According to Hernadi (1995: 116): emotive awareness initiates the dialectical process through which the self and its world 'make' each other so that the former may begin to 'mean' and 'do' — both cognize and act upon the latter.
  • 41. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 33 He further suggests that 'if our evolution has enabled us to evaluate in greater depth, our evaluations enable us to evolve at a far more unsettling speed than members of other species' (Hernadi, 1995: 135). That the act of evaluating is behaviour potential (Ravelli, 2000) that possibly co-extends with making-meaning through some material-semiotic technology in the exosomatic evolution of the human species lends natural credence to evaluation as an integrative principle of intersemiosis. To put it another way, it is difficult, if not impossible, to mean something without also evalu- ating it. The co-evolution of language with other semiotic modalities is probably marked with co-evaluation between them, which in turn inter- twines with the larger co-evolution of nature and cultures in the ecology of being human. From this perspective, evaluation is multi-layered and takes place at many levels in making-meaning. These various levels could well afford different scales by which multiple semiotic modes are combined. It is critical to recognize that access to and selection of possible configur- ations of these components towards evaluation in an exhibition are as much regulated by the communities of values and beliefs invested in the ideological space of the museum (Hodge and D'Souza, 1999; Karp, 1992). As Hooper- Greenhill (1992: 214) cautions: The total experience (in living history or interactive exhibits), the total immersion (in gallery workshops and events), can have the function, in the apparently dem- ocratized environment of the museum marketplace, of soothing, of silencing, of quieting questions, of closing minds. In other words, the current popular paradigm that pushes for the democra- tization of the museum does not equal the dissolution of power. Instead, it indexes the powerful capacity of the museum in strategically negotiating its institutional authority to position the subjectivities of its audience in particu- lar ways. This ideological motivation of meanings construed and constru- able in an exhibition is taken seriously in an SF framework that emphasizes a dialectical relationship between social context and semiotic system(s). Touring From Colony to Nation — 'Communist United Front' From Colony to Nation is a permanent exhibition at the Singapore History Museum (SHM) and displays the national political history of Singapore. This exhibition, which opened on 19 July 1997, was motivated by the formu- lation of National Education (NE) by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). The idea of NE was initiated by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at the Teachers' Day Rally on 8 September 1996 in response to a survey, which found students ignorant of Singapore's past, particularly '[t]he country's struggle against communism, and how it went about getting self-rule and independence' (The Straits Times., 16 September 1996).4 According to Goh (cited in Wee, Business Times, 31 May 1998):
  • 42. Table 2.1 Systemic functional framework for a museum exhibition Site/ Ideational Interpersonal Textual Function Museum Museum type Disciplinary Field Target Audience Public/Private Architectural Appeal External environment Relation to city/Relation to Internal environment adjacent buildings Relation to Practical Facilities Gallery Narrative Design Interplay of Genres Ideal Visitor Internal Cohesion Interplay of Areas Circulation Path Traffic Flow/Flow Sequence of Areas Focal points Rate Setting (Mood) Lighting, Colour, Rhythm Lighting, Colour, Scale Size, Volume, Kinds of Exhibits, Display of Object Props Density, Degree of Partition Information Composition External Cohesion (e.g. relative prominence in museum, relation to connectors — corridors, stairways) Area Sub-narrative Theme Circulation Path Traffic Flow/ Rhythm Sequence of Surfaces Interplay of Surfaces (i.e. displays on Setting Flow Rate Relative Prominence of Area walls, floors and ceilings) Lighting, Colour, Size, Volume, Kinds of Object Props
  • 43. Site/ Ideational Interpersonal Textual Function Surface/ Topics (Sub-topics) Interactivity Gaze and other sensory Display Style Classification Item modes of attention Arrangement Relationship Map Intra-relationship of elements in an item Interpretive Path Interplay of modal and Visual Salience Balance: Inter-relationship of elements across items Directional Path compositional elements Flank/ Spiral Focus (CVI) (e.g. Colour, Light, Alignment Shape, Size, Lines) Image-Word-Object: Extra- Vocalization Semiotic Metaphor Obj ectification Perspective Information Composition Metonymy Viewing height Relative Prominence of Surface/ Item Visual semiotic O'Toole (1994)/Kress and van Leeuwen (1996) Linguistic semiotic: Halliday (1994)
  • 44. 36 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS National Education . . . is an exercise to develop instincts that become part of the psyche of every child. It must engender a shared sense of nationhood, an under- standing of how our past is relevant to our present and future. It must appeal to both heart and mind. Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated this position at the formal launch of NE on 19 May 1997, saying that it is 'a concerted effort to imbue the right values and instincts in the psyche of our young' through teaching 'the Singapore Story - how Singapore succeeded against all odds to become a nation'. Thus, From Colony to Nation, which is also referred to as 'The story of Singapore' in the exhibition guide (see Plate 2.1),5 has a strong pedagogic purpose that is tightly circumscribed by the ideals of NE, namely to underscore the constraints and vulnerabilities of Singapore. I discuss now how the intent of NE motivates a selective remembering of Singapore's recent political past, with particular focus on an Area - the 'Communist United Front' — that displays the Communist movement in Singapore after the Japanese Occupation. It is worthwhile first to contextualize this Area concerning the Communist movement in terms of the Narrative Design at the rank of Gallery. Typically referred to as the 'storyline' among exhibition makers, the Narrative Design is abstracted as that overall thematic content of an exhibition that binds the particular selection and arrangement of multiple semiotic systems. As Vergo (1989: 46) puts it: in the case of most exhibitions at least, objects are brought together not simply for the sake of their physical manifestation or juxtaposition, but because they are part of a story one is trying to tell . . . Through being incorporated into an exhibition, they [objects] become not merely works of art or tokens of a certain culture or society, but elements of a narrative, forming part of a thread of discourse which is itself one element in a more complex web of meanings. The Narrative Design is, then, an 'interpretative strategy' (Dean, 1994: 103), within which the subject matter of an exhibition is formulated at several levels of complexity. An aspect of this complexity lies in the Interplay of Genres, which is worked through the social experience of a museum visit. An instance of this would be the experience of picking up and glancing through an exhibition/gallery guide before viewing the actual three- dimensional display. In From Colony to Nation, where no main introductory panel is installed, the exhibition guide plays a marked role in providing visitors with an overview of the content of the display. More significantly, the exhibition guide, in orientating the visitor to '[t]ake a walk through history and understand why Singapore must prize her independence above all else', inflects the historical recount displayed as an exemplum. An exemplum, according to Martin (2000b: 8), 'relate [s] a sequence of events in order to make a moral point'. The moral point here is the obligation for Singaporeans to value positively and not take for granted the country's independence.
  • 45. Plate 2.1 Exhibition guide to From Colony to Nation (layout plan)
  • 46. 38 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS This interplay between the guide and three-dimensional display may be conceived as a generic chain (Fairclough, 2001)6 across media, which co- evaluates Singapore as a vulnerable body politic. The vulnerability of Singapore, therefore, forms an even more abstract theme that organizes the interconnectivity between various semiotic resources in the exhibition. This state of vulnerability is perceived within the Narrative Design through the erection of points that risk the status quo established by the PAP govern- ment. Communism is one such risky point. Now, I move into the Area 'Communist United Front' (see Plate 2.2) and discuss how the co-deployment of various semiotic resources (primarily written language, visual images and space) serves mainly to discredit the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). From the outset, the undesirability of the Communists is already indicated by the thematic classification of this Area under 'Colony in Chaos' (see Table 2.2, p. 40). In the exhibition on the left wall, this classification is indexed by the use of a red board on which the linguistic text panel is mounted. Linguistic text panel Written language is used in the main text panel and in museum labels. Table 2.3 (see pp. 42-43) contains a linguistic analysis of the main text panel in terms of its schematic organization and the sub-system of Attitude in Appraisal Theory (Martin 2000a). Attitudinal evaluations of the MCP and pro-Communists are mostly negative Judgements on propriety. For example, Material Processes like 'infiltrating' (clause 7), 'exploit/ed' (clauses 8 and 11) and 'incited' (clause 21) dramatically construct a negative Judgement of (pro)-Communists as reactionary, unlawful, manipulative and perhaps even irrational. Note- worthy too is the accumulation of negative Judgement from clauses 3—10, which function to elaborate the Thesis. It is interesting to observe how the series of non-finite in clauses 6—10 appears to 'quicken' this accumulation by allowing a jam-pack of New information, which refers back to 'It' (clause 5) as thematized Actor. This 'It', in turn, anaphorically refers to the MCP. A cluster of attitudinal evaluations is thus rhetorically woven to intensify the negative evaluative force on Communism. Noteworthy in the analysis presented above is also the embedding of two historical recounts - the May 13th Incident in 1954 and the Hock Lee Bus Riots in 1955 — as examples of Communist-instigated violence. This embedding has the effect of re-interpreting the historical recounts to the point of the Thesis (clause 2), which generalizes via an intensive identifying relational process the use of violence as the primary strategy by which the MCP aimed to achieve power. Indeed, the negative propriety of the Com- munists is predicated on this use of violence. The point of this linguistic text is not to recover the specifics of the actual perpetrators and victims in these acts of violence. Rather, within the genre of an exemplum, the social pro- cess here is to moralize violence as socially undesirable in order to discredit
  • 47. Plate 2.2 Display area of 'Communist United Front'
  • 48. 40 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Table 2.2 Classificatory scheme of From Colony to Nation 1945-50s 1960s 1965 present Colony in Chaos Tides of Nation-Building Transition World War II & Mighty Malaysia On Our Own Southeast Asia Proposal We Had to Accept Reality Divided Population Historic PAP split Political Unrest The Maria Hertogh Battle for Merger Who will Protect Us? Riots Referendum The Struggle to Live A Time of Hardship Confrontation Foreign Relations A Political Goal: Union Political Rivalry Defending Ourselves with Malaya Economic Problems Economic Growth Communist United Racial Tension Caring for our People (up to Front Racial Riots 1970s) 1955 General Elections Singapore is Out! Passing the Baton (1984/1990) Self-Government Our Presidents (1965-present) Communism and Communalism Elaboration of 'national' interests in terms of what is needed for Singapore to survive (Economic Pragmatism) Communitarian values Division —> Unity in Diversity the Communists. Any act of violence which might have been committed by the police then is from the start tolerated and legitimized as control. Moving into space The spatialization of information is a central feature in the three- dimensional text of an exhibition. As Bennett (1995: 6) remarks, 'an exhibi- tionary space . . . is a place for "organized walking" in which an intended message is communicated in the form of a (more or less) directed itinerary'. The framework here conceives this 'organized' walking as the system of Circulation Path under the Interpersonal function. There are two aspects to Circulation Path: Traffic Flow which concerns the routing through a series of spaces within an exhibition, and Flow Rate which relates to how a visitor is paced along the circulation route throughout a gallery and within an area of an exhibition. The system of Circulation Path is visually represented in Figure 2.1. Apart from the application of Circulation Path, I also examine in this section the operation of semiotic metaphor in the spatial re- representation of the meanings constructed in the linguistic text panel.
  • 49. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 41 Figure 2.1 System of Circulation Path (adapted from Royal Ontario Museum 1999) FoUowing O'Halloran (1996, 1999, 2003a, 2003b), semiotic metaphor relates to the semantic shift that takes place inter-semiotically, during which the function of an element may be receded and new functional elements may be introduced in the movement from one semiotic resource to another. In her investigation on secondary school history, Coffin (1997: 202) notes the linguistic construal of external and internal time in organizing the past. The linguistic text panel sets up a chronological template in which external time unfolds categorically through marked Circumstances (in bold): (03) In 1948, it failed in an armed uprising during the emergency (19) On 13 May 1954, students and police clashed (20) In May 1955, the pro-communists incited students to join the Hock Lee Bus workers in a strike. Internal time is deployed to build up an explanation about the past and this is linguistically construed in the text panel via logical links of Cause. Now, the spatial semiotic also affords the capacity to realize external and internal time, but perhaps in ways less differentiated than language. The three-dimensional spatialization of external time can be seen to involve parallel semiotic metaphor. The events dynamically recounted along a chronological timeline of marked Circumstances in the linguistic text are physically bounded in a more or less rectangular enclosure with exhibits displayed along the two longer walls (see Plate 2.2). The left wall consists of
  • 50. 42 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Table 2.3 Main text panel: schematic organization and attitude (01) Communist United Front Thesis (02) The Malayan Communist Party's (MCP) fundamental [Appreciation: -valuation] aim was the establishment of a communist state in Malaya (including Singapore) by revolutionary violence [token, Affect: insecurity: disquiet —> token, Judgement on MCP: -propriety] Elaboration (03) In 1948, it failed Judgement on MCP: -capacity] in an armed uprising during the Emergency [token, Judgement on MCP: -propriety] (04) and went underground [token, Judgement on MCP: -propriety]. (05) It then changed its tactics (06) to form a communist-controlled united front [token, Judgement on MCP: -veracity / propriety] (07) by infiltrating Judgement on MCP: -propriety] into legal organizations such as trade unions, students' unions, farmer's associations, Women's Federation, cultural groups and political parties (08) to exploit Judgement on MCP: -propriety] grievances [Affect: unhappiness: antipathy], (09) expand their influence [token, Judgement on MCP: -propriety] (10) and eventually gain control of these organizations, [token, Judgement on MCP: -propriety] Summary (11) The MCP through the communist united front exploited Judgement on MCP: -propriety] anti-colonial feelings [Affect: unhappiness: antipathy], concern about Chinese education [Affect: insecurity: disquiet], feelings of social frustration and economic injustice [Affect: dissatisfaction: displeasure]. Exemplify I (12) When the British announced Recount of May (13) that 2,500 youths would be drafted under the National 13th Incident Service Ordinance, (14) the pro-communists fanned discontent [token, Judgement: -propriety] (15) by claiming Judgement: -veracity] (16) that locals were used (17) to further colonial rule [token, Judgement on the British: -propriety]. (18) Mass student protest demonstrations were staged [token, Judgement on student demonstrators: -propriety —> token, Judgement on pro-Communists (agent ellipsed): -propriety] (19) On 13 May 1954, students and police clashed (20) and 48 students were arrested [token, Judgement on students: -propriety —> token, Judgement on pro- Communists: -capacity; token, Judgement on police: +capacity].
  • 51. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 43 Exemplify II (21) In May 1955, the pro-communists incited [Judgement: Recount of veracity] students to join the Hock Lee Bus workers in a Hock Bus Riots strike [token, Judgement on pro-Communists: -propriety]. (22) Violence broke out [token, Affect: insecurity: disquiet —» token, Judgement on pro-Communists: -propriety], (23) resulting in 4 people dead and 31 injured [token, Affect: insecurity: disquiet —» token, Judgement on pro- communists: -capacity]. items that relate to the May 13th Incident in 1954, while the right wall exhibits items associated with the Hock Lee Bus Riots in 1955. There appears to be a shift from the linguistic construal of time as Circumstance to its spatial experience in the exhibition as a physical material Thing. It is this semantic shift that enables the further compression of these events into a period, negatively appraised in its sub-thematic classification as 'Colony in Chaos'. The semantic shift is parallel in the sense that no new functional entities are introduced in this reconstrual although there is an overlay of meaning enabled by the system of Circulation Path in the spatial semiotic. The sight of space simultaneously invites its traversal. The continuous material pro- cess of'organized walking' (Bennett, 1995: 6) now topologically enacts the dynamic unfolding of time (external and internal) in space. The system thus activated is that of the Circulation Path. From the perspective of Traffic Flow, this display on the Communists is situated relatively early in an Arterial pattern (see Plate 2.1) from left to right. This left-right directional flow is explicitly insisted upon by the instruction on the Exit Door: 'Please enter exhibition via door on the left'. Interpersonally, the Arterial pattern pro- motes a didactic stance in that the visitor is given little choice in choosing her/his pathway through an exhibition. This textures the importance of this display since a visitor is made to walk through it anyhow. Now, I focus on the Flow Rate, which is affected by the arrangement of walls. In this Area, the two longer walls run parallel to each other and are conjoined by a straight path through. Movement through this pathway enacts a conjunctive relation in the Interplay of Walls. This conjunction is not merely an additive of two external timeframes (referenced as 1954 and 1955 from the linguistic text panel), but also expresses their internal relation as examples of Communist-instigated violence. More significantiy, this spa- tial design, by its relatively low Degree of Partition, affects a Flow Rate that tends not to be crowd stopping. Furthermore, following Arnheim (1982: 61), the two longer walls of the rectangular enclosure tend to emphasize an axial symmetry, which propels the Ideal Visitor to move forward and ahead of the Area, towards the portrait painting of Lee Kuan Yew being sworn in as Prime Minister in 1959. This coloured oil painting, enshrined in a gold frame, stands out in contrast to the black walls and the black-and-white photographs used. According to Bal (1999: 176), the portrait is
  • 52. 44 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS [a] genre that bestows authority upon its subject. Its history is bound up with that of capitalism, individualism, bourgeois culture . . . portraits are made to honor power. Thus, apart from visual contrast in the display design, the intertextual allu- sion to such generic conventions about the portrait marks the painting as a focal point, which indexes the starting-point within the Narrative Design of how the elected PAP Government (represented metonymically and authori- tatively by the figure of Lee) would overcome all odds to build Singapore into what it is today. From the perspective of Flow Rate, then, the relative prominence of the Topic 'Communist United Front' is downplayed. It is not that the Topic has become less important or significant. Rather, what seems to be enacted by the continuous Flow Rate is perhaps a channelling of that significance to an appropriateness of distancing oneself from Communism towards the promise of social prosperity that the PAP Government has come to stand for. This gesture of distancing is furthermore directed to reinforce the negative desirability of Communist activism in general. Photographic images I examine the collection of thirteen photographs placed immediately after the text panel along the left Wall (see Plate 2.3). What probably arrests a visitor's attention to this collection of photographs is the wired fence. The significance of this wired fence, other than its role as a focal point that draws a visitor's Gaze to the photographs, is discussed later in this section. For now, I concentrate my analysis on some of the photographic images displayed. For the specific analysis of the meanings constructed in each photograph, I apply eclectically the SF interpretative frameworks formulated in O'Toole (1994) and Kress and van Leeuwen (1996). The analyst's situation is, how- ever, further complicated in the medium of a museum exhibition, where how any single photographic image can mean is as much mediated by its dissemination alongside other photographs through display practices, two of which are discussed here: museum labelling and setting. In relation to the exposition set out by the linguistic text panel, these photographs serve as artefactual evidence that testify to the 'truth' of the May 13th Incident recounted in clauses 12-20. Following O'Toole (1994), the Representational content expressed (at the rank of Work) in the thirteen photographs consists of Scenes of police control and arrest, crowd dispersion and injury, all of which illustrate the non-productive consequences of the May 13th Incident. In addition, photographs in black-and-white and par- ticularly sepia not only evoke a sense of the past, but also hark back to the traditional genre of documentary. As Price (2000: 75) writes of documentary photography, one implicit claim that underlies its historical development is that 'it offers us a disinterested and true picture of the world'. It is precisely this naturalistic coding orientation (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; Thibault, 2000) that underpins the evidential value of each photographic image.
  • 53. image a Plate 2.3 Display of photographs on the May 13th Incident (left Wall)
  • 54. 46 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS There is, in other words, the social assumption that photography real- istically captures 'an immediate and transparent identity between image and referent' (Phillips, 1998: 155). However, as Ryan (1993, cited in Price, 2000: 69) argues: Despite claims for its accuracy and trustworthiness, however, photography did not so much record the real as signify and construct it. Tagg (1988: 187, emphasis mine) similarly reminds us that [t]he photographer turns his or her camera on a world of objects already con- structed as a world of uses, values and meanings, though in the perceptual pro- cess these may not appear as such but only as qualities discerned in a 'natural' recognition of'what is there'. Thus, rather than imputing an ontological status to realism, what is under- scored so far is its discursive constitution that invests the photographic image with an authority to authenticate. The photographs exhibited on this wall are themselves social semiotic constructions whose perceived naturalistic coding orientation is worked through the genre of documentary to reify the facticity of the linguistic recount of the May 13th Incident. The photographs displayed are reproductions rather than 'originals'. It follows from this reproducibility that photographic images are 'transmutable objects . . . involved in endless, complex acts of circulation and exchange' (Price, 2000: 111). That is to say, '[t]he photograph is not a magical "eman- ation" but a material product of a material apparatus set to work in specific contexts, by specific forces, for more or less defined purposes' (Tagg, 1988: 3). The key principle here is the recontextualization (Thibault, 2000: 364—365) of photography in relation to other social practices configured within par- ticular institutional spaces. In this display, the practice of museum labelling recontextualizes photographs as archival knowledge. The photographs are minimally labelled as '1954 Student Riots; National Archives Singapore'. Such a form of labelling generalizes two reference points: first, it reductively identifies what the photographs are about under a general classification '1954 Student Riots'; second, it specifies the source ('National Archives Singapore') from which these images are retrieved and reproduced. Now, Smith (1989: 12) has argued that museum labelling 'conceals a complex history' of artefacts on display. In this instance, however, labels do not simply hide but recreate the historical significance of the photographs as an archive. As Sekula observes of photographic archives, 'they heap together images of very different kinds and impose upon them a homo- geneity that is a product of their very existence within an archive' (Price and Wells, 2000: 59). This thrust towards homogeneity is also directed strategic- ally to achieve particular social purposes. That is, archival knowledge is never created for its own sake but for its appropriation to serve some (dom- inant) social impulse to recollect and review past times. The larger point
  • 55. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 47 imprinted is that the significance of photographs as material artefacts is as much shaped within institutionalized relations of their select use. I move on to probe deeper into the inter-semiotic mechanisms between language and visual imagery in this display practice of labelling. It is inter- esting to observe how labelling photographs in terms of their source may be analogous to the rhetorical technique of Attribution, where the content 'cited' is now construed by the visual semiotic. Attribution here is also sig- nificant in enacting the 'network of intertextual connections' (Lemke, 1995: 11) between SHM and the National Archives of Singapore (NAS). Further complicating the discourse on heritage and history, then, is the collaboration of social practices between different memory institutions. In this instance, the institutional authority of NAS as a 'resource centre for the research and dissemination of information on the history of Singapore' (NHB 2000: 4) is evoked to authenticate the documentary value of the photographs exhib- ited. The institutional status of these photographs as official evidence in turn determines the credibility of the propositions in the text panel. It is in this respect that the heteroglossic space of the discourse on Communism tends towards constriction. The Arrangement of photographs on this wall further positions the visitor to sympathize with the police as riot victim. Of the thirteen photographs, the only visual representation of injury is that of a policeman with a ban- daged head (see Image A). Image A, in its portrait formatting, seems visually salient as a pivotal centre balancing the flanked Arrangement of photo- graphs. Interpersonally, Image A is also prominent as the only photograph that directly addresses the visitor through the direct outward Gaze of the wounded policeman. The frontal angle of the shot, coupled with the near central positioning of the injured policeman with his head slightly tilted, encourages viewer involvement and amplifies sympathy. Noteworthy in Image A is the observation that the injured policeman is non-Chinese (most probably Malay). In fact, most of the policemen cap- tured in the photographs are non-Chinese. The student demonstrators are, on the other hand, predominantly Chinese. To recall, historical research (for example, Lee, 1996; Wee, 1999) has reported how the Communist movement in Singapore during the 1950s and 1960s developed in relation to its capacity to garner and mobilize support from the world of Chinese- speaking Chinese. As sociologist PuruShotam (1998: 55) also notes, 'The equation according to which language equals culture equals race mirrored the perceptions of students, supporters and sympathizers of the cause of Chinese education'. In this light, the Communists' alignment with the Chinese-educated may be seen as provoking Chinese Communalism against colonialism. However, aside from the brief mention in the text panel of the MCP exploiting 'concern about Chinese education' (clause 11), the racial dimension of the Communist conflict in Singapore remains relatively unelaborated in the exhibition. Racialization is also only covertly implied through skin colour in the photographs. In sum, within the institutional context of the museum, the photographs acquire a documentary value that
  • 56. 48 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS not only objectifies the negative appraisal of the Communists and their activities, but also layers it with the delicate complexity of race. What probably arrests a visitor's attention to this collection of photo- graphs is the hapticity7 of the wired fence. The wired fence is used here as an object prop to 'fabricate' the Setting of a prison. It is within this Setting of imprisonment that the photographs come to be interpreted as ideational tokens of negative Judgement on riotous behaviour. The visitor walking through the floor of this area is simultaneously locked in and out from the Scenes captured in the photographs. This physical barrier serves as a 'safety net' that 'protects' the visitor from acts of violence. In preventing the visitor from having any direct tactile contact with the photographs, the wired fence enacts a form of metaphorical distancing from a riotous past. Even one's visual interactivity with these images is 'intervened' by the criss-cross of wire, as if dictating that these riots in the past should not be allowed to repeat themselves in present time. What may be implied in this construction is the importance in preserving the 'safety net' that the PAP Government has thus far spun for the peaceful progress of Singapore as a nation-state. The wired fence thus amplifies the scale of the undesirability of the Communist movement. In addition, the perceived risk of physical pain evoked by the barbed wiring at the top disciplines the visitor into accepting police control as a necessary and legitimate deterrent against Communism lest Singapore becomes a totalitarian state. For some, there may seem to be a dash of irony here since police surveillance is as instrumental in enforcing a sense of totalitarianism. Yet, any force wielded by police power remains hidden and naturalized behind a legalistic frame of social order presently articulated to criminalize the Communist movement during the 1950s. Ideological motivation The exhibition, which displays a dominant 'progressivist national narrative' that stages 'a transition from a colonial society to a modern capitalist one' (Wee, 1999: 169, 172, emphasis original), suppresses any formative role the Communists played in the 'nation-ising' of Singapore. The collective multi- modal definition of the Communists as a dangerous riotous Other is filtered through the dominant lens of communitarian ideology (Chua, 1995) pres- ently held by the PAP Government. Communitarian ideology is most recently articulated and instituted in the Government's 1991 White Paper on Shared Values.8 Two of these Shared Values are transmitted through this display. First, the non-legitimate place of revolutionary violence emphasizes PAP's order of politics, which is one founded on constitutional consensus rather than con- flict; this echoes the Shared Value Consensus instead of contention. Second, down- playing the racial script in this display also aligns the exhibition with the Shared Value of Racial harmony. As Wee (1999: 170) writes of the delicate racial communal tension that underlay the mobilization of Communism in Singapore's 'stage of nationalist polities':
  • 57. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 49 The problem was that if the Chinese-speaking of various linguistic stripes (Mandarin, Hokkien etc.) were the politicized masses who could be mobilized, they also represented a problem for the imagining of a multiethnic or multi- cultural 'national' community. In Singapore, a clear-cut national entity could not be created, as there was not one single 'nation' on which to build the nation-state — a common enough problem for a former colonial state. The representation of the 'Communist United Front', in precluding the historical view that the PAP initially rode on the force of Chinese communalism as a source of anti-colonial resistance in nationalist politics, preserves the party's dominant ideal of multiracialism. This emphasis on multiracialism is in line with the museum's mission of 'preserving and inter- preting the nation's history and material culture in the context of its multi- cultural origins' (NHB 2000: 5, emphasis mine). 'Closing' the tour In this paper I have tried to exemplify how the SF theory may be extended to articulate systematically the complex dimensions of meanings construed in From Colony to Nation. A major emphasis is the collaboration between these dimensions in co-evaluating the spectacle of history in particular ways. Through the analysis I hope to have extended evaluation (or Appraisal the- ory in SF context) as a discursive end realized by the interaction of various semiotic systems. This extension of Appraisal theory into the multimodal terrain of the museum exhibition has also led us to appreciate evaluative dynamics as essentially multi-levelled. Cortazzi and Jin (2000: 119) have actually conceived of this multi-level complexity from three perspectives: evaluation in, through and of narrative. These three perspectives may be extended to social semiotic practices in general. At the close of this paper, it might be worthwhile to tease out more clearly for the reader the operation of these three evaluative levels, which have remained implicit in my preced- ing analysis of the exhibition. On the first level, there is evaluation in the exhibition's Narrative Design where the co-evaluative relations between multiple semiotic resources assess the historical representations of Communist and communal unrest in spe- cific ways. It is worth emphasizing that, even at this level, evaluation is shown to be simultaneously implicated and complicated in the Interplay of Genres configured within particular institutional formations. As reflected in the analysis, the period of Communist insurgency ('Com- munist United Front') is evaluated within the Narrative Design as traumatic. Perhaps, as Antze and Lambek (1996: xii) have observed, 'memory worth talking about — worth remembering — is memory of trauma'. More import- antly, foregrounding the traumatic nature of any incident here is also point- ing to its control. As Neal (1998: 5) conceives: A national trauma involves sufficient damage to the social system that discourse throughout the nation is directed toward the repair work that needs to be done.
  • 58. 50 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS This 'repair work' to recover from the trauma of Communist and com- munal violence allows the reinstatement of the communitarian ideology espoused by the ruling PAP Government. Herein lies the second evaluative level, where through the Narrative Design, the national 'self of Singapore is positioned as vulnerable; this vulnerability includes especially the delicate problem of difference posed by race. In this light, communitarianism is posed as a form of social discipline cultivated to prevent a relapse into a traumatic past. This social discipline is hardly resisted primarily because of its pragmatic effectiveness in sustaining Singapore's material progress. The body politic of Singapore thus risks trauma if there should be a lapse from this progress. Underscored in all these is also the discursive positioning of the museum (SHM) as a State apparatus that plays a political role in repro- ducing PAP's ideals of a Singapore citizenry. Such politicization resides precisely in their capacity to structure knowledge. Finally, on the third level, evaluation of the Narrative Design engages the researcher's subjectivity in her/his analysis. That is, the interpretative analy- sis I present in this paper is as evaluative, positioning you to view the exhibition in a particular light. The interpretative stance I adopt towards the analysis undertaken here aims to trace how From Colony to Nation naturalizes dominant conceptions of social 'reality'. It is necessary, though, to add the qualification that the point here is not to denounce the credibility of the past represented in the exhibition. Indeed, the emphasis on history as an ideo- logical (re)construction throughout this paper does not mean that those past events recounted did not happen. Nor should it be easily conflated with a claim of historical falsity. In fact, if one takes the social constructivist view of history seriously, notions of 'truth' and 'falsity' appear to be in flux since the crux of the matter now is how any single interpretation of the past becomes (de)legitimized, by whom and for what purposes. Further, it is the act of evaluating that is directive of one's sensibilities to the past. Herein lies the disciplining act of history, whose representation in the museum is a form of directed remembering. The flipside of this selective remembering is, of course, a disciplined forgetting motivated by the ideologies of the dominant in society. Museums are then strategically placed in history making. The SF framework formulated here endeavours to be useful as some form of 'meta-language' that enables visitors to 'talk' systematically about how the exhibition as a primary composite medium construes ideology. Yet, not just 'talking' about, but also potentially 'talking' back to particular unequal repre- sentations displayed in exhibitions. In the final analysis, the museum repre- sents a heterogeneous zone that differentially engages multiple social players in negotiating (or mutually disciplining) the discursive forces of social change. It is perhaps for this reason that the museum continues to stand as a site worth (re)visiting.
  • 59. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 51 Notes 1 Foucault (1977, 1980) conceptualizes the mutual constitution of power and knowledge in social practices. As Foucault (1977: 194) has argued in Discipline and Punish: 'In fact, power . . . produces domains of objects and rituals of truth'. 2 For a more detailed consideration of the theoretical basis for extending SF theory into the domain of multimodality, see Pang (2001: 38-54). 3 Harris (2000) first conceived the term integrational semiology to understand the multimodal character of writing. Under integrational semiology, Harris (2000: 69, emphasis original) explains that 'signs . . . are not invariants: their semiological value depends on the circumstances and activities in which, in any particular instance, they fulfil an integrational function'. Though insightful, Harris remains vague on the what and how of this integrational function. This paper suggests that: (1) the metafunctional hypothesis and (2) the realizational dialectic between text and social context in SF theory help elucidate more concretely the shape of this inte- grational semiology. 4 Results of the survey are also reported in The Straits Times, 16 September 1996. For a sample of some of the questions asked in this survey, see The Straits Times, 15 September 1996. 5 I refer to the guide here, not for an exhaustive multimodal analysis of it, but to distil the exhibition's classificatory scheme (see Table 2.2). 6 According to Fairclough (2001): 'An (interaction may involve a "chain" of different, interconnected texts which manifest a chain of different genres'. 7 Following O'Toole (1994: 35), hapticity refers to that three-dimensional quality in sculpture which 'engages our whole body in an identification with [its] mass and rhythms'. 8 For a detailed discussion on the promulgation of Shared Values as a National Ideology, see Hill and Lian (1995: 210—219). There are principally five com- ponents in this National Ideology: (1) nation before community and society above self; (2) family as the basic unit of society; (3) regard and community support for the individual; (4) consensus instead of contention; and (5) racial and religious harmony. Acknowledgements Plates 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 are reproduced by courtesy of the Singapore History Museum, National Heritage Board, Singapore. References Antze, P. and Lambek, M. (eds) (1996) Tense Past: Cultural Essays in Trauma and Memory. London: Routledge. Arnheim, R. (1982) The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts. Berkeley: University of California Press. Bal, M. (1999) Memories in the museum: preposterous histories for today. In M. Bal, J. Crewe and L. Spitzer (eds), Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present. London: University Press of New England, 171-190. Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000) Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore.
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  • 63. 3 A semiotic study of Singapore's Orchard Road and Marriott Hotel Safeyaton Alias National University of Singapore Introduction Cities are more than a place to live, to work or to play in. As people observe the city while they move through it (Lynch, 1996), the city serves as a political and social statement, and in some cases, symbolizes and encompasses the achievement and political prowess of the country's ruling elite. This is especially true in the case of Singapore where the city becomes a showcase of what has been politically and economically achieved by the People's Action Party (PAP) over the years since independence in 1965. Within a span of thirty-five years, for instance, the country has achieved one of the highest living standards in Asia, which has led some economists to proclaim it a modern miracle. Lacking in natural resources and having to rely on its human resources, it was suggested that for Singapore 'the capital- ist road was [perhaps] the only one open' (Chua, 1995: 59). The number of buildings and shops in Orchard Road stands as testimony to the realization of Raffles's vision of a 'bustling emporium' (Jayapal, 1992: 67). A city is therefore 'man's single most impressive and visible achievement' (Pike, 1996: 243) while remaining nonetheless a 'social institution' (Mumford, 1996: 184). A city or a 'built world, like a written text, stores information' and 'pres- ents particular transformations and embeddings of a culture's knowledge of itself and of the world' (Preziosi, 1984: 50-51). The built world is an exhibit of the culture of a given society, which in some ways reflects the ideologies that operate within that society. Buildings, for example, 'are not just func- tional machines; they have signs of their practical functions written all over them: they signify their function as use' (O'Toole, 1994: 85); that is, 'buildings are designed to mean something' (Stern, 1994: 47). Architecture is part of a society's culture which affirms and re-establishes its values and ideals; it is the representation of power (Betsky, 1994; Stern, 1994) and, whether posi- tive or negative, the city or the built world is the image of the community (Pike, 1996). This paper therefore sets out to investigate the nature and manifestation of the prevailing ideologies within the society of Singapore. To achieve this purpose Singapore is treated as a text and indeed, it is a discourse worth
  • 64. 56 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS investigating, analyzing and interpreting. Like a text, Singapore has been structurally organized but with a difference: the country is three- dimensional and multimodal. Like a text, it too leaves itself open to inter- pretation but how it is interpreted depends on one's theoretical perspective. The interpretation of a text requires the application of theory and, in the case of a city, involves the interpretation of the integration of the various meaning-making resources. Although part of a larger research project (Safeyaton, 2001), due to space constraints the focus of the analysis and discussion in this paper is restricted to Orchard Road, that significant part of Singapore popularly known as the 'town'. It is here, and more specifically the Marriott Hotel, where it is commonly believed that East meets West. The theoretical approach underlying these analyses is Michael Halliday's (1994) social semiotic theory of language, which has been extended to visual images and architecture (O'Toole, 1994). From this perspective, language, visual images and architecture are viewed as social semiotic resources which are metafunctional; that is, they simultaneously realize Textual, Interpersonal and Experiential meaning. The systemic-functional frameworks used in the analyses are discussed in more detail below. The semiotics of Singapore As a city, Singapore is not static; it grows and reinvents itself according to the changing needs and demands of its society (Tan, 1999). The physical features of a city such as Singapore, where there is constant development and redevelopment, are therefore not permanent. Changes to Singapore are deemed necessary as it continues to aspire to be a 'model city', that is, a city that is livable, attractive, business-friendly and accessible (URA Annual Report 1998/1999). While national objectives must be met, the planning of a city needs also to consider the needs of the people who must be assured that housing is 'affordable and comfortable', that there are 'enough public spaces to provide [them with] urban relief, that there are the 'necessary telecom- munications and fiscal infrastructure' and that there is an efficient and affordable public transport (ibid.: 31). People should be able to move easily from one designated area to another, for purposes of work or recreation. This freedom to move about permits the city dwellers to be in touch with the environment. As a result, a person develops a relationship with his or her surroundings and that relationship is physical, emotional, mental, cultural and even religious. The making and planning of modern-day Singapore, however, has been an intensive and prolonged enterprise. Its urbanization planning began with the formulation of the Island Concept Plan, also known as the Singapore Concept Plan and later as the Master Plan, on 1 January 1952. The Master Plan was aimed at regulating the development of land through plot zoning and plot/ density controls. Since its implementation, and as required by legislation, the Master Plan has undergone several reviews involving various additions and alterations. After Singapore's separation from Malaysia in 1965, the
  • 65. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 57 plan was reviewed and renamed the Concept Plan in 1971 by an appointed local authority. The Central Area Plans came to fruition between 1974—1989 only to be renamed the Revised Concept Plan in 1991. In 1998 the latest revision of the Concept Plan was presented (Dale, 1993; Fong, 1973; Master Plan Written Statement, 1993; Tan, J. H., 1972; Tan, S., 1999; URA Annual Report, 1997/98). Part of the Concept Plan's objectives is to meet what the authorities per- ceive as 'the new wants and needs of [the] people' (Dale, 1993: 42). This is accomplished by improving the living environment and by offering, or rather prescribing, a better quality of life. This includes a policy of decentralizing commercial activities to avoid overcrowding in any one area, specifically the Central Area of which Orchard Road is a part (Dale, 1993). But the ideas and the benefits outlined in the Concept Plan can only be successfully implemented with a healthy economic growth. This becomes a platform through which the authorities can justify their actions and decisions both politically and in terms of the development practices. On the business front, for example, one aim of the Concept Plan is to provide 12,000 hectares of land for industrial needs (Keung, 1991). In addition, 'judicious' investments in the leisure industry will be welcomed because such invest- ments mean 'good business' and will 'enhance [the Singaporeans'] quality of life' (Liu, 1991: 4). In an effort to add 'life and character' to the streets as well as making them 'more exciting and lively' (URA Annual Report, 1997/98: 28), the regulations for the setting up of outdoor refreshment areas and outdoor kiosks along the pedestrian malls in the city were relaxed in July 1996. Previously, these outlets could occupy only 10 per cent of the total building length but this is now 25 per cent, resulting in more outlets being set up along pedestrian malls, especially along Orchard Road. These outlets bring in additional income for the authority in the form of 'payment of development charges or different premiums' (ibid.}. Hence, every metre of unoccupied space in, around, below and above Singapore has potential for extra revenue. This provides a boost to the economy with the Singaporeans themselves helping to sustain that economy; the system and the people depend on each other. A visitor to Singapore, however, is likely to have little knowledge of how the country has been transformed historically although he or she may have seen where the locals live, how they travel, where they eat, work, play, shop or seek medical attention. The visitor sees how the country 'operates' but he or she may not be able to explain how this is possible because, more likely than not, the visitor is not equipped with the knowledge or the tools to explain what he or she sees or feels. For the uninitiated, Singapore 'explains' its operations very well because every part of the country, be it a designated area, its roads, the open spaces or the buildings, transmits explicit messages. Each of these 'speaks' to or 'addresses' the visitor dir- ectly. While part of the Singapore city has its specific functions or pur- poses, linguistically there is also a physical and Textual representation which transmits messages.
  • 66. Table 3.1 Functions and systems in Singapore Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Textual Functions Area (Rank 1) Zone: north, north-east, Size Relation to outer areas central, west, south Orientation to general Relation to MRT stations, bus District: CBD, non-CBD amenities terminals Location: mainland, offshore Orientation to members of the Rhythms: contrasting themes, islands public: accessibility, building shapes Theme: business, cultural, affordability Relation to prestige educational, entertainment, Characterization: Oriental, Coherence and cohesion: medical, recreational, occidental repetition of themes, new and religious, residential Sites of power old buildings (preserved and Portrayals: cultural, social, Message conserved) religious Interplay between each theme Focal: business, cultural, social, religious Self-containment Roads/MRT Specific functions: Travelling hours: peak/non- Relation to other roads, MRT (Rank 2.1) Expressways (ERP/non-ERP) peak period stations Roads Size and spaciousness: main Relation to other areas Flyovers road, minor road, slip road, Relation to buildings Tunnels one-way/two-way traffic, Relation to safety MRT tracks (aboveground/ two/three lanes External cohesion: relation to underground) Orientation to entrant: user connectors, escalators friendliness, accessibility to public transport (bus lanes), general public, fire-fighters, paramedics
  • 67. Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Textual Functions Orientation to buildings Characterization: MRT stations, bus-stops, street lights, road names, road signs, signboards Lighting Openness Soft/hard texture: concrete, asphalt, dirt track Open Space Specific functions: Spaciousness Relation to bus-stops, taxi (Rank 2.2) Road dividers, islands Openness stands, roads, MRT stations Road shoulders Orientation to entrant: Relation to area/theme Pavements/Footpaths accessibility Relation to buildings Parking space View Relation to safety Grass verge/Green belt Relevance Relation to power and prestige Open field: recreational, Comfort: sheltered/ Degree of visibility business unsheltered walk-ways, Degree of partition Burial grounds shades, benches External cohesion: relation to Public space Lighting: natural, artificial connectors, stairs, overhead Private space Hard/soft textures: concrete, bridges, pedestrian crossings, asphalt, grass underground passage Colour Permanence of open space Permanence of partition
  • 68. 60 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS To help 'explain' Singapore, that is, to analyse and interpret the city, which is three-dimensional and multi-semiotic, a framework featuring a rank-scale for the functions and systems is proposed (Table 3.1). The multi- plicity of the framework means that the city can be read 'backwards or forwards, upwards or downwards, and inside to outside' (Preziosi, 1984: 55). The framework may be used to analyse from the whole to the smallest unit in the city. This means that the semiotic analysis of the city of Singapore begins with the unit Area at Rank 1, followed by the units Roads/MRT at Rank 2.1 and the unit Open Space at Rank 2.2 (Table 3.1). The analysis of the smallest unit in a city, that is, Elements contained in a room or on a floor in a Building at Rank 2.3 in Table 3.2, completes the semiotic analysis. Alternatively, because the city is three-dimensional and multimodal, it is possible to perform the analysis from the lowest rank to the highest, that is, from the unit Element in a Building (Rank 2.3) upwards to the unit Area (Rank 1). Although beyond the scope of this paper, Singapore could be conceived as the total sum of these Areas. As buildings constitute an essential part of a city, O'Toole's (1994: 86) chart for architecture has been incorporated into Table 3.2. Although the chart has been amended to suit the Singapore context because 'the existence of built form is not universal in all cultures' (Preziosi, 1984: 52), the change is minimal. Elements such as the characterization of a building, that is, whether it is occidental or Oriental, for example, or how it is oriented towards the MRT station, have been incorporated into the framework. As most buildings in Singapore are designed to be either self-contained (for example, a hotel) or interdependent (for example, a market), they are treated as individual episodes that help to contribute to or to complement the design of the whole area. In other words, there is interaction or 'interplay' between these Episodes. Functions and systems in Singapore The built world has functions that are wittingly or unwittingly designated or prescribed. In land-scarce Singapore, the 'spatial products' or 'the built forms' are likely to be designed to be multi-functional, that is, the practical functions of a product very often overlap (Preziosi, 1984). A 'rank' or a 'unit' links each of these built forms to the other. Major roads link one area or a 'unit' to another (see Table 3.1). Within an area, there are roads and open spaces, which will eventually lead to buildings where there may be different levels or storeys, with different rooms for different functions. Depending on its function, each room may have a different layout or decor. While the practical functions of an area or a building are considered to realize Experiential meaning, the relationship between these practical functions and its design or planning are Textual. The consistency and the repetition of a specific theme in a particular area in Singapore means that textually it has been designed to 'blend' and to 'fit' and construct the culture of the people. Each unit operates or functions in relation to another, usually a neighbour-
  • 69. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 61 ing one, and to its general surroundings or environment. At the same time in the built world, the 'built forms' (Preziosi, 1984) will direcdy or indirecdy command the people's involvement and interaction; our senses respond in specific ways to our natural environment (Kress, 2000). The framework in Table 3.1 lists the systems which function Interpersonally to engage us with our environment. In what follows, I analyse and interpret the built forms of the Orchard Road and the Marriott Hotel. These analyses reveal how specific ideologies are manifested in the city of Singapore. A semiotic analysis of Orchard Road Commercial developments in Orchard Road began in the early 1900s when stores were established to provide residents with fresh produce and food supplies. In the 1950s, when the late C. K. Tang opened a department store, it marked the beginning of rapid commercial development within the area. Entertainment centres and hotels were soon built to cater to the demands of the locals as well as the buoyant tourist industry. The construction of Orchard and Somerset MRT stations and their locations within the Central Business District reaffirmed Orchard Road's importance and its status as a 'dynamic activity corridor' (Orchard Planning Area, 1994: 9). Orchard Road, a seven-lane and one-way-traffic road, stretches from Delfi Orchard to Plaza Singapura and is an area where open parking spaces for cars are limited. Most of these parking spaces are found within the confines of hotels or shopping malls where parking fees are high. Textually, this demonstrates the area's 'relation to prestige' and Orchard Road is indeed a prestigious area where public Housing Development Board (HDB) flats are not found. Building heights reach their maximum in the vicinity of Orchard MRT station where buildings reach thirty storeys high. The height tapers to ten storeys towards the Singaporean Presidential Palace or Istana and twenty storeys towards the Tanglin zone (Orchard Planning Area, 1994) (Plate 3.1). We may note that the Size and Verticality of a building is an indication of its importance and status (O'Toole, 1994). Metaphorically, the value of commercial or cultural activities reaches their peak at the junction of Scotts Road and Orchard Road where the Marriott Hotel is located. Suffice to say the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) begins at this junction. Indeed, the lack of parking spaces means people are encouraged to use 'the efficient and affordable' public transport (URA Annual Report, 1998/1999: 31) to reduce traffic congestion and to solve parking problems. On both sides of the road, Open Spaces such as the wide pedestrian walk- ways facilitate smooth pedestrian flow but people are not induced to visit or to walk along these Open Spaces if there is no place to sit (Whyte, 1996). Therefore practical Interpersonal elements such as benches, which are made of durable and maintenance-free concrete or granite or wrought iron, are selectively provided. People are socially engineered 'to get into new habits' (Whyte, 1996: 111) such as walking rather than driving because of the lack and excess of particular types of Open Spaces along Orchard Road. The
  • 70. Table 3.2 Functions and systems in a building (adapted from O'Toole 1994: 86) Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Textual Functions Building Practical Function: Business, Size (relation to area and Proportion (height/breadth/ (Rank 2.3) Cultural, Educational, setting) length) Entertainment, Governmental, Orientation to neighbours, Relation to external area Medical, Private/Public, adjacent buildings Relation to road/MRT station Recreational, Religious, Orientation to road, MRT Relation to adjacent buildings Residential tracks and stations Relation to permanence: old, Orientation to light Orientation to entrant new, preservation, Orientation to wind Facade conservation Orientation to earth Modernity Rhythms: contrasting shapes, Orientation to service (water, Colour angles, colours power) Cladding Textures: rough/smooth Episode: self-contained, Characterization Roof/wall relation interdependent Colour Opacity Interplay of episodes Intertextuality: reference, Reflectivity mimicry, colour Cohesion: interplay of episodes Exoticism Floor Sub-functions: Height Relation to other floors Access Spaciousness Relation to outer world Working Accessibility Relation to connectors, stairs, Selling Openness lifts, escalators (external Administration View cohesion) Storing Hard/soft texture Relation of landing/corridor/ Waking Colour room/foyer/room (internal Sleeping Sites of power cohesion) Parking Separation of groups Degree of partition Permanance of partition
  • 71. Units/ Experiential Interpersonal Textual Functions Room Specific functions: Comfort Scale Access Lighting Lighting Entry Modernity Sound Lobby Sound Relation to outside world Dining Opulence Relation to other rooms Bedroom suites Welcome Connectors: doors, windows, Bathroom/toilet Style: rustic, pioneer, colonial, hatches, intercom Fitness centre /gamesroom suburban, 'Dallas', working Focus (e.g. hearth, dais, altar, Restaurants, bar, lounge class, tenement, slum desk) Kitchen Foregrounding of functions Ensuite Servery Foyer Laundry Retreat Element Lighting: windows, lamps, Relevance Texture curtains, blinds Functionality: convention/ Positioning: to light, other Air: window, fan, conditioner surprise elements Sound: carpet, rugs, partitions, Texture: rough/smooth Finish acoustic, treatment Newness Seating: function, comfort Decorativeness Table: buffet, dining, coffee, Stance computer Stylistic coherence Counter: cash, reception, bar Projection
  • 72. Plate 3.1 The shopping map from This Week Singapore
  • 73. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 65 area appears to rely on the concept of'supply creates demand' (ibid.); that is, the restricted nature of parking spaces and the open spaces create the demand for public transport. The built forms in Orchard Road place a great emphasis on Interpersonal metafunction. Commercial developments along the pedestrian routes are encouraged to 'have activity-generating uses on the [ground floor]' (Orchard Planning Area, 1994: 20) and as a result, shops and restaurants open directly to the mall, beckoning pedestrians as well as supporting street activities. The open spaces are planned so that people instinctively walk into the air- conditioned interiors of the shopping malls to escape the humidity of the outdoors. The 'progression from street to interior is critical' (Whyte, 1996: 117) and Orchard Road has been planned such that it is hard to tell when one transition ends and when the other begins. Pedestrians also have visual access to the products on sale at the ground floor shops, which are encased behind glass panels. Window displays are usually used to attract the attention of the female pedestrians and cater first to what are perceived as the primary needs of women: cosmetics, fine jewellery, clothing as well as their coordin- ated accessories while condoms at the Lucky Plaza shops are arranged to resemble a bouquet of flowers. A major part of the business strategy is to capture the female eye first. Seen textually, sex implicitly becomes the selling point in Orchard Road in what largely remains a patriarchal society. The presence of overseas investors in Orchard Road is ubiquitous and thus there is a reinforcement of the culture of consumerism. For example, at the time of writing, twenty-five outdoor refreshment outlets (OROs) are located along Orchard Road. Located on both sides of the road, these outlets serve coffee and tea and food such as burgers and fries; that is, foreign imports from the West. It is common to see several oudets promoting the same items but under different trade names. Patronizing these oudets has become a way of life. These OROs have built a 'new constituency' (Whyte, 1996: 111) where people are subconsciously trained to adopt new habits such as having alfresco lunches. These outlets also act as an avenue for the people to see and be seen and this has given rise to a new street culture that is readily embraced. As competition among the various inves- tors intensifies, 'campaigns' are launched to remind consumers, particularly the young, of the products' existence, which are readily accessible and avail- able to them. Hence, these OROs are located a few hundred metres away from one another. While these outlets operate textually because they con- tribute to the thematic 'consistency' of Orchard Road, they have what O'Toole describes as 'powerful [and serious] Interpersonal implications' (O'Toole, 1994: 103). The 'repetition of themes' ensures that people would not miss or forget these products. To invest in the young and impressionable is therefore to invest in the future of Singapore. Such investments guarantee the survival of these products and the continuous Western presence. Equally important, these OROs continue to draw revenues for the authorities. Ironically though, while these OROs are located at strategic and prime locations, that is, they are in the Open Space and visible from the road, outlets
  • 74. 66 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS serving local Singaporean fare are usually confined within a building, often at the basement or the back of the building or at a side road and away from the main road. Although the nature of Asian cooking is highly suitable for the outdoors, it does not or rather is not allowed to fit into the context of Orchard Road. Textually, a conscious effort has been made to ensure Orchard Road projects and reinforces the sophisticatedly developed clean and green image that has become synonymous with the image of Singapore. The fact that ideas for these outlets were imported from overseas (URA Annual Report, 1998/99) and are expected to 'make our streets more exciting and lively' while 'adding life and character to our streetscape' (URA Annual Report., 1997/98: 28) suggests the relative value of Asian culture. The hotels may not necessarily cater solely to European tourists, but nevertheless, a foreign culture is foregrounded while its Asian counterpart is backgrounded. The message is clear: anything foreign, imported and specifically Western excites and sells readily. Unlike Geylang or Serangoon Road in Singapore, there is a conspicuous absence of religious symbols along Orchard Road even though a prayer hall for the Muslims is located off the main street in Bideford Road. The vicinity is thus constructed to be secular, but not necessarily apolitical. California Fitness Centres and Planet Hollywood have made their presence felt in Orchard Road along with Singtel and the Safra Town Club. Unlike these vibrant institutions whose open concept invites pedestrians to browse, the Thai Embassy appears inaccessible behind its iron gates and thick foliage. As the lowest building there, the embassy does not fit into the concept of Orchard Road because it does not generate sales or draw in the crowds. It mars the overall outiook and thematic concept of Orchard Road and we interpret it as 'failing' textually. In contrast, the Singaporean Presidential Palace or the Istana, situated at the end of Orchard Road and not visible from the main road, is designed to attract attention. The changing-of-the- guards ceremony has found favour with both the locals and the visitors. This appeal can be translated as a desirable Interpersonal relation. Officially closed to the public throughout the year, however, the grounds are opened on designated public holidays. Streetscapes such as road signs, street lights and bus shelters appear to be neutral, but closer inspection reveals a different scenario. While the street signs are in English, the ethnic group whose presence is strongly represented is Chinese. The architecture of the Marriott Hotel is an example of how that presence is reinforced and preserved. Such buildings serve to remind Singaporeans of their cultural heritage. The one reminder of a multi-racial society is the mural wall located next to the entrance to Orchard MRT station where foreigners, especially the Filipinos, congregate on Sundays. This mural wall depicts the cultural activities and the various landmarks associated with the four main ethnic groups in Singapore. Discotheques and pubs are discreetly placed in various corners of buildings and roads, away from the public eye during the day. However, at night, these entertainment centres spring to life, while out in the street the action continues. Orchard
  • 75. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 67 Road has fulfilled the expectations and has realized the vision of the author- ities to create 'a modern and vibrant commercial corridor alive with day and night activities' (Orchard Planning Area, 1994: 14). Hence, it is immaterial whether the people are indoors or outdoors. In Orchard Road, people are constantly on the move and wherever they may be, there are ATM machines for them to withdraw their money and at the same time, an outlet for them to spend it. Every visitor to Orchard Road is a potential customer. Regardless of the time of day, one can be assured that there are cash transactions in Orchard Road. Textually then, the retail industry has been successfully turned into one of the cultures of Orchard Road. Except for Ngee Ann City, no other shopping mall has been promin- ently featured in postcards, the one form of communication that 'person- ally' connects Singapore and its visitors to the other parts of the world. Examination of the postcards available in the local shops reveals that a postcard of Orchard Road often includes Tang Plaza and the Singapore Marriott Hotel, usually photographed from various angles and at different times of day. This inevitably enhances the hotel's status but most import- antly, it transforms the hotel into the landmark of Orchard Road. A semiotic analysis of the Tang Plaza A landmark is observed externally and serves as a point of reference or a clue of identity. The choice of a landmark, according to Lynch (1996: 102), is 'more easily identifiable' if it is 'significant', has 'a clear form', 'contrast[s] with the background' and 'if there is some prominence of spatial location'. Hence, I have chosen to investigate the Tang Plaza/Marriott Hotel (hence- forth known as 'the complex') as a landmark. Built in 1982, the 33-storey Singapore Marriott Hotel was formerly known as the Dynasty Hotel. Acquired by the Marriott Group in 1995, it underwent extensive interior redecoration and renovation and has since operated under its present name (The Straits Times, 4 September 2000: 42). Its strategic location ensures that every vehicle or commuter travelling down from Tanglin, Scotts and Paterson Roads passes by it. It is situated at a location where the ERP begins and where vehicles stop at the traffic lights, the first of the four traffic junctions along Orchard Road. An under- ground passageway links the Plaza to the Orchard MRT station and the other buildings across from the hotel, namely Shaw House and Wheelock Place. Hence, no matter what mode of transportation one uses, the com- plex is highly accessible and visible to the public. Its prominent location, that is, its Orientation to the people and its Relation to the road and MRT station, which are Interpersonal and Textual functions respectively (Table 3.2 above), have been translated into a form of visual and massive advertisement that gives the complex an exposure not accorded to any other shopping centre or hotel along the road. Additionally, its Size and Verticality acts as a 'clear indication of [its] status' in the vicinity (O'Toole, 1994: 102).
  • 76. 68 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS What make the complex more significant are its colours and its pagoda- like architecture. Using the framework for architecture in Table 3.2, choices from systems for Interpersonal meanings feature strongly in the design of the hotel. For example, as an illustration of the functions of the units Mod- ernity and Colour, its former owners had deliberately chosen its present design to reflect their racial and cultural heritage and, although only eight- een years old, its design is representative of the days of ancient China. As far as Colour is concerned, the dominant colours in the vicinity of Orchard Road are blue and brown, as in the Forum the Shopping Mall, Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City, but, at the complex, the traditional Chinese colours, green and red, dominate both the roof tiles and columns of the building. Unlike the other hotels, which were designed to resemble vertical rect- angular blocks that occupy extra lateral space, the Marriott Hotel is octagonal in shape and is a tall and lean building with a distinctive Fa£ade, which is a conical top and upturned roof-ends that point towards the sky (see Figure 3.2). The contrast in building shape and colour is grouped under the category of the unit Rhythms that operates textually In addition, the appearance of the complex has been likened to 'a decent Oriental gentle- man' and conferred as 'a trustworthy place' (Gwee, 1991: 62—63). We note that the number 'eight' and the colour 'red' are considered lucky and sym- bolize prosperity within the Chinese community. Such beliefs or practices are related to a community's social semiotic, which operates Interpersonally. However, because of its pagoda-like structure and octagonal shape, the design of Tang Plaza and Marriott Hotel is not consistent with the overall environmental and architectural structure of Orchard Road. In other words, the complex does not 'exhibit some kind of "fit" with their neigh- bours and neighbourhood' (O'Toole, 1994: 87). Although this is apparently deliberate, textually the inconsistency could be said to 'fail' or be 'undesir- able'. This Textual failing means, of course, that Interpersonally the building attracts attention. The shape of the Marriott Hotel is only prominent from an aerial view (see Figure 3.2). At eye-level, due to its orientation, distance to and accessibility from the main road, the Tang Plaza is more distinct (see Figure 3.1). This disparity may be partly due to proportionality in Size, a system that operates interpersonally. The hotel seems to be sitting on a base that is too broad for it (see Figure 3.2) and unlike the Tang Plaza, the Marriott Hotel is backgrounded. The hotel proper is built in the centre of the Plaza, which means that it is actually distanced from the main road. From the environmental point of view, and both interpersonally and text- ually, this location acts as a buffer to the noise generated by the traffic. Nevertheless, the hotel draws attention to itself due to its unique roof design. One needs to raise one's head to view the hotel, and what is first seen at ground level is the red and green roof (see Figure 3.1). In sum, the Intertextuality or the difference in overall design, mismatch in size and the colour scheme gives the building its Oriental character, one that provides that significant 'contrast with the background' (Lynch, 1996:102) which is Orchard Road. These differences have naturally proven to be advantageous
  • 77. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 69 Figure 3.1 Front view of the Marriott Hotel
  • 78. 70 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Figure 3.2 Three-dimensional view of Tang Plaza because these are the features that are constandy highlighted in various postcards and travelling brochures. The complex is a building with a hotel and the four-storey Tangs Super- store built as a whole unit. Experientially, there are two Episodes operating simultaneously at the Tang Plaza. One Episode is that of a hotel and the other, a shopping centre. Each is a different entity but one which has been integrated and superimposed over the other. Each Episode serves its own function: the hotel provides lodging, food and entertainment, while the shopping centre is part of an industry that is responsible for shaping Singapore into the commonly perceived shoppers' paradise. Both cater to the needs of the foreigners as well as the locals and fit into the concept of 'under one roof; that is, shopping, dining, entertainment and lodging within the same building. This provides the Textual Cohesion in the Episodes. This
  • 79. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 71 Cohesion is also responsible for the great interplay and interaction between the two Episodes because, seen experientially, for the uninitiated at least, it is hard to predict where the shopping centre ends and where the hotel begins. Textually, the foregrounding and the prominence given to Tangs Superstore ensure that the complex fits into the overall thematic concept of Orchard Road. Unlike the thematic Malay Village in Singapore, which was designed to promote the Malay culture as a form of tourist attraction, the Tang complex has proven to be a successful social, cultural and economic venture. Even though the complex is located at the junction of Scotts and Orchard Roads, vehicle access or the Interpersonal salient Orientation to entrant to the complex is only from Scotts Road. A slip road branching out from Scotts Road leads to the hotel main entrance and subsequently to the main entrance of Tangs Superstore. For those using public transport, a bus stop and an underpass to Orchard MRT station are conveniently located oppos- ite the entrance of Tangs Superstore giving commuters, who are also pro- spective customers, direct access to the shopping centre. The whole complex is slightly elevated from the main road, which metaphorically puts it in a position of power or superiority. The protruding roof of the Tang complex provides a much-needed shelter from both sun and rain while its red col- umns act as advertisement boards. The width of the pedestrian walkway skirting the complex indicates that a heavy human traffic flow is anticipated. Therefore, the open spaces around the complex are put to efficient use. Benches are provided while OROs, such as Mrs Fields' and Juice & Java, provide quick snacks and drinks. Textually, unlike in most parts of Singapore, there is a sloping ramp that caters to the needs of the physically handi- capped or those who are wheelchair-bound. And in case pedestrians forget that the hotel is an octagonal-shaped building, this has been permanently imprinted on the non-slip tiles of the walkway skirting the complex, while an octagon circumscribes each column of the complex on the roof. Like the built form of Orchard Road, there is an overwhelming emphasis on the Interpersonal function at the complex. Textually, in keeping with the green image of the area, low-lying shrubs and palm trees signifying 'a tropical island' line the perimeter of the com- plex. The hotel entrance, however, has the thickest shrubs. Interpersonally, other than complementing the colours of the hotel and enhancing its land- scape, these plants shield the hotel guests from the main road, providing a little privacy. The names of the complex's main tenants, that is, 'Marriott' flanked by 'Tang' on either side, are mounted on the wall facing Scotts Road, giving the impression that each is vying for the attention of the onlookers. If one were to miss the hotel's name, the situation has been rectified through a concrete signboard. This signboard 'announces' its presence in the vicinity as it is erected directly opposite the hotel entrance and thus faces towards the junction of Scotts/Orchard/Paterson Roads. Such a signboard, one that is not part of a hotel proper and located in an open space, is the only one found in the area. Others, if available, are usually located within the hotel's premises.
  • 80. 72 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS A semiotic analysis of the Singapore Marriott Hotel Upon arrival at the steps of the hotel entrance, what first attracts the atten- tion of a guest are the open-air sidewalk cafes on the left and on the right and the side entrance to Tangs Superstore (see Figure 3.3). In other words, the hotel's outdoors scenery and the activities generated from and around it function to distract the guest from his or her intended destination. This can be attributed to two factors. First, at the unit of Floor - colour for Inter- personal function, yellowish marble tiles are used for the floor at the hotel entrance and black and grey tiles for the walls. While the tiles may add a touch of class or sophistication and facilitate maintenance, the colours pale against the eye-catching colours of the sidewalk cafes and the OROs where red dominates. Second, and more importantly, there is a considerable dis- tance between the complex's driveway and the hotel main entrance. Although it is directly facing the driveway, the entrance or the Access to the hotel appears hidden from the view of the guest. Flanking the passageway leading to the hotel's main entrance are small- scale water fountains, which extend into the hotel. Fengshui, the art of comprehending how the natural energy of life affects us in our daily life (Gwee, 1991; Noble, 1994), seems to have played a role in the layout of the hotel's ground floor. However, depending on one's social and cultural back- ground, it could also be argued that these fountains are for aesthetic reasons. Though O'Toole (1994: 90) has expressed uncertainty of its actual place within the framework of his chart for architecture, fengshui, I feel, should be categorized as Interpersonal. As O'Toole has clearly stated, however, it depends greatly on one's social semiotic. Noting this, water, being one of the five elements of nature, the others being earth, wood, fire and metal, sym- bolizes wealth in the Chinese culture and its employment is intended to promote fortune (Gwee, 1991; Noble, 1994). Contextually, however, the fountains could mean different things to different people. For children, they are a source of entertainment because they may find pleasure in dipping their hands into the water. To the hotel, the stream of water brings the hope that success and prosperity continue to flow towards it. This is reinforced by the motifs on its floor tiles. Here, the two unbroken concentric circles, which could signify smoothness in perhaps business dealings and continuous pros- perity, are divided into four segments, presumably representing the four corners of the world where the Marriott Group operates. The circles, how- ever, could also be a representation of the Luo Pan Compass that is used in fengshui to determine the siting and building dynamics (Gwee, 1991; Noble, 1994). This circular pattern is also repeated on the false ceiling. Seen experientially and at the rank of Element, this false ceiling and the fountain conceal the light bulbs at the entrance where the lighting remains soft and warm. Interpersonally, this provides Warmth and Comfort to the guests. Finally, orchids are used to brighten the passageway and to offset the dullness of the walls and floor. On the whole therefore, the entrance of the hotel, which acts as the introduction to the hotel, employs various
  • 81. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 73 Figure 3.3 Floor plan of ground floor of Marriott Hotel
  • 82. 74 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Interpersonal features or strategies to provide the guests with what are per- ceived as the necessary comforts. Guests are expected to respond visually, auditorily, mentally as well as emotionally to their immediate surroundings (Kress, 2000), and, in this case, to the soft lighting, to the orchids and to the soothing sounds of the flowing water from the fountains. The layout of the Foyer of the Marriott Hotel is unique because it does not conform to the standards adopted by the various hotels in the vicinity. At the rank of Element and for the Experiential function, for instance, the Foyer opens to the sky and, as described in its promotional brochure, is 'illumin- ated by a three-storey skylight' thereby reducing the reliance on artificial lightings while at the same time giving the air-conditioned lobby an airy atmosphere and good ventilation. No chandeliers are needed, just wall- mounted lamps and table lamps placed at strategic locations. The warm and soft lightings are easy on the eyes. The walls and floor are bare as carpets and ornaments or decorations such as paintings are kept to a minimum. Instead both the floor and the walls are fully tiled and of similar shades. Though this means easy maintenance, as the cleaning and mopping process is easier, the Foyer exudes coldness and appears businesslike. Interpersonal functions or considerations such as Warmth and Comfort appear to have been backgrounded. At the Foyer, guests are not greeted by the traditional Sites of power, that function interpersonally at the rank of Floor. This is usually the recep- tion counter where the initial scrutiny of a guest takes place. Instead guests are 'greeted' by an escalator or a 'connector' leading to the second floor of the hotel where the banquet rooms and restaurants are located. Sign- boards displaying the names of the banquet rooms and restaurants are placed at the foot of the escalator. Thus, guests need not seek directions, thereby alleviating labour costs. Inevitably this reduces the human inter- action between guests and hotel staff. For an establishment that deals with the service industry, Interpersonally, this is interpreted as another setback. The distance between guests and hotel is further widened by the location of the reception counter, which is located at the far end of the lobby and sandwiched between its side entrance and its emergency exit. Guests either approach the counter by walking across the Foyer (Path 'A' in Figure 3.3) or by passing the jewellery, pastry and cigar shops along the passageway on the right (Path 'B' in Figure 3.3). Initially the location of the counter, which is part of the hotel's welcoming team and the human face of the establishment, appears inconvenient to the guests but this apparent inconvenience is negated because of the close proximity of the lifts that would eventually lead the guests to their rooms. What can be deduced here is that at the Foyer, the foregrounding of Textual functions such as the Relation of the lifts to the reception counter and the Relation of escalator to signboards, far outweighs the Interpersonal functions such as Comfort, Wel- come, and human contact with hotel staff. This also functions to make surveillance and the official scrutiny of the guests implicit rather than explicit.
  • 83. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 75 The vertical as well as the horizontal space or the Spaciousness of the Foyer, which is a system for Interpersonal meaning, is striking and the absence of physical or permanent Partition in this area suggests an open- concept approach to business. This openness allows guests to move and interact freely around the Foyer. Guests arriving on the first day, for example, are free to view the food and beverage menus at the cafe's reserva- tion counter. Simultaneously though, these guests become easy targets of scrutiny by the hotel's security personnel or even by other guests. If there were partitions on the ground floor of the hotel, this would not so readily occur. Except for the Marriott Cafe, which is slightly elevated, the Separ- ation of groups is achieved by utilizing the square or circular columns around the perimeter of the Foyer. These columns help to distinguish between one group of specific activity from another, such as the bar counter from the Lobby Lounge and the Lobby Lounge from the reception lobby. Seen textually, the only Permanent Partition at the Foyer is the hotel lifts, which are hidden behind four square columns. These columns and lifts act as markers to indicate the end of general public activities, such as drinking and dining. They shield one's view from the most unpleasant sights or spaces on the ground floor but the ones that cater to a guest's more personal needs, that is, the passage to the parking lots and the restrooms. Understandably, there is a need for the hotel to put forward its best 'face' to the public and this has been done overtly. There is a distinct separation between public and private needs or spaces with the former usually foregrounded. Judging from the location of the Business Centre, a guest's professional needs seem to fall within his or her private domain; it is located next to the emergency exit and adjacent to the lifts. On the priority scale, the size of the Centre suggests that 'business' or 'work' should constitute a major part of a guest's private life but at the Marriott Hotel, it retreats to the background. The main physical attraction or distraction at the Foyer (depending on how one chooses to see it) is the nine preserved palm trees placed almost in the middle of the Foyer. As a Textual element, these trees serve as the 'focus' in the area known as the Lobby Lounge. The theme of a 'tropical island' is thus brought into the interior of the hotel. Hence there is continuity or a constant repetition of themes in and around the hotel. The preserved palm trees in the Lobby Lounge are encircled by four semi-circular flower troughs where, once again, orchids are the choice plants. An artificial garden city or island is thus created within the hotel's premises. An aerial view of the Lobby Lounge suggests that it is the physical representation or the built form of the motifs found on the floor tiles at the hotel entrance. The open spaces under the palm trees and around the flower troughs are also fully utilized. These are used as a dining area where diners are served drinks from the bar counter, food from the Marriott Cafe and cakes and pastries from the Pastry Shop. In fact, there is an overwhelming emphasis on the food and beverage business at the hotel. The consumption of alcohol also seems to be widely promoted and encouraged. There are bar counters located at the Foyer, at the sidewalk cafe and at the underground pub, Bar None. Guests are
  • 84. 76 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS continuously confronted and surrounded by food and drinks and if that is not enough, the open-concept kitchen at the Marriott Cafe gives them a view of how food is prepared for consumption. At the same time, the glass panels at the Cafe allow patrons to view what the other diners at the Crossroad Cafe are having and vice versa. The change in hotel management in 1995 did not affect the Marriott Hotel physically or structurally, because it remains culturally Chinese. The former Dynasty Hotel, as its name suggested, had created an image of the existence of Chinese imperialism and a dynasty of Chinese culture and tradition within the Orchard Road vicinity. This is the image that is captured in postcards and promotional brochures to represent, ironically, a multi- racial and a multicultural society, a fact that has often been stressed by the government. The interior of the hotel, however, does not reflect its cultural heritage and dominance, as it is more occidental than Oriental. The layout of its ground floor unwittingly reveals the hotel's business philosophy and demonstrates how it chooses to construct itself in the context of Singapore. Initially, there is seemingly a lack of customer service in the hotel because, like the reception counter, the concierge and tour desks are pushed towards the recesses in the walls of the Foyer. This reduces obstruction and creates a clear passageway but at the same time it pushes customer service to the background. But 'reducing obstruction' or eliminating 'tripping hazards' such as carpets is a 'service' in itself and this aspect of service belongs to the all-important department in every industry, that is, safety. Unfavourable Interpersonal functions such as the Orientation to entrant, which is the dis- tance between the hotel entrance and the reception counter, are often negated by other Experiential and Textual functions such as the Relation to connectors, that is, the close proximity between the reception counter and the lifts. From a popular point of view, a big part of the success of the hotel appears to be its understanding and its knowledge of what the public wants and by giving and capitalizing on those wants. There is an impression that there is something for everyone. There is day and night entertainment, jewellery and chocolates for the women, cigars for the men and food for everyone. The Lobby Lounge in particular has captured the constructed spirit and image of Singapore and what is being projected is an image of an ideal tropical island where palm trees flourish under the warm sun. Singa- pore is constructed as a city where food is in abundance and seen as a passion, and where eating is perceived to be a favourite pastime. But because of its open concept and the lack of permanent partition, another side of the hotel becomes invisible to the public eye. Women especially are vulnerable to the male gaze. While soliciting is an offence that is punishable by law and is an activity usually and wrongfully associated with women, the locations of the hotel side entrance, its emergency exit and the corridor that leads to the lifts provide the discreet routes (Path 'B' in Figure 3.3) for the guests who wish to bring in additional company. Similarly, the escalator to the hotel's second floor does not only connect guests to the restaurants and banquet
  • 85. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 77 rooms but also to the lifts on that level. In the same manner too, the cigar shop and the underground pub are sites for discreet soliciting. These are, however, located away from public viewing. What is further implied is that seeking pleasures and entertainment is the prerogative of the male. The open concept in the hotel, which symbolizes one's public image, reflects a closure to reality or to one's private life; it demands discretion because there still remains the Asian obsession with the subject efface'. Conclusion While the analysis of Orchard Road entails the construction of a framework that features a rank-scale with the functions and systems through which Singapore is constructed, the analysis of the Marriott Hotel requires the application of O'Toole's (1994: 86) framework for architecture. Through the integration of both frameworks, the analyses of both Orchard Road and Marriott Hotel reveal how spaces in and around Singapore are carefully organized to meet the sociopolitical and socio-economic demands of the authorities. Every available space is found to be potentially economically viable. In general, the analyses reveal how Singapore is constructed as a shopper's paradise, a tropical island and a food haven. What is presented, however, is a constructed image of a country and a hotel that both the authorities and the management want the public and the world to see and to believe. How this is done requires, to a certain degree, the use of women as commodities. The general perception in Orchard Road and the Marriott Hotel is that sex sells, thus reflecting the values of a patriarchal society. Orchard Road demonstrates how foreign cultures, specifically those from the West, are foregrounded and how the cultures of Singapore's multi-racial societies are backgrounded. This is perhaps part of a strategy to cater to the influx of 'foreign talents' and tourists to the country. Business concepts such as the outdoor refreshment areas, for example, are imported from overseas in an effort to make the streets 'more exciting and lively' (URA Annual Report, 1997/98: 28). The concepts of excitement and liveliness are therefore denned by the authorities and Singaporeans are socially engineered to sub- scribe to these prescribed concepts. These oudets as well as the abundance of shopping centres in the vicinity are in reality revenue-generating machines. Profit-making is the key word; the culture of consumerism dom- inates the area and capitalism is seen as the answer for a land reliant on human resources. The presence of the Marriott Hotel, however, serves to remind the people, whether locals or foreigners, of Singapore's cultural heritage. The building is a potent social and cultural symbol and a reminder of the prominence of the Chinese community in the country. Amidst the chaotic cultural scene in Orchard Road, Singaporeans must be reminded of their cultural heritage and to meet those expectations, a system is imple- mented and a lifestyle prescribed. The system and the people depend on one another.
  • 86. 78 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Acknowledgements The map (Plate 3.1) is provided courtesy of This Week Singapore. References Betsky, A. (1994) James Gamble Rogers and the pragmatics of architectural repre- sentation. In W. J. Lillyman, M. E Moriarty and D. J. Neuman (eds), Critical Architecture and Contemporary Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 64—84. Chua, B. H. (1995) Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore. London: Routledge. Dale, O. J. (1993) The Singapore Concept Plan: historical context/current assess- ment. PLANEWS. Journal of the Singapore Institute of Planners 14(1): 41-46. Singapore: Straits Printers Pte. Ltd. Fong, T W. (1973) Industrial complexes and the garden city — can they co-exist? In Chua Peng Chye (ed.), Planning In Singapore - Selected Aspects and Issues. Singapore: Chopmen Enterprises, 16-21. Gwee, P. K. W. (1991) Fengshui: The Geomancy and Economy of Singapore. Singapore: Shing Lee Publishers Pte Ltd. Halliday M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edition). London: Arnold. Jayapal, M. (1992) Old Singapore. New York: Oxford University Press. Keung, J. (1991) Overview on the Concept Plan. Living the Next Lap —Blueprintsfor Business. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority. Kress, G. (2000) Multimodality. In B. Cope and M. Kalantzis (eds), Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures. South Yarra: Macmillan Publishers Australia Pty Ltd, 182-202. Liu, T. K. (1991) Press Release on Living the Next Lap — Blueprints for Business. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1—5. Lynch, K. (1996) The city image and its elements (first published 1960). In R. T. LeGates and E Stout (eds), The City Reader. London: Routledge, 98-102. Master Plan. Report of Survey Volume 1. (1955) Singapore: E S. Horslin, Government Printer. Master Plan Written Statement 1993. The Planning Act (Cap 232, revised edn 1990). Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Ministry of National Development. Mumford, L. (1996) What is a city? (first published 1937). In R. T. LeGates and E Stout (eds), The City Reader. London: Routiedge, 183-188. Noble, S. (1994) Feng Shui in Singapore. Singapore: Graham Brash (Pte) Ltd. Orchard Planning Area: Planning Report 1994. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. Pike, B. (1996) The city as image (first published 1981). In R. T. LeGates and E Stout (eds), The City Reader. London: Routledge, 242-249. Preziosi, D. (1984) Relations between environmental and linguistic structure. In R. P. Fawcett, M. A. K. Halliday, S. M. Lamb and A. Makkai (eds), The Semiotics of Culture and Language Volume 2. Language and Other Semiotic Systems of Culture. Dover, New Hampshire: Frances Pinter, 47-67. Safeyaton, A. (2001) The Lion City as a text - a semiotic study of Singapore's Orchard Road and Marriott Hotel. Unpublished MA dissertation. The National University of Singapore.
  • 87. THREE-DIMENSIONAL MATERIAL OBJECTS IN SPACE 79 Stern, R. A. M. (1994) The postmodern continuum. In W. J. Lillyman, M. E Moriarty and D. J. Neuman (eds), Critical Architecture and Contemporary Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 46—63. Straits Times, The, 4 September 2000, 42. Tan, J. H. (1972) Urbanization Planning and National Development Planning in Singapore. SEADAG Papers On Problems of Development in Southeast Asia. New York: the Asia Society-SEADAG. Tan, S. (1999) Home. Work. Play. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority. URA Annual Report 1997/98. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. URA Annual Report 1998/99. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. Week Singapore, This, 18-24 December 1999. Singapore: Miller Freeman Pte. Ltd. Whyte, W. (1996) The design of spaces (first published 1988). In R. T LeGates and E Stout (eds), The City Reader. London: Routledge, 109-117.
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  • 89. Part II Electronic media and film
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  • 91. 4 Phase and transition, type and instance: patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordancer Anthony P. Baldry University of Pavia Introduction How can we go about analyzing a TV advertisement? Despite the long tradition of analysis of printed advertisements, the prevailing view, until quite recently, has been that it is impossible, for technical reasons, to analyse TV adverts in such a way that the interplay of visual and verbal resources can be reconstructed. Cook (1992: 37-38, see also 2001: 42-44), for example, states that: Any analysis of the language of adverts immediately encounters the paradox that it both must and cannot take the musical and pictorial modes into account as well [. . .] This problem is more serious with tv than with printed ads, for on paper pictures stand still (and can even be reproduced), and there is no sound [. . .] In considering tv ads, where pictures move, music plays, and language comes in changing combinations of speech, song and writing, reproduction is virtually impossible, and a video, to be watched while reading, would transform a written analysis even more than companion illustrations. Many analyses of advertising solve this problem by ignoring it. Cook's statement is, in fact, a testimony to the revolution that has taken place in a decade vis-a-vis film texts and their analysis, often providing solutions to the concerns he raises, particularly those relating to reproduc- tion: the videocassette can be easily digitalized using an appropriate PC card and the resulting digital film can be manipulated in many ways, including, for example, the addition of explanatory captions; the Web, unknown ten years ago, has spawned new forms of advertising which increasingly include streaming video capturable through special software programs such as Camtasia; postproduction software such as Adobe Premiere has made it possible to convert a film into a sequence of stills and hence into a printable format. These technological innovations have given rise to new descriptive prac- tices including: (a) the multimodal transcription (Baldry, 2000b: 81-85; Thibault, 2000: 374-385) and (b) the construction of PC-based multimodal
  • 92. 84 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS corpora accessible by structured queries (Baldry, 2000c: 31). The former allows a TV advert to be reconstructed in terms of a Table containing a chronological sequence of frames, a technique that goes a long way to resolving the difficulties of taking linguistic, musical and pictorial modes into account. Figure 4.1 shows how, in a TV car advert, the inter- section between the Columns and Rows in a Table characterizes the interplay between resources, not just those mentioned by Cook - speech, song and writing - but also others such as ambient sounds, gaze and gesture. In keeping with the systemic-functional tradition of multimodality (Baldry, 2000a; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; O'Toole, 1994), a multi- modal transcription will also need to show how meaning is built up as a series of functional units - typically, subphases, phases, but also potentially macrophases, minigenres and genres. An early example of this work was presented by the author in the 25th International Systemic-Functional Congress in 1998 (Taylor and Baldry, 200la, 200Ib) which analysed the phasal (Gregory, 1995, 2002; Gregory and Malcolm, 1981) and metafunc- tional (Halliday, 1994) organization of a car advert in such a way as to show the advert's interleaving of American and British cultural values. Subsequently, Thibault (2000: 311-385) devised an annotational system, partly reproduced in Figure 4.1, which provides a systematic description of the interplay between resources in an Australian bank advert and which illustrates how a typically Australian identity comes to be created. Thibault's model, which allows the phasal and metafunctional organiza- tion of a text to be described in great detail, has become a reference point when extending the approach, for example, to subtitling for language- learning purposes (Baldry and Taylor, in press) and to the description of genres relating to the political arena (see the news report and interview described in Lombardo, 2001, and party political broadcasts described in Vasta, 2001: 99-128). At the very least, this work has succeeded in estab- lishing how national identities and values are constandy expressed and manipulated in many forms of advertising. In the process of this applica- tive work, the multimodal transcription has begun to change its function, increasingly being identified with the typical interplays that occur in many texts; for example, Baldry and Thibault have devised a multimodal tran- scription which, by incorporating a multimodal tagging system, promotes an understanding of the notion of type that lies behind a specific instance (Baldry and Thibault, 2001: 94-98). But is the multimodal transcription the answer to researchers' needs? This paper suggests that, at the very least, it needs to be backed up by other tools that help us understand the workings of multimodal genres. Indeed this paper describes the initial stages of research into multimodal concordancing and development of appropriate software that will allow the relationship between phase and transition to be viewed in terms of type rather than instance. In so doing it questions some aspects of the traditional view of the relationship between phase and transition. But the main purpose
  • 93. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 85 of this paper is, however, to introduce the new field of multimodal con- cordancing as a means of examining text and text types in relation to their context of situation and context of culture (Halliday, 1978; Halliday and Hasan, 1985). Multimodal concordancing thus builds on the foundations laid by the multimodal transcription and on systemic-functional approaches to language-only concordancing such as the Systemics Coder developed by O'Donnell (2002). In so doing it raises questions about how the study of multimodal discourse might be undertaken in the language- learning classroom (Baldry, 1999, in press; Pavesi and Baldry, 2000) and more generally how multimodal concordancing might develop in the future. The multimodal transcription as an expression of instance or of type in phasal organization? What role do phases and transitions play in TV adverts? And crucially how far are multimodal transcriptions limited to giving details of specific instances of phases and how far can they, instead, give information about types of phases? Figure 4.1 is a small and highly abridged sample of a Figure 4.1 A classic multimodal transcription (Phase 1 of The Fan)
  • 94. 86 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS 'classic' multimodal transcription based on the Table and (with a few additions and modifications and many abridgements) on, in particular, Thibault's annotational scheme (see Thibault, 2000: 374—385 for a com- plete example of a multimodal transcription). It relates to an advert entitled The Fan in which a male driver, whose car has become overheated, hitches a lift from a lady driver in an Audi automatic. The transcription in Figure 4.1 is concerned with instance rather than with type and may be read from left to right in three major blocks that constitute a progression from a description of Textual data to one relating to the specific text's organization into semiotic units: (a) the first two columns relate to the way in which frames are selected with a periodic regularity, in this case one frame per second (see Table 4.1 for an explanation of the abbreviations Table 4.1 List of abbreviations Time: TS = time in seconds; Phases: Ph — Phase or 11; SP= Subphase or |; CD = Car Drive; CS= Car Stationary; Metqfunctions: EXP= Experiential; £NT= Interpersonal; TEX= Textual; Visual image: CP= Camera Position; VS = Visual salience; SH= Shot; CLS = Close Shot; D = Distance; MCS= Medium Close Shot; SV= Side view; FV= Front View P; /C= Inside Car; OC= Outside Car; ICLO — Inside Car Looking Out; OCLI= Outside Car Looking In; WS = written slogan; Participants: P= Participant, D = Male Driver; F= Female driver; M= Mascot; Soundtrack: ST= Soundtrack; AS = Ambient sounds; MIS — Music and singing or JJ + %* with words in italics representing words spoken or sung; Transitions: T= Transition; <> = transition lasting a subphase; > || a transition crossing a phasal boundary; Resource J high integration of resources (in particular between body movements and music); Combinations (RC): L low integration of resources (in particular between body movements and music); K medium integration of resources (in particular between body movements and music); Other symbols: Movt. = Movement; •!• or —> = the same semiotic selections hold true as compared with the previous frame on the left (i.e. same phase or subphase but some changes have occurred); a double arrow as in —> P: —>+ F (finger) means that the configuration is as before but there is now a new Participant added to those previously present: the Female driver's finger.
  • 95. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 87 used); (b) the subsequent columns provide descriptions of the individual semiotic resources, including a description of the soundtrack in terms of both music and song and ambient sounds; (c) the final columns relate to semiotically motivated interpretations of how resources combine to form meaning-making units. As Thibault (2000: 321) points out, multimodal text analysis does not accept the notion that the meaning of the text can be divided into a number of separate semiotic 'channels' or 'codes': the meaning of a multimodal text is instead the composite product/process of the ways in which different resources are co-deployed and in which the phase is taken as an enactment of'locally foregrounded selections of options'. Figure 4.2 is a very different kind of multimodal transcription, organized not so much as a finite Table with its page-based verticality, but more like a musical score. It unfolds from left to right in a manner that potentially extends well beyond the confines of the page. Such a transcription, remains however, in keeping with the overall goals of multimodal text analysis which is to specify both the selections made from the various semiotic modalities and the combinations used to produce a given (phase-specific) meaning (Thibault, 2000: 321). Vis-a-vis Figure 4.1, it uses a few more abbreviations. It should be noted that the car, although not included in the list of abbreviations, is still to be considered a Participant (in the technical sense of a Participant in a ParticipantAProcess relationship, see Halliday, 1994: 107-109), its parts (gear, window, etc.) being spelled out in full: thus a tran- scription of the type P: D: Arm; Car: Gear means that the major Participants in the construction of meaning are the driver's arm and the car gearstick. Unlike the 'classic' multimodal transcription described in Figure 4.1, a tran- scription of the type presented in Figure 4.2 is concerned as much with type as with instance. It dispenses, for example, with a precise reference to the text's unfolding in time: in fact the total duration of this text is 35 seconds and the interval between the individual frames is, as in Figure 4.1, still one second. The transcription in Figure 4.2 is in some respects slighdy less detailed than the instantial conception of the multimodal transcription exemplified in Figure 4.1 since one of its functions is to summarize the major character- istics of the entire text in a concise way, thus demonstrating its greater poten- tial for compression in description. This kind of multimodal transcription records information about type in the top section, i.e. the Row above the individual frames, and information about specific instance in the bottom part. In particular, the Top Row suggests the change that has taken place vis-a-vis the previous subphase: the text in question relates to the male driver jiving to the sounds of an Elvis Presley-type song as he drives along, while the details of what actually happens to the driver and the way this relates to the song are given in the Bottom Row. The Top Row thus suggests the semiotic development of the text in terms of its phasal structure and the main changes in its deployment of resources - the Top Row is thus oriented
  • 96. Figure 4.2 A multimodal transcription incorporating structure/type of phase/subphase (Top Row) and co-deployments and resource selections (Bottom Row)
  • 97. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 89 towards the constant shifts in the selection of options in keeping with Gregory's principle that phase and transition can 'be used to capture the dynamic instantiation of micro-registerial choices in a particular discourse' (Gregory, 2002: 323); the Bottom Row (with its focus on the content of each shot) describes, on the other hand, the film's unfolding in time, and, though not excluding the principle of selection from options, is thus oriented more towards sequential development and specific realizations. Though not shown here, a multimodal transcription of this type also allows Textual elements from various texts to be aligned in such a way as to compare their phasal organization (see Baldry, 2000b: 68-69 for the development of the comparative multimodal transcription). Though unusually involving two drivers and two car-drive phases, in many other ways the text in question illustrates many typical features of car adverts, in particular the expression of the very strong relationship between the driver's and the car's identity. As Figure 4.2 indicates, although other criteria might have been invoked, a good starting point when defining the division into phases in this text (and we may add the 60 adverts in the current car advert corpus) relates not to the human participants but instead to the type of representation of the car: in this case (and in many other cases) whether the car is present and, if so, whether it is moving or stationary. At the start of the first phase of this text, there is a typical car-drive phase [+CD], in the second, an essen- tially car-stationary phase [+CS] (though the second subphase contains the idea of a car stopping and starting - hence the [+CS, +CD] tag); the third phase is again a car-drive phase [+CD], while the fourth phase, the end phase, typically relates to the car abstractly in terms of its make and manufacturer, and presents all the typical ingredients of one type of end phase where the car itself is (physically) excluded [—CD, —CS] and where instead the focus is on oral and written slogans and the manufacturer's logo. The correlation between driver and car is, of course, a major goal of the car advert genre, reflected in the genre's phasal organization, which characterizes the way the car advert unfolds in time. The car is very much a Participant — by definition, at least an equal partner in the human/non-human participant relationship (and more often than not a superior). This emerges quite clearly in the type-oriented multimodal tran- scription of Figure 4.2, which explicitly defines the constant shifts in local foregrounding in the Top Row, e.g. whether it is the car, the driver, the mascot or the countryside that is the salient Participant in a particular phase or subphase. In fact, the most salient phases in this text are the first and third, with the first phase being conjunctive-disjunctive in nature and the third, con- versely, of the disjunctive-conjunctive type. This reflects the text's fore- grounding of potentially conflictual Interpersonal relationships between the two drivers: the first, an outlandish jive-as-you-drive dude, the second, a suave, sophisticated female. 'Conjunctive' and 'disjunctive' are here
  • 98. 90 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS respectively used to describe specifically the synchronization and non- synchronization of movements among Participants (see Thibault, 2000: 342), which, of course, include the cars and the mascot as well as the drivers. It is frequently the case in film texts (for example, documentaries) that the visual and the verbal are out of step, with the visual anticipating the verbal (see Baldry, 2000b: 74), but what is striking in this text is whether or not the movements of the participants are synchronized in relation to each other and to the music. An attempt has been made to track the types of shift that take place in this respect using symbols that relate to Resource Combinations (RC). Resources can thus be deployed, as in this text, in such a way that their initial synchronization is lost, thereby creating two sets of meanings which are potentially in conflict. In the first phase, all the resources - body movement, music and song and the sequence of visual frames - are in unison but, by the end of the first phase, visual image, kinetic action and soundtrack are out of step: neither driver nor mascot are swinging in time with the music and song (which continues); instead with the sudden brak- ing of the car, they remain quite rigid and motionless, an indication that a second and rather ironical series of rhythms is at work, which, together with the smoke coming from the gearbox, signals the fact that the dude's car is on the point of breaking down. Conversely, in the third phase, desynchronized resources become synchronized: the man and woman seem, initially, to be in conflict with each other, with gaze significantiy contributing to this meaning - the woman glares reproachfully at the man who dares to stick his mascot on her impeccably clean windscreen while the poor man 'defends' himself by looking blankly straight ahead, out of the windscreen, his facial expression and body position, having become utterly rigid, in complete contrast to what happens in the first three sub- phases of the first phase. Resources such as gaze, spatial disposition, body movement and facial expression are deployed in this text in such a way as to be deliberately out of step with cultural expectations: two people sitting next to each other in the confined space of a private car and who have never met before and who are the car's only occupants will normally look at and talk to each other, which is precisely what does not happen. Grad- ually, harmony between the two sets in, as the interplay of semiotic resources underpinning the first phase is restored: music and song are the first to be reintroduced when the man hands over his cassette, followed by the restored rhythms of the mascot, which when prodded by the now- smiling lady, once again swings in keeping with the music; finally, the man's good humour also returns: he lifts his head up, smiles and starts to chew gum again, all signs that his unrestrained jiving-'n'-driving is in the process of being rehabilitated. Important in this process is the focus on the mascot, which is seen being prodded by the lady who, though not present in the man's car, seems intuitively to understand that this gesture will cause the mascot to wriggle and writhe to the music thereby restoring her passenger's good humour.
  • 99. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 91 These two phases are separated by a very brief second phase in which both cars are essentially motionless and where, vis-a-vis the metafunctions, rather than Interpersonal elements, Textual and Experiential elements are prominent: in this short phase, the New is introduced in the form of a new car, a new driver and an Internet address (note that, in fact, the Internet address has been 'carried across' from the previous phase, illustrating the significance of extended transitions and overlaps in phasal organization, a matter discussed in detail below). The main meaning created is that the male driver successfully hitches a lift, so that it is important to glimpse one of the cars stopping - hence the [+CS +CD] tag for this phase. The absence of salient Interpersonal elements in this phase is striking: the song, for example, ceases, in contrast to the previous and subsequent phases, indirectly underscoring the fact that, in many car ads, song is a crucial source of meaning, often acting as the functional equivalent of a narrator, linking the viewer to the events at hand and, in part, defining the viewer's expected response to actions and events. This advert is no exception in this respect: the final refrain 'you own my heart', cements the identity between the viewer, the car drivers and the car. It also coincides with the written slogan - multitronic©: II cambio automa- tico a variazione continua da Audi [i.e. Audi's gearbox with continuously variable automatic transmission] further building on the text's basic the- matics, namely that the discordant contrast between the smooth, sophisti- cated lady and the dude's jive-as-you-drive lifestyle will be resolved in a harmonious fashion by a relaxing ride in the right car, namely an Audi automatic. Significantly, many contemporary car adverts present the car as a space where social conflicts, potential or real, may be resolved, whether within the family or, for example, between loving couples. The car can thus be a sexual space as in the Citroen car advert in the author's corpus where, in the hyperreal coding orientation (for coding orientation see Bernstein, 1971; for a multimodal perspective of coding orientation see Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996: 168—171), the car rolls over and over as the couple make love; alternatively, it may be a place of protection where a kissing couple in a lonely lane can successfully fend off an attack from Zombies. More mundanely, it can also be a space where children and animals can be safely transported and sometimes even a space in which members of a sports team can start throwing a ball around, de facto transcending the narrow confines of the car's interior. In this advert, song contributes significantly to this particular meaning of conflict resolution, built up gradually and multimodally, throughout the advert with its highly sensual suggestion that the relationship between the man and the woman will outlive the lift and that it will be the woman who will provide the initiative in this respect: a prod, as it were, is as good as a wink. Notice, indeed, how, rather than stopping at the end of the third phase, the song extends beyond into the final phase, with the
  • 100. 92 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS result that the latter, as well as giving the usual information about the particular model and the manufacturer, also underscores the entire text's meaning, by suggesting that the conflict between the man and the woman can be, and indeed, has been resolved by virtue of the car's design characteristics. This meaning-making is the result of the artful juxtaposition and over- lapping of different types of phases that carry out different functions. The very notion of phase presupposes that there is some transition between one phase and another and, to a lesser extent, between the various subphases that constitute a phase. Moreover, following on from what has been stated above, as well as phase types, we can also expect various types of transition to be present in film texts. For example, Thibault (2000: 320-321) suggests that the points of transition between phases have their own special features that play an important role in the ways in which observers or viewers recognize the shift from one phase to the next and that, generally speaking, transition points are perceptually more salient in relation to the phases themselves. Thus viewers of texts have no difficulty in perceiving particular Textual phases thanks to their ability to recognize the transition points or the boundaries between phases. However, the notion of transition should not necessarily be associated with the idea that there is a precise boundary or point at which a transition occurs. In many cases, this vision of boundaries in the organization of phases and transitions will work very successfully. But this is not always the case. As Thibault (2000: 326-327) points out: Perceptually speaking, transitions between phases are not always clear-cut [. . .] Thus, the transition point may be characterized by a gradual merging of features from the two phases in question as one phase decays or fades out and the other conies into being [. . .] The transitions between subphases are not always so straightforward. At times, there is an almost imperceptible overlap between sub- phases. In this text, for example, each of the two main phases (the first and the third) contains a series of pivotal transitional points between the various sub- phases that mark the step-like progression from conjunctive to disjunctive (as defined above) and vice versa: these are movements relating to the gearbox, the cassette, the mascot, the drivers and the cars (e.g. braking). In the first phase, the malfunctioning of the gearbox (we hear an ominous crunching noise) and sudden braking and cessation of the mascot's movements signal that disruption is to follow. The driver's jiving also comes to a stop. In the third phase, the reverse is true: for the second time the camera carefully focuses on the gearbox, which, in keeping with the demands of the targeted audience, and quite unlike the first gearbox, is an automatic gearbox for drivers who like a smooth ride. Significantly, the transition points in this, and many other adverts, are linked in a chain to form a crescendo which
  • 101. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 93 contributes to the overall coherence of the text. One way in which this salience is achieved is by changing the camera focus: thus the out-of-focus mascot suddenly comes into focus. Another is the type of shot used: two major subphasal transition points in the first phase and a third in the third phase coincide with the only three shots in which we view the mascot by looking out of the car through the windscreen: in each case this selection of the mascot contributes to the underlying conjunctive/disjunctive 'stop-start' flow of the text: the mascot is shown, in an alternating way, as either static, carrying with it a negative connotation (a 'stop') that things are wrong, or, when it sways in all directions, with a positive connotation (a 'continuation' or a 'restart' after a 'stop'). A similar chain is described in Thibault (2000: 328-329), in terms of: covariate semantic ties in the visual thematics [. . .] that are progressively denned in the unfolding text as cohesive chains extending over the entire text. For example, the foregrounded co-patternings of items deriving from the interacting cohesive chains of 'smiling', 'rolling the sleeves', and 'moving forward' function to create global coherence in the text. In Thibault's example the meaning implied relates to the characterization of different activities as being fundamentally analogous (the participants, each in a different context, roll up their sleeves, smile and get on with their different jobs). But the transition chains in this text carry out a very different function: they realize step-like crescendos relating to the creation of discord and the subsequent return to harmony. That the notion of transition does not necessarily entail the notion of a single point or a single boundary in any particular phase also emerges in other ways. Mergings and overlaps between phases are also typical in many film texts, adverts included. In this particular text, transitions are prominent in both the second and the fourth phases of this text, where the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is prolonged over a few seconds in such a way as to construct the meaning that the male driver is in the process of changing cars. Thus, in the second phase, phase and transition are partly co-terminous insofar as an entire subphase (SP2) is taken up with an (albeit rare) split shot, in which the two different cars are simultaneously foregrounded and backgrounded, the result of postproduction techniques (but also clever camera work), whose purpose is to effect the transition from the Given (the first car) to the Mew (the second car) in a salient and lingering way, thereby underscoring the fact that a major change in the events described in the text is taking place. Moreover, as we have already seen, the end phase, which in car adverts are typically associated with slogans for the particular car model and car manufacturer, is merged with the previous phase, thanks to the precise synchronization between the oral slogan (the final part of the song), and the written slogan. Thus, transitions are not necessarily equated with the cutting from one shot to another, nor indeed with what is happening in the visual. While
  • 102. 94 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS transitions will often be related to what is happening in the visual, this will not always be the case; while phases (see Gregory, 1995, 2002; Gregory and Malcolm, 1981) relate to 'stretches of text in which there is a significant measure of consistency and congruity' (Gregory, 2002: 322) transitions, as Thibault (2000: 320) and Gregory (2002: 323) have pointed out, essentially relate to changes in the metafunctional organization of the text and as such may very well be related to changes in the soundtrack and not just to what happens in the visual. One of the clues to the fact that, in this text, the second phase really is a separate phase is the fact that after the noise and commotion of the first phase, this phase uses 'quiet' sounds: no song, no music - just the sound of car tyres and a barely audible wind. Indeed the Top Row of Figure 4.2 attempts to record the constantly changing interplay between the types of resource in the soundtrack: ambient sounds, music and music and song (but never complete silence). Transitions, as well as being structural in nature, are thus inherently and predominantly semiotic, contributing to the entire text's meaning through their typical organization into chains. They are thus not just part of the local foregrounding of semiotic selections. Indeed, precisely because they are salient, transitions are frequently linked to the advert's ultimate message. Transitions are ultimately bound up with the expectations that the viewer has about the text and often guide the viewer vis-a-vis these expectations to the right conclusion. Transitions thus have to do with the constant interplay between the expected and unexpected in film texts. In this text, we expect song and music to be restored, which is precisely what happens. These expectations are inherently multimodal, the result of the interplay between many resources. Zago (2002: 62—70) reports an interesting case in which a drinks advert uses an animated cartoon to represent the transitions from one experience to another in a sequence of hallucinations each repre- sented as a warping of the face of the protagonist, an exhausted cyclist, and in the buildings he cycles past. He finally reaches a place where he can drink a cool pint of Guinness, and thus bring a halt to the spiral of fever-like experiences that include blue penguins and deformed rubber-like walls. Here, too, it is the chain of transitions that is important, the text's meaning being built around a spiralling escalation, interrupted only by the act of 'murdering' a cool pint. I have also reported a similar chain of transitions at work in Benigni's 1997 film La vita e bella (Life is beautiful} (Baldry, 2002) suggesting that the viewer's expectations are that the chain of transitions from one phase to another will be linked to the final climax in the film. Transition chains make their meaning by being typically multimodal. In many film genres, they will be visual and musical as well as linguistic, the case, time and again, in the world of advertising. In La vita e bella all three elements intertwine, with music playing a very significant role: the catchy music starts off as background music but gradually as the film proceeds becomes foregrounded and thematized as the only means of communication
  • 103. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 95 in a concentration camp. In saying this, we are suggesting that it is the transition., rather than the phase, that is the most significant element in the phasal organization of a text and that a focus on type of transition in multimo- dal analysis will help clarify that what is salient is ultimately what is most meaningful. So far we have posited phase types applicable to this advert as being describable as: [+GD], [-CD], [+CS] or [-CS] or a combination thereof (but see also the discussion below for their extension to many other car adverts) and, from a slightly different perspective, we have also posited the existence of phases that can be characterized in terms of the conjunctive and/or disjunctive deployment of resources. But what transition types are there? In this paper, given that multimodal concordancing is taking its very first steps, we can do little more than posit their existence. Indeed, precisely because of its static nature, the multimodal transcrip- tion, which seems so far to have been the major research tool used in the multimodal analysis of film text, is inappropriate when identifying and describing what is quintessentially dynamic in nature: namely the transition. All this is reflected in a second type of multimodal transcription presented in Figure 4.2, concerned as much with multimodal type as with multimodal instance. Still under development (e.g. as a method of reporting the findings of multimodal concordancing), this type of transcription tries to highlight types of cut, types of shot, types of phases and types of transition. To give just one example, the symbol > has been used to suggest a transition overlap, that is, points at which there is no clean break between one phase and another but where instead one or more resources get carried across what otherwise appears to be a phasal boundary. Thus, the symbol >ll J3 + %* means a type of transition in which music and song are carried across from one phase to another. Conversely, the symbol | <> | means a type of transition that lasts for the entire length of a subphase. Looking at types of phase and transition through a multimodal concordancer In describing The Fan advert, we are beginning to move away from the multimodal transcription as an expression of instance towards the multimo- dal transcription as an expression of type, which inevitably raises a whole series of questions. Are certain types of transitions likely to be found more frequently in specific genres? Is the absence of speech, or indeed total silence, one of the typical markers of a transition from one phase to another in afeature film, but which, because of the need for maximum compression of meaning in a very short space of time, is unlikely to be present in such genres as the car advert? Or, on the other hand, do transitions function in such a way as to introduce a new item of information that builds, sometimes in a repetitive chain, onto what has previously been constructed in the text? As viewers we are capable of recognizing phases and transitions; as tran- scribers, we can reconstruct where they occur. But this does not amount to
  • 104. 96 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS the same thing as characterizing the typical ways in which transitions come to be the salient element in phasal organization. A multimodal transcription is limited in the amount of information it can give about types of semiotic units that are found in film texts and cannot provide anything like the information we need in order to provide motivated answers to these questions. If we are to pursue our understanding of the co- deployment of semiotic resources more thoroughly we need to understand how a large number of dynamic texts typically unfold in time. And in order to be able to identify characteristic patterns, the research process requires us to build corpora that can be analysed in terms of various Textual phenomena, including, in particular, a study of the typical phasal organization of a specific genre which ensures that a film's unfolding in time, in which the transition, as we have seen, is so significant, can be captured by in vivo multimodal analysis. Such a requirement dictates the need to build software programs that are capable of analyzing corpora and not just individual texts. What then are the characteristics of an online XML-based multimodal concordancer such as the Multimodal Corpus Authoring (MCA) system, which has been designed by the author specifically to identify recurrent patterns in films? First, as an authoring tool, it enables researchers, however imperfectly, to view short pieces of film and simultaneously to write multimodal descrip- tions of them in terms of various parameters, for example, those relating to a text's metafunctional and phasal organization. Using MCA's editing tool, researchers can segment a particular film into functional units and, while viewing these units, type out detailed annotations relating both to the semi- otic resources they deploy and the functions they perform within that film. Indeed, MCA approximates to the researcher's dream of simultaneously viewing and writing a description of a film in real time (see Baldry and Taylor, in press). Second, like a linguistic concordancer, a multimodal concordancer can also establish patterns that relate to a series of texts, rather than to specific instances, to a much greater degree than is possible with a multimodal transcription, even where the latter is oriented towards type rather than instance. For example, it is possible, using MCA, to determine the ratio of female to male drivers, or to identify those texts relating to cars that are not being driven, and hence have no drivers, and those relating to cars which are instead being driven but where the driver is 'implied' and not actually seen. It is also possible to identify special cases that involve two drivers, typically one male and one female, or non-human drivers, typically robots. As with any corpus approach using information technology, this information can be obtained within a few seconds. However, unlike many lemma-based approaches, the researcher must first carry out the work of description-cum- transcription of the texts in the corpus. Not surprisingly, the software design is such to incorporate an analytical framework that simplifies this task as much as possible.
  • 105. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 97 MCA's incorporated relational database allows researchers to search the corpora created and identify patterns in them, all of which leads to a further round of hypothesis formulation, segmentation, description and com- parison of results. Table 4.2 gives the results of multimodal concordancing in relation to 60 car adverts and shows that there are, in fact, many cases where there is either no driver, because the car is stationary (16/60), or where an unseen driver is driving the car (19/60). There are in fact a total of 24 male drivers (though in 3 cases we assume that the driver is a male from what goes before and after). There are only six woman drivers and two of these appear, as in the case of The Fan, in adverts where a man also drives. Importantly, half the adverts are careful not to show the driver's identity. Moreover, the relationship between men and women takes on a different perspective when we look at different participants in the structure of an advert. When we examine, for example, the ratio between male and female voiceovers (whose function is usually to act as 'narrators' or 'storytellers'), we notice that the imbalance begins to redress itself for there are various cases in the corpus where, vis-a-vis a male or an unidentified driver, a female Table 4.2 Driver types in 60 TV car adverts
  • 106. 98 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS voiceover predominates. As Table 4.3 shows, the search query in this case is no longer formed by a single parameter (driver) but is a relational search that links two disparate parameters: driver and storyteller. Thus, unlike many lemma-based linguistic concordancers such as OCP or WordSmith, but in keeping with the approach adopted by O'Halloran and Judd (2002), a multimodal concordancer needs to be built around the notion of the relationship between resources, events and participants. In this respect, any form of transcription is a hard task, often undertaken by a researcher without knowing whether the effort will be worth the candle. In theory, the results described in Table 4.2 could be acquired by watching a videocassette and marking down the various features using pen and paper. Though in principle feasible, it would be a time-consuming process. Even using MCA, which greatly reduces the time taken to provide a description, it is still a time-consuming process. A much harder task, however, is to relate the parameter DRIVER with other parameters such as STORYTELLER and ORAL SLOGAN. This is virtually impossible to achieve using traditional pen-and- paper and cassette methods. A multimodal concordancer, such as MCA, which is based on these relational principles, can easily identify such pat- terns through relational searches as Table 4.3 indicates. Third, a multimodal concordancer, even more than a linguistic concord- ancer, needs to be built around functional parameters such as those we have mentioned above, namely Halliday's notion of metafunctions (Halliday, 1994) and Gregory's notion of phase and transition (Gregory, 1995, 2002). In this respect, one significant step in the development of a corpus relates to the work of tagging. In their paper on the development of a tagging system, Baldry and Thibault (2001: 94-98) proposed the use of an annotational system that defined gesture and language in terms of Halliday's notion of Table 4.3 A relational search in MCA
  • 107. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 99 Experiential metafunction: thus a tag of the L-MENT:PROJ and G-MENT:PROJ type means that the text being described contains an instantiation in which language and gesture are being used together to express mental projection. MCA will support this type of tagging without any difficulty. However, given that, as mentioned above, annotational systems in multimodal concordanc- ers are still in their infancy, the system adopted so far has been oriented to a binary presence/absence distinction of the various descriptive parameters, which, as described elsewhere (Baldry and Taylor, in press), may be defined at will by the corpus author. But how does all this contribute, for example, to our understanding of the phasal organization of texts? Though ultimately more sophisticated map- pings of the relationship between phases and metafunctions should be possible, in the current stage of development, this relationship has been characterized only in terms of a very preliminary step, namely the analysis of the major Experiential 'category' in the car-drive phase(s) of 60 car adverts: the activity of driving and what precedes and follows it. As Table 4.4 illustrates, this activity has been characterized in terms of the sub-components associated with the material process of driving, where SP stands (as indicated in Table 4.1) for a subphase. Using MCA, this information can be retrieved from the corpus with a query of the form: SP2: contains YES or SP2: contains NO or even SP2: contains YES and NO in cases where the matter is not quite so clear (for Table 4.4 Division of the activity of driving into subphases SP1: INDICATES INTENTION: e.g. picks up keys (partly a mental process, partly a material process); SP2: APPROACHES: The driver a) approaches the car and b) unlocks the driver's door; SP3: GETS IN: The driver a) opens the door, b) gets in and c) closes door; SP4: STARTS UP/DEPARTS: The driver a) puts the key in the ignition, b) starts the engine, c) indicates intention to move off and d) pulls away; SP5: CAR-DRIVE: The driver drives along the road (in town/country, by day/by night, in summer/winter, on/off road) towards his/ her destination; SPG: STOPS/SLOWS: The driver (a) stops and (b) slows down at INTERMEDIATE POINTS (e.g. traffic lights, junction, negotiates bend, has accident, calls in a shop, changes cars); SP7: ARRIVES/PARKS: The driver (a) slows down, (b) stops on reaching destination, (c) parks and (d) switches off engine; SP8: EXITS: The driver (a) gets out of the car and (b) closes door; SP9: WALKS OFF: separates himself/herself physically from the car.
  • 108. 100 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS example, when a driver opens the door and puts an object or person in the car rather than himself/herself). Equally, it is possible, with a single search, to identify all the cases where we see the car being driven and the driver getting into and out of the car, in this case a query of the type: SP3: contains YES + SP5: contains YES + SP8 contains YES. Thus 60 adverts were 'tagged' in terms of the subphases of the car-drive phase (the first subphase has been excluded on the grounds that it is only partly a material process), in such a way that the corpus could be searched for the absence or presence of a particular subphase. As Table 4.5 shows, there is in fact only one advert (n. 21) which comes anywhere close to instantiating all the possible subphases and even in this case one subphase is missing and another is doubtful - hence the YES/NO tag represented as a bracketed tick: this is a case where the driver is seen getting into the car but only to put his young son in the back seat (see Figure 4.3 below). In all these adverts, visual/verbal ellipsis is constantly at work vis-a- vis the instantiation of the driving experience: there is normally no need to see all the phases at work, since our own experience of driving allows us to 'fill in the gaps'. With the exception of advert n. 21, in 60 adverts we never see the driver getting into and out of a car. Table 4.5 suggests that car adverts do, in fact, fall into three types, which may be tabulated as follows: 1 Car-drive adverts: The car is seen moving in a glorified way that attempts to go beyond the daily grind of the ordinary world. The car is in an ideal world. More often than not the number of participants is limited to one or two people and in many cases no human participant is foregrounded; the participants never talk about the car and never talk to each other and only exceptionally to the audience. In these adverts only subphase 5 is apparent (17 cases); 2 Car-stationary adverts: The car is motionless, a statue to be 'worshipped' and is typically related to some inconsistency or oddity in the behaviour of the people surrounding the car who typically talk about the car. In these adverts, none of the subphases listed in Table 4.4 is present (11 cases represented in Table 4.5 as grey-shaded columns) or alternatively sub- phases in which the car is seen moving are absent (a further 6 cases); 3 Hybrid storytelling adverts: where both car-drive and car-stationary elements are present and where either other genres are exploited to meet the advert's own ends (e.g. spoofs on cinema and TV genres) or some attempt is made to define the car in relation to daily activities and (usually) its enhancement of these. These types include talk but never in the car-drive phase or subphase. A good example of this is where the car-drive element is not shown - hence the bracketed tick notation - but is instead realized, through talk, as a mental and oral fantasy (projection) about the car's drive potential by the car driver while the car is actually stopped (say at the traffic lights). This is by far the largest category (26 cases), although it should be noted that the majority (15) instantiate CD subphases before CS subphases (The Fan being a rather special case).
  • 109. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 101 Table 4.5 Distribution of subphases (material process) in the car-drive phase A fourth important characteristic of a multimodal concordancer is that it comes close to functioning as a 'Mark II' multimodal transcription repre- sented in Figure 4.2 incorporating the notion of type in that it can 'print out' all the characteristics of a specific car advert in terms of a set of YES/ NO presence of descriptive parameters. Thus Table 4.6 gives the 'print- out' (actually a screen illustration) for The Fan advert we have analysed above.
  • 110. 102 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS ' Table 4.6 Screen illustration of a multimodal transcription generated by MCA Table 4.7 A multimodal transcription generated by MCA using relational parameters Finally, an important function of the multimodal concordancer, closely linked to its capacity to relate the characteristics of a specific car advert to general trends, lies in its ability to pick the 'odd man' out. Thus, for example, getting into a car is a comparatively rare event found in only 5 out of 60 adverts. Though by no means the rarest of subphases, its relative absence is surprising. Moreover, there are only two cases (10, 21) where SP2+SP3+SP4 all occur together. As Table 4.7 shows, they are both marked cases where, as is very frequently the case in car adverts, the abnormality and unpredictability of humans (in this case, as Figure 4.3 shows, the stereotypical forgetfulness of a male driver) is compared to the scientific reliability of cars. Notice the player symbols on the left-hand side of Tables 4.3, 4.6 and 4.7. Once we have identified a particularly striking result, we can mouse-click these symbols and gain immediate access to the advert in question, all of which allows us to view the precise context and to 'explain' the exception to the predicted pattern in the manner indicated in Figure 4.3. A multimodal concordancer is, after all, concerned with giving the researcher immediate access to phases in film that require careful scrutiny. Analyses of the results of queries such as Table 4.4, together with excep- tions such as those suggested in Table 4.7 and Figure 4.3, all confirm Thibault's (2000: 343) hypothesis that: In movement, simultaneity and spatiality rather than linear succession in time and particulateness (constituency) are important in the realization of Experiential event and action configurations.
  • 111. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 103 Figure 4.3 Unusual events dictate the need for an extended pre-drive subphase This might at first seem surprising: undoubtedly, the posited sequence of 8 subphases in the material process of driving might at first be seen as implying a linear succession in time. However, as we have seen, most of the subphases are implied rather than actually seen: only 5 out of 60 adverts explicitly represent more than 4 subphases. Most are more like The Fan, concerned with the car as a social space rather than as a moving object. The camera focuses on the spatial location of the car (on a country road) and on a body or body part (where body = e.g. driver, mascot or car) which performs a movement as an instigator or a reactor. Nevertheless, car adverts may, in general, be divided into three main blocks that can be tabulated as follows: an initial block consisting of a single phase focusing on a single, individual entity: a specific car, a person or a place in time; a main block consisting of one or more phases or subphases contextual- izing the initial focus through the specification of the relations of the selected entity with the 'missing' parameters; an end block consisting of a single phase: featuring the car logo, name, manufacturer and, in many cases, some kind of EVALUATING synthesis that may be used to project beyond the small world of individual entities shown in the advert to a larger, more complex world (and which, of course, functions to persuade you, the viewer, by overcoming your resist- ance to the product). This phasal organization seems to fit The Fan and many other adverts in the corpus very well. However, more work using MCA is required to establish the validity of this suggested typical phasal organization and the division of advert types into three types. The [+/-CD] and [+/—GS] tagging system will not, of course, always be distributed as in the current case as: +CD(P1)A+CSA+CS/+CD(P2)A+GD(P3)A-GS/-GD(P4). There are cases, for example, in which the distribution is essentially the reverse, with the car's physical presence being confined exclusively to the end phase. But this does not affect the hypothesis that three basic subtypes exist.
  • 112. 104 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS If they do exist, then it may well be that the predominating human figure in the car advert will turn out to be generically correlated with one of the specific subtypes mentioned above: the DRIVER (the car-drive only advert), the INSPECTOR (the car-stationary advert) and the RACONTEUR/STORYTELLER (the hybrid type alternating car-drive and car-stationary phases and includ- ing the subtype which includes an off-screen narrator). A further prediction is that other roles will be involved definable, however, in relation to the car (as opposed to other participants, whether family, colleagues or strangers). That is, it may prove to be the case that (despite many overlaps between the categories) the car may be defined in terms of first, second and third person relationships. The general distribution might well be: (a) car-drive adverts: driver with his/her car [first person: mine: car and me, driver are the same thing]; (b) car-stationary adverts: inspector with somebody else's car, not mine [third per- son: otherness: not mine/notyours; (c) storytelling adverts: raconteur and his/her dream car for you [second person: yours, likely to include some kind of appeal of the type: You should be driving it. . .]. Table 4.5 reconstructs the Experiential metafunction of 60 car adverts analytically and systematically as subphases in the material process of driving, thereby suggesting the validity of multimodal concordancing as an ana- lytical and teaching approach. But, however systematic this may be, this is only a provisional finding for if we are to honour the definition of phases in terms of Gregory's already mentioned concept of consistency and congruity echoed in Thibault's definition of phases as 'co-patterned semiotic selec- tions that are co-deployed in a consistent way over a given stretch of text' (Thibault, 2000: 325-326) and if we are to characterize their consequent close identification with specific metafunctional configurations, we need, at the very least, to complete the picture by describing patterns that emerge vis-a-vis the Interpersonal metafunction (many of which are likely to be stereotypical) and even more crucially the types of configurations that emerge in relation to Interpersonal meanings when they are mapped onto the Experiential structure we have sketched out. This is a complex descriptive operation. Thus, although the previous paragraph gives broad suggestions as to how this mapping might take place in car adverts, a com- plete picture of the organization of car adverts into typical patterns of phases and transitions still needs to be worked out. Such a picture needs to be ascertained with more robust corpus description than the one currently available. But the important point to note is that both the type of corpus description and the corpus querying that this operation requires seem to be quite in keeping with MCA's capabilities, given that its core feature is its capacity to relate a wide array of disparate features over a wide range of texts. But even if the phasal patterns sketched out above prove to be valid over a still larger corpus, they will not be a point of arrival. Rather they will still be a point of departure into a more precise understanding of transitions and transition types, whose careful description, as this paper has attempted to suggest, is crucial to the success of the multimodal analysis of film texts.
  • 113. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 105 Conclusion What is a multimodal transcription and what is a multimodal concordancer? What is the relation between them and how can they promote English studies, both from the standpoint of the researcher carrying out detailed comparisons of texts and, more generally, from the standpoint of teachers and students of English? Why should we be looking at type as opposed to instance? Most answers to these questions will, hopefully, have been provided in what has been stated above. A characterization of phase and transition types would seem to lead to a better understanding of the features of dynamic genres of which TV ads are just one exponent, one that at the very least provides a guiding framework for students taking their first steps in the analysis of dynamic texts. A few concluding notes are, however, in order. While the multimodal tran- scription can be a useful starting point for an understanding of the ways in which resources such as gaze, gesture and language combine in typical phasal patterns, it has its limitations, some of which have been noted above. In the early stages of this work, Baldry and Thibault developed a dynamic version of the static multimodal transcription, a forerunner of MCA, which allowed the user to generate the individual rows of a transcription through a query mech- anism, and which facilitated understanding of how visual objects and their movements could be analysed in terms of Halliday's metafunctions. Unlike a lemma-based linguistic concordancer such as OCP or Wordsmith, MCA does not search throug Textual data directly in the search for patterns but does so indirectly: it searches the corpus for patterns in descriptions which have been previously created by the researcher using MCA's annotational tool. The annotational patterns so far used in the con- struction of a corpus of car adverts relate mainly to the metafunctional and phasal organization of the texts. As we have seen, in the analysis of The Fan car advert, driving a car is notjust a question of driving: rather a car advert can be defined in terms of the relationship between the car driver and the car itself, with car-drive (CD) phases intertwining with car-stationary (CS) phases. Above all, though, MCA is the result of efforts to create transcription and annotational tools that meet functional criteria in a way that was not achieved by the first generations of lemma-based concordances. In this respect, it has to be stressed that the needs of the research community have changed in recent years in such a way as to privilege specialized corpora, including the analysis, whether comparative or otherwise, of specific texts, all of which are clearly reflected in the design characteristics of MCA. MCA has been specifically designed as an online tool so that the research and teaching community can easily access it. In this respect, work is currently in progress to establish what integrations can be achieved with other systems, for example, with HyperContext Web which uses techniques born in arti- ficial intelligence that keep track of the user's progress and which are fun- damental in teaching applications of corpora (see Pavesi and Baldry, 2000; Piastra and Lombardi, 2000).
  • 114. 106 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Multimodal concordancing is in its infancy. MCA may have been on-line for more than a year now with a constantly growing user base. But it is still a prototype that requires inputs and co-developments by various research teams, including the efforts of specialists in computer-based multimodal annotational systems. One area, for example, in which MCA and instru- ments like MCA may be expected to develop further, in particular if they are to be used as a teaching tool, is in terms of their incorporation of predefined sets of parameters so as to reflect different linguistic and multi- modal theories and traditions. Here MCA will depend heavily on the experience gained by other research teams, in particular the work carried out at the National University of Singapore (for example, O'Halloran and Judd, 2002). Another development will be in relation to subtitling (Baldry, 2002; Baldry and Taylor, in press) where a project is underway to associate language-learning subtitles with the films in MCA's database. Rather than as faced overlays incorporated in the film itself, the subtitles, rather as hap- pens with DVD, will be generated independently of the film text, in the case of MCA, through specific queries using the relational querying mechanism. Acknowledgements This paper is part of research within the Linguatel Project, an Italian inter- University project, co-financed by MURST/MIUR and co-ordinated by Carol Taylor Torsello, University of Padua and its successor the Didactas Project, co-ordinated by Chris Taylor, University of Trieste, which is similarly financed. Michele Beltrami has developed MCA to the author's design requirements as part of this project. Now in its second release, MCA is viewable through the Pavia pages of the Linguatel Website: or directly at: [default User name: guest and default login: iamguest; see also New Regis- tration] using Microsoft Explorer. I thank Vauxhall Motors for the inclusion of five frames from their advertisement, and I also wish to thank Antonio Cerlenizza and Oliver Bartholomay, respectively Direttore Audi Italia and Responsabile MKT- Audi of Autogerma, Divisione Audi S.p.A, Verona and Roberta Mottino of Verba s.r.l. Milan for their kind permission to reproduce parts of The Fan advert for the Audi A4 model. However appreciative and supportive of the advert's organization and goals, the interpretation given above remains, of course, entirely mine. References Baldry, A. P. (1999) Multimodality and multimediality. In M. Karagevrekis (ed.), Compelling Learning Techniques in ESP/EAP, Proceedings of the 3rd ESP Conference., 25th September 1998. Thessaloniki: Zefyros, 5-32. Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000a) Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso: Palladino Editore.
  • 115. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 107 Baldry, A. P. (2000b) ESP in a visual society: historical dimensions in multimodality and multimediality. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso: Palladino Editore, 41—89. Baldry, A. P. (2000c) Introduction. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimedial- ity in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso: Palladino Editore, 11—39. Baldry, A. P. (2002) Computerized subtitling: a multimodal approach to the learning of minority languages. In G. Talbot and P. Williams (eds), Essays in Language Translation and Digital Learning Technologies in Honour of Doug Thompson. London: Matador-Troubador Books, 69-84. Baldry, A. P. (in press) Promoting comparative multimodal concordancing: its role in language education, teacher training, subtitling and minority language learning. In N. Vasta (ed.), Atti del Convegno Forms of Promotion, Bologna: Patron. Baldry, A. P. and Taylor, C. (in press) Multimodal corpus authoring system: multi- modal corpora, subtitling and phasal analysis. In Proceedings of the LREC Congress, Las Palmas, June 2002. Baldry, A. P. and Thibault, P. J. (2001) Towards multimodal corpora. In G. Aston and L. Burnard (eds), Corpora in the Description and Teaching of English. Bologna: CLUEB, 87-102. Bernstein, B. (1971) Class, Codes, and Control, Vol. I: Theoretical Studies Towards a Sociology of Language. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Cook, G. (1992) The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge. (2nd edn 2001) Gregory, M. (1995) Generic expectancies and discoursal surprises. John Donne's The Good Morrow. In P. Fries and M. Gregory (eds), Discourse in Society: Systemic—Functional Perspectives. Meaning and Choice in Language: Studies for Michael Hal- liday. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 67-84. Gregory, M. (2002) Phasal analysis within communication linguistics: two con- trastive discourses. In P. Fries, M. Cummings, D. Lockwood and W. Sprueill (eds), Relations and Functions within and around Language. London: Continuum, 316-345. Gregory, M. and Malcolm, K. (1981) Generic Situation and Discourse Phase: An Approach to the Analysis of Children's Talk. Mimeo, Applied Linguistics Research Working Group. Glendon College, York University, Toronto. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Halliday, M. A. K. (1978) Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning. London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M. A. K. and Hasan, R. (1985) Language, Context and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-Semiotic Perspective. Geelong, Victoria: Deakin University Press. (Republished by Oxford University Press, 1989.) Lombardo, L. (2001) Selling it and Telling it. A Functional Approach to the Discourse of Print Ads and TV News. Roma: Istituto Linguistica Moderna, Luiss, Guido Carli. O'Donnell, M. (2002) Systemics Coder. index.html O'Halloran, K. L. andjudd, K. (2002) Systemics 1.0. [CD-ROM]. Singapore: Singa- pore University Press. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. Pavesi, M. and Baldry, A. P. (2000) Learning to read scientific texts: integrated self- access courseware and corpora for university science students. In A. P. Baldry
  • 116. 108 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (ed.), Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso: Palladino Editore, 227-245. Piastra, M. and Lombard!, L. (2000) The HyperContext Web Project: dynamic authoring for distance learning. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimedial- ity in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso: Palladino Editore, 247-262. Taylor, G. and Baldry, A. P. (200la) Computer assisted text analysis and translation: a functional approach in the analysis and translation of advertising texts. In E. Steiner and C. Yallop (eds), Exploring Translation and Multilingual Text Production: Beyond Content. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 277-305. Taylor, G. and Baldry, A. P. (200Ib) Computer-assisted text analysis and translation (characteristics of interactive self-access computer modules incorporating a func- tional approach in the analysis and translation of advertising texts). In G. Torsello, G. Brunetti, andN. Penello (eds), Corpora Testualiper Ricerca, Traduzione e Apprendimento Linguistico. Studi Linguistici Applicati. Padova: Unipress, 273-292. Thibault, P. J. (2000) The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: theory and practice. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso: Palladino Editore, 311—385. Vasta, N. (2001) Rallying Voters: New Labour's Verbal—Visual Strategies. Padova: Gedam. Zago, S. (2002) A multimodal analysis of six television adverts. Unpublished thesis. Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Anglo-Germaniche e Slave, University of Padua.
  • 117. 5 Visual semiosis in film Kay L. O'Hallomn National University of Singapore Introduction The aim of this paper is to investigate a method for capturing and interpret- ing the spatial and temporal dynamics of visual semiosis. This is achieved through the description of an analysis of a short segment from the dynamic medium of film. The analysis is based on a systemic-functional framework for film, and the use of software which allows the editing of digital video images in order to display visually the nature of different semiotic choices across a range of systems. From this point, the problematic nature of such an enterprise becomes apparent and possible directions for future research are suggested. The film medium parallels a significant dimension of our experience of the world: it involves sequences of change and repetition in the visual and auditory realm. Film, however, involves playing with time sequences in a two-dimensional frame to represent our three-dimensional lived-in material experience of the world where the faculties of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch are sources for sensory, and therefore semiotic, input. Thus while limited in the sense that the discussion presented here only incorporates the visual aspect of semiotic exchange, this paper is nonetheless a further tenta- tive step towards incorporating the meaning of the dynamic in systemic- functional theory. For it is not only the culmination of choices made across semiotic resources in their interaction with other resources that makes meaning, but also the temporal and spatial unfolding of those choices. Although images of instances frozen in time may become lodged within our consciousness, generally we do not make meaning from a series of snapshot images of the world, but rather our daily experience of the world is based on patterns of change; that is, meanings derived from systems in flux. Our perceptual apparatus is oriented towards detecting and assimilating change and contrast, rather than relying on the stability and continuity which, in the normal course of events, we learn to layer on top of that experience. An adequate model which accounts for our social construction of the world, therefore, necessarily needs to account for changing states which have trad- itionally been the concern of other domains, which include film theory, mathematics, physics and studies of perception in cognitive science.
  • 118. 110 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Although not reproduced here (Paramount refused copyright permis- sion),1 two short scenes from the film Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski (1974), were analysed for this paper. While film is evidentiy staged and dir- ected behaviour with sequences which have been edited to achieve particular effects, the analysis of this medium is at least a step in understanding semiosis in everyday life. That is, despite the scripted and edited nature of film per- formance, this environment provides us with some means to start investigat- ing everyday discourses-in-flux. Using a systemic-functional framework for film, this paper is a preliminary attempt at a method for capturing and analysing the dynamics of visual semiosis in a digitalized video format. The social semiotic framework presented in this paper is based on Michael Halliday's (1994) systemic-functional grammar of the English language. Halliday's theorization of language as a social semiotic with systems for Interpersonal, Experiential, Logical and Textual meaning has been extended by O'Toole (1994, 1995, 1999) to the realm of displayed art; for example, paintings, architecture and sculpture. While O'Toole's systems for paintings are included in the proposed framework for film, the former are concerned with analysing the single semiotic of the static visual image. In film, however, there are multiple semiotic resources being used spatially and temporally. Thus the multiple resources which result in change, similarity and contrast are included in the systemic model for film presented here. In addition, O'Toole (1999) represents his theory in an interactive CD-ROM format. This method of visual representation in the electronic environment provides the basis for the investigations undertaken in this paper. The focus of early studies in multimodality has primarily been directed towards the analysis of static texts; notably Lemke's (1998b, 2003) early pioneering work in scientific discourse and mathematics, Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design, and other more recent studies2 (for example, Baldry, 2000; Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001; O'HaUoran, 2003a, 2003b; Ventola et al, forthcoming). However, current research is increasingly turning towards the analysis of the dynamic text (for example, Baldry, this volume; Callaghan and McDonald, 2002; ledema, 2001; Lemke, 1998a, 2000; Mclnnes, 1998; Martinec, 2000; Thibault, 2000; van Leeuwen 1999). With the exception of Baldry's Multimodal Corpus Authoring (MCA) system (see this volume), however, few (if any) attempts have been made to analyse dynamic semiosis in digitalized format using computer-based tech- nology. Baldry's MCA is a Web-based instrument which is designed for analysing dynamic multimodal texts, that is, film and video texts which display different and constantly varying configurations of sound, image, gesture, text and language as the text unfolds in time. Baldry harnesses the potential of computer technology to develop the MCA system with the aim of developing a metafunctionally based transcription method which can highlight the types of shots, cuts, phases and transitions. The analyst can record choices in a relational database format so that comparisons can be
  • 119. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 111 made across a corpus of texts. This concordance instrument thus analyses the dynamics of semiosis through methods which involve recording anno- tated entries. As Baldry (this volume: 105) explains: MCA does not search through Textual data directly in the search for patterns but does so indirectly: it searches the corpus for patterns in descriptions which have been previously created by the researcher using MCA's annotational tool. The annotational patterns so far used in the construction of a corpus of car adverts relate mainly to the metafunctional and phasal organization of the texts. One aim of this paper is to suggest ways in which the user can directly search for patterns in visual Textual data. In other words, I explain how com- mercially available software can be used in conjunction with a visual grammar to capture changing patterns in dynamic text. This exploratory stage is viewed as a first step towards a new methodology afforded by the electronic medium which could eventually be included in a system such as Baldry's MCA. In addition, there is the potential to incorporate software such as Systemics 1.0 (O'Halloran and Judd, 2002) in such applications in order to analyse the linguistic choices as they unfold in time. The chal- lenge remains for us to capture and analyse choices across all semiotic resources in such a way that the dynamics of meaning-making can truly be investigated. A visual grammar for visual images The inspiration for the approach adopted in this study stems from O'Toole's (1994: 24, 1999) framework for the analysis of paintings where a constituent structure approach with ranks PICTURE, EPISODE, FIGURE and MEMBER is adopted. O'Toole's chart documents the systems of meaning for the Experiential, Interpersonal and Textual metafunctions which are respectively labelled representational, modal and compositional. While many of these systems can also be seen to operate within the realm of film, the different medium of production and the fact that the text unfolds in real time mean that there are further dimensions to the analysis. Also, given the cause-effect relations in film narrative, the logical metafunction is also included. In the innovative CD-ROM, Engaging with Art, O'Toole (1999) creatively utilizes computer technology in an interactive multimedia hypertext environment to display choices visually from his systemic-functional frame- work. For example, in Plate 5.1 O'Toole effectively captures choices from the system of light which function to engage the viewer in Rembrandt's painting The Night Watch (1642). In another instance, O'Toole (1999) demon- strates how Vertical Lines are one resource which functions compositionally in Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886). He also gives an amusing demonstration of the change in meaning which would occur in Botticelli's Primavera (1478) with alternative choices for the direction of Gaze for each of the figures in the painting.
  • 120. 112 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Plate 5.1 Visualizing the system of light (O'Toole, 1999) O'Toole's (1999) Engaging with Art thus represents a major advance in theory of semiotic analysis where choices in the visual semiotic are displayed visually rather than being described linguistically. This method means that patterns in visual semiosis may be marked in such a way that the viewer can immediately grasp the significance of such choices. As I describe in this paper, there also exists the potential for displaying visually the overlapping dynamic choices in-flux across systems. The advantages of this approach may be appreciated through a comparison with an alternative method developed by Thibault (2000). As a major step in theorizing a comprehensive semiotic analysis of a television advertisement,3 Thibault (2000: 374—385) proposes a static lin- guistic description in table format with dimensions 'Visual Image', 'Kinesic Action', 'Soundtrack' and 'Metafunctional Interpretation of Phases and Sub- phases' which are denned as constituting 'an intermediate level of analysis which lies between the microlevel lexicogrammatical, kinesic, and image selections and the global structuring of the text as a whole' (Thibault, 2000: 365). Following Gregory (1995, 2002), Thibault (2000: 325-326) defines phase as 'a set of co-patterned semiotic selections that are co-deployed in a consistent way over a given stretch of text'. Here the change of phase is marked by a salient metafunctional choice which marks the transition.
  • 121. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 113 Although a highly significant and useful methodology for capturing integra- tively multimodal social meaning-making, the linguistic description does not capture the import of such choices and also it fails to map visually the choices as a sequence of continuity and change. The potential exists for the viewer to actively engage with the digitalized film segments to illustrate the impact of different semiotic choices. This is achievable through the use of facilities in video editing software such as Adobe Premiere 6.0, which permits the user to segment a digitalized video clip into sections according to frame number (for example, 1, 2, 4 and 6 frames) or time intervals (for example, 1, 2, 4 seconds). The software allows the user to manipulate the visual footage in multiple ways; for example, the image may be adjusted for brightness, contrast, colour (which can be replaced and matched) and special effects such as blurring, distortion, per- spective, edge definition and shadowing (to name but a few) may be applied. The software also allows the user to create multiple transparent mattes which act as overlays on the original film footage so that text can be inserted and lines, vectors, figures, outlines and shadings can be drawn. In addition, visual transitions between parts of the footage can be marked in various ways. These facilities allow the user to mark explicitly the nature of visual semiotic choices which have been made. Just as one enters a linguistic analy- sis by tagging the linguistic text in software such as Systemics 1.0, so the analyst can enter the analysis of the visual images through direct Textual engagement. In the following discussion of the analysis of the visual dimensions of the dynamics of the film footage, I do not consider the soundtrack. Therefore, in this limited discussion it is important to keep in mind Baldry's (this volume: 94) claim that transitions in phases take many forms: Thus, transitions are not necessarily equated with the cutting from one shot to another, nor indeed with what is happening in the visual. While transitions will often be related to what is happening in the visual, this will not always be the case [. . .] transitions, as Thibault (2000: 320) and Gregory (2002: 323) have pointed out, essentially relate to changes in the metafunctional organization of the text and as such may very well be related to changes in the soundtrack and not just to what happens in the visual. Video-editing tools, therefore, allow the user to highlight the different semi- otic choices visually and view the impact of such choices when they com- bine in the text in real time. The method which was adopted for this paper involved the use of Adobe Premiere 6.0 to explore how salient semiotic choices may be highlighted in a short extract from the film Chinatown. How- ever, as previously noted, unfortunately it has not been possible to reproduce still frames from this analysis in this publication due to Paramount Studio's refusal to give copyright permission. Nonetheless, the results of the visual analysis are described in some detail.
  • 122. 114 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS A systemic-functional framework and Chinatown (1974) The systemic-functional model proposed here4 has been developed in con- junction with the film theory presented in Bordwell and Thompson's (2001) Film Art: An Introduction. Bordwell and Thompson are concerned with the image in the visual frame and the accompanying audio soundtrack. In what follows, I discuss the proposed systemic framework and demonstrate how such an approach may be applied for the analysis of compositional and Interpersonal meaning in two short scenes from Chinatown. In order to situ- ate the analysis, I first briefly discuss this film. Written by Robert Towne and produced by Robert Evans with director Roman Polanski and production designer Richard Sylbert, Chinatown is a detective film set in 1937 in Los Angeles with Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes (the private detective), Fay Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray (the wife of Hollis Mulwray, chief engineer of Water Energy and Power) and John Huston as Noah Cross (former partner with Hollis Mulwray of a private water com- pany for LA). The plot unfolds as Jake unearths the corruption behind Cross's plan to build a new reservoir. This involves investigation of the murder of Hollis Mulwray who opposes the plan, and unearthing the his- tory of Evelyn Mulwray who was raped by her father Noah Cross at the age of 15. Cross's partner Hollis Mulwray subsequently married Evelyn and supported her daughter Katherine. After Jake becomes aware of the reasons for Evelyn's actions, he organizes her escape from her father with Katherine. However, Cross forces Jake to disclose their whereabouts with the result that Evelyn is killed by the police. Jake once again unwittingly aids the death of someone he is trying to protect, which is a repeated scene from the days in which he was a police officer in Los Angeles' Chinatown. Chinatown has been the subject of much discussion in film theory (for example, Eaton, 1997; Heisner, 1997; Krutnik, 1991; Tuska, 1984). Based on the history of pumping water to Los Angeles in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Eaton (1997: 43) explains that Chinatown is 'a complex detective thriller with dimensions which are political (about the nature of power), sexual (about the nature of gender), metaphysical (about the nature of the evil), psychological (about the nature of the self) and philosophical (about the nature of knowledge)'. According to Eaton (1997) the subtext is concerned with the theme of American greed. In addition, Heisner (1997: 63) explains that Robert Towne has explored the 1930s popular conception of 'the inscrutable Orient' which is 'unknowable; it is dense and powerful and corrupt'. In the film Chinatown, this view is applied to the entire world. The proposed systemic-functional framework involves classifying the film according to type, form and genre. The semiotic analysis of the film is based on a metafunctionally organized rank constituent structure with ranks Film Plot, Sequences, Scene, Mise-en-Scene and Frame. Though beyond the scope of this paper, the notion of metafunctionally based phases and transi- tions may be incorporated within this framework. The aim of the analysis
  • 123. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 115 undertaken here, however, is to demonstrate how a visual grammar can be implemented in the dynamic digitalized environment of film. Film type: fiction, documentary, experimental and animated Film form: narrative, categorical, rhetorical, abstract and association Genre: multiple types; for example, narrative films include science fiction, western, musical, comedy, suspense, and action thrillers with sub-genres horror, detective, hostage and gangster Ranks: Film Plot Sequences Scenes Mise-en-Scene (the shot) Frame Film type /form Bordwell and Thompson (2001) categorize films as fiction, documentary, experimental and animated based on how the film material was chosen, arranged and the nature of the filming. They further propose that films also have a basic film form, or a system of relationships among the parts which may be categorized as Narrative, Categorical, Rhetorical, Abstract and Associational. The narrative form, however, is dominant in mainstream cinema. Bordwell and Thompson (2001: 60) define narrative as 'a chain of events in cause-effect relationship occurring in time and space'. In a narra- tive film, the viewer is presented with the plot, 'the arrangement of material in the film' from which the viewer individually creates the story 'on the basis of cues in the plot' (ibid.: 62). Most films employ narrative where causality and time are central. In classic Hollywood cinema, the action usually springs from individual characters as causal agents where the narrative usually centres on personal psychological causes such as decisions, desires, choices and traits of char- acter (Bordwell and Thompson, 2001). The narrative subordinates time, motivation and other factors to the cause-effect sequence. There is usually strong closure where the causal chain is completed with a final effect. 'We usually learn the fate of each character, the answer to each mystery, and the outcome of each conflict' (ibid.: 77). In Chinatown Jake Gittes desires to know the truth surrounding Evelyn and the murder of Hollis Mulwray. As Eaton (1997) explains, Evelyn chooses not to speak because she knows too much about her father's corruption and power to share Jake's faith in revelation. Jake considers her a betrayer but he learns that in fact she is the victim. The cause-effect relations in Chinatown are extremely complex as new revelations continually occur in the unfolding of the plot.
  • 124. 116 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Genre There are no rigid criteria to define the different genres of film (Bordwell and Thompson, 2001). Some classifications are based on subject/theme (for example, crime for gangster movies), while others are defined by emotional effect (for example, amusement for comedy). Genre conventions are also based on plot, thematic development, film techniques and iconography. Fur- ther to this, genres change and new hybrid types are continually emerging. However, despite this fluidity the audience generally recognizes genre con- ventions. Genres are seen to be institutionalized and ritualized dramas 'which are satisfying because they reaffirm cultural values . . . [such as] self sacri- ficing heroism, the desirability of romantic love' (Bordwell and Thompson, 2001: 99). Bordwell and Thompson (2001) further explain that these reaf- firmations distance the viewer from real social problems and the more finite and anxiety-ridden aspects of life such as death, disease, breakdown and insecurity. Genres may also be seen to 'exploit ambivalent social values and attitudes' which 'arouse emotion by touching upon deep social uncertainties but then channel those emotions into approved attitudes' (ibid.: 99). Chinatown is a detective story with an investigative structure (Eaton, 1997). 'As Poe so clearly put it, the detective exists "to play the Oedipus'" (ibid.: 17), the truth seeker. Chinatown is a story where 'wrongs can ultimately be uncovered but the seeker after truth is not only completely incapable of right- ing them but his very search will only make matters worse' (ibid.: 21). Chinatown is also recognized as film noir and, more specifically, reflects the origins of the neo-noir. The subject of much study (for example, Christopher, 1997; Hirsch, 1981; Kaplan, 1998; Krutnik, 1991; Palmer, 1994; Tuska, 1984; Voytilla, 1999], film noir is a descriptive term for American crime film from early 1940s to late 1950s where doomed men are obsessed with seduc- tive women, as exemplified by Double Indemnity (1944) and Scarlet Street (1945). In the 1960s and 1970s films with noir flourishes include Klute (1971), Play Misty for Me (1971), Taxi Driver (1976) and Chinatown (1974). Definitions of film noir vary but there seems to be general agreement that the term designates films with a low-key visual style which contrasts to the bright balanced studio look of the 1930s. There are noir movies of different genres, for example, mystery, suspense thriller, psychological drama, and gangster films (Krutnik, 1991). Critics generally agree that there is also an obliqueness and often confused temporal narrative plot. There is usually a general mood of dislocation and bleakness, and the noir world is deceptive and uncertain. ' "The world is a dangerous place" is one of the axioms of noir' (Hirsch, 1981: 13). Chinatown, however, is filmed in the non-expressionistic 'classical' style of Panavision and Technicolour with a straightforward narrative style. How- ever, 'the cynicism and despair which permeates the social vision of the film noir... is present... in the final act of this Polish exile's [Roman Polanski's] film' (Eaton, 1997: 57-58). However, according to Eaton (1997: 58), the depiction of Evelyn Cross Mulwray is where the noir-ish influence is most
  • 125. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 117 obvious. 'The dark lady, the spider woman, the evil seductress who tempts man and brings about his destruction' [Place, 1998: 47] is how the "female archetype" of film noir has been characterized and this is the image of the female lead which is now consciously evoked [in Chinatown]' (ibid.: 58). The figure of the woman in film noir has been the focus of feminist film theory since Chinatown was produced. The emergent newfemmefatale in films in the 1990s, for example, Basic Instinct (1992), is 'redefined as a sexual performer within a visual system which owes as much to soft-core porn- ography as it does to mainstream Hollywood' (Stables, 1998: 172-173). The new woman takes an active role in initiating sexual practices which are perceived as deviant, marginal or transgressive to the dominant culture. In the analysis below, we shall investigate the semiotic construction of Evelyn Cross in the role of 'spider woman' which has subsequently led to such constructions of women in contemporary cinema. The Film Plot and Sequence The form which gives rise to the plot is the overall interrelation among various systems of elements and every element in this totality has one or more functions (Bordwell and Thompson, 2001). In the model presented here, the Film Plot is constructed from the series of Sequences where the motivation is similarity and repetition, and difference and variation. In Chinatown., repetitive elements and motifs are significant (Eaton, 1997; Heisner, 1997). The Scenes take place in different locations which reinforce the theme of drought-stricken Los Angeles. The symbolism of water con- tinually appears in the unfolding of the plot with constant screen images and references to water. A second motif is the lens in the form of glasses, car mirrors and binoculars which contribute to the theme of distorted vision. These themes of voyeurism and blindness are 'not simply about seeing, it is about seeing wrongly' (Eaton, 1997: 29). Other motifs in Chinatown., for example, the horse and rider, are metaphors for desire and sexuality. In the Mise-en-Scene analysed below, we shall see these themes reappear in differ- ent forms. Scene and Mise-en-Scene The Mise-en-Scene is concerned with everything which is seen within the frame as it unfolds in time together with the accompanying soundtrack. As soon as the camera shot changes, even though still centred on the same setting, we will be concerned with a new Mise-en-Scene. The Mise-en-Scene complex, or the unfolding series of Mise-en-Scene, forms the Scene. The total of Scenes forms the Sequence, which in film theory is the term for the fragmentation of the film into segments. The Mise-en-Scene forms the basic unit for analysis because the major systems for each metafunction across the semiotic resources are operational at this rank. For instance, the higher rank of Sequence does not allow
  • 126. 118 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS comprehensive analysis of the choices across semiotic resources, while the lower rank of Frame frozen in time excludes analysis of speech, music and other sound effects. Following Baldry (this volume) and Thibault (2000), the soundtrack can mark a transition, and in the case of the framework presented here, the transition may take place within one Mise-en-Scene. In effect, this would create a 'rankshifted' Mise-en-Scene. That is, if the soundtrack changes to indicate a transition within the single camera shot, we have a Mise-en-Scene embedded within the ranking Mise-en-Scene of the camera shot. In a similar manner, the soundtrack can continue across several Mises-en-Scene to form a Mise-en-Scene complex. The Mise-en-Scene complex is therefore con- strued by the nature of the setting and other structural elements which include the soundtrack. As displayed in Table 5.1, the Mise-en-Scene is analysed according to Visual Imagery, Speech, Music, Sound Effects and the subsequent Inter- weaving of the Visual Imagery and the Soundtrack. For Visual Imagery, the ranks are Movement-Action-Event in a shot, temporal episode, temporal figure and temporal member. In addition to making dynamic O'Toole's systems for paintings, further systems are included for the analysis of the temporal unfolding of the text. At the rank of Mise-en-Scene, these include systems for: (a) Interpersonal meaning such as Patterns (Kinesic, Proxemic, Rhythm, Gaze and Shape), Duration of the Image, Speed of Motion and Point of View; (b) Representational meaning, for example, Movement-Action Sequence; (c) Logical meaning, for example, Narrative Cause-Effect Rela- tions; and (d) Compositional meaning, for example, Changes in Gestalt, On- Screen/Off-Screen Space, Camera Angle, Camera Level, Camera Distance and Mobile Frame. The Mobile Frame allows changes in the camera position in the Mise-en-Scene. The Mobile Frame thus interpersonally orients the viewer towards the image and furthermore contributes to the represen- tational meaning in the form of the Point of View constructed within the film. The analysis described below is concerned with the visual imagery in two Mise-en-Scene from Chinatown. As the goal of this exercise is to demonstrate the usefulness of the Textual application of the visual grammar, the discus- sion is only concerned with selected choices in systems for Interpersonal and compositional meaning. The original analysis appears in the form of a movie where choices from the visual systems are marked on the digitalized film clip from Chinatown as they unfold in real time. We may note that, composition- ally, the Framing in Chinatown (which may be marked visually) is widescreen with ratio 16:9. This allows the action sequences to be framed against an expansive setting which contributes to establishing one of the key themes of Chinatown'. Los Angeles in a drought. The analysis of two Mises-en-Scene in Chinatown The first Mise-en-Scene occurs at the end of the Scene where Jake and Evelyn meet in a restaurant. Jake is largely unsuccessful in his attempts to get
  • 127. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 119 further information from Evelyn, and in the ensuing Mise-en-Scene outside the restaurant, a somewhat angry and frustrated Jake informs Evelyn that her husband may have been murdered. In the newly released 1999 DVD version of Chinatown., director Roman Polanski states that this scene outside the restaurant is one of his favourite shots. We shall soon appreciate at least some of the reasons why Polanski thought this way about this part of the film. The dialogue which takes place outside the restaurant is reproduced below. Key: EM: Evelyn Mulwray JG: Jake Gittes EM: Oh no ... I have my own car. Ahh . . . the Packard. JG: Wait a minute sonny [to the car attendant]. I think you [Evelyn] had better come with me EM: But why. There's nothing more to say. Will you get my car please [to the attendant]. JG: Okay go home. But in case you're interested, your husband was murdered. Somebody's been dumping thousands of tonnes of water from the city's reservoirs and we are supposed to be in the middle of a drought. He found out about it and he was killed. There's a waterlogged drunk in the morgue - involuntary manslaughter if anyone wants to take the trouble which they don't. It seems like half the city is trying cover it all up which is fine by me. But Mrs Mulwray. I goddamn near lost my nose and I like it. I like breathing through it. And I still think that you're hiding something EM: Mr Git—tes [as JG drives away] The restaurant Mise-en-Scene The viewer's perception is attuned to difference rather than prolonged stim- uli, and attention is typically focused through contrasting patterns and movement. However, in the selected Mise-en-Scene which occurs at the end of the restaurant Scene, the camera focuses on Evelyn (pictured from the shoulder upwards) who is silent and virtually motionless. Kinesics and Rhythm through movement are absent. What functions to make this Mise- en-Scene so compelling? Through the analysis, we see that there are many simultaneous choices at work which focus the viewer's attention on this portrayal of Evelyn as the 'spider woman'. The Lighting Quality, Lighting Intensity, Lighting Direction and Lighting Source in the restaurant scene function to make Evelyn visually salient. The soft background Lighting may be marked visually through the use of the special effect 'lens flare' which allows the light source to be highlighted. As well as providing a contrast for the next Mise-en-Scene, the choice of the warm reddish colours from the system of Colour/Cohesion has implica- tions for more immediate Interpersonal and Experiential meanings as we shall soon see. At the rank of Member, the Clarity and Focus of Evelyn's beautiful, pale and sculptured face attracts the viewer's attention. Further to this, Evelyn's
  • 128. Table 5.1 Functions and systems in the Mise-en-Scene Semiotic Resources/Rank Modal Representational Logical C ompositional MISE-EN-SCENE Contrasts Narrative continuity and Cause-effect relations Continuity and COMPLEX discontinuity discontinuity (the edited scene) MISE-EN-SCENE The Temporal-Spatial Frame Complex Relation: The Shot Visual Imagery Movement-Action-Event in a Shot Patterns: Movement-Action-Event Narrative Cause- Frame Dimension Kinesic Sequence Effect Relations Frame Shape Proxemic Figures/Objects Changes in Gestalt: Rhythm Nature of Scene Framing Gaze Props Horizontal Shape Lighting Colour Vertical Colours and Contrast Narrative as Cause Diagonal Lighting Quality Effect Colour Cohesion/ Light Intensity Relations Contrast Lighting Direction Point of View Perspective Relations Lighting Source Visual Motifs On-Screen/Off-Screen Clarity Space Focus Camera Angle Film Tonality Camera Level Special Effects Camera Distance Duration of Image Mobile Frame Speed of Motion Film Editing Point of View (Viewer)
  • 129. Semiotic Resources/Rank Modal Representational Logical Compositional Temporal Episode Relation to Movement- Sequence of Sub- Actions, Contribution to Relative Relation of Action-Event: Side Sequences and Narrative Action in Changing Scale Events Cause-Effect Gestalt Depth Interplay of Actions Relations Subframing Centrality Parallelism and Relative Prominence Opposition Duration Relative On-Screen/Off- Clarity Screen Space Focus Camera Angle Light Camera Level Camera Distance Temporal Figure Colour Coordination/ Character of Figure Contribution to Relative Position in Contrast Costume Cause-Effect Changing Gestalt Colour Intensity Body Behaviour/Gesture Relations through Subframing Costume Style Props Intertextual Parallelism and Frontal View Motif Opposition Change in Size Relative On-Screen/Off- Change in Prominence Screen Space Gaze Pattern Camera Angle- Focus Camera Level Depth Camera Distance Light Temporal Member Colour Body Part Contribution to Relative Position in Colour Intensity Makeup Cause-Effect Changing Gestalt Style of Costume Part Facial Expression Relations through Subframing Makeup Gesture Intertextual Facial Expression Role in action Motif
  • 130. Semiotic Resources/Rank Modal Representational Logical Compositional Gesture Parallelism and Light Opposition Change in Size Relative on-screen/off- Change in Prominence Screen space Focus Camera level and angle Depth Camera Distance Soundtrack Speech Negotiation Ideation Conjunction and Identification Speech Function Transitivity Continuity Theme Mood Tense Logico-Semantic Cohesion Modality Lexical Content Relations Information Polarity Ergativity Attitude Verbal Motifs Comment Appraisal Lexical 'Register' Tone Pitch Volume Music Volume Genre: Narrative Cause-Effect Sound Perspective Pitch Experiential Context Relations (Diegetic, Non-Diegetic) Timbre Intertextuality Rhythm Musical Motifs Fidelity Beat
  • 131. Semiotic Resources/Rank Modal Representational Logical C ompositional Sound Effects Volume Experiential Content Narrative Cause-Effect Sound Perspective - Pitch Intertextuality Relations Diegetic and Non- Timbre Oral Motif Diegetic Rhythm Fidelity Beat Visual Imagery + Soundtrack Interweaving Visual Direction of Engagement Development of the Development of Organization of the Imagery and Sound through Foregrounded Narrative Plot for Story Cause-Effect Unfolding of the Semiotic Choice Line through Directed Relations Narrative Change in Phase Marking Content Input Frame Viewed as Mise-en-Scene 24 Frames/Second
  • 132. 124 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Gaze towards Jake (which may also be marked visually through vectors) is oblique and so the viewer can openly scrutinize her face, Makeup and Cos- tume throughout the extended Duration of the Image. After her husband's funeral, Evelyn is wearing a black dress and a hat with a netted black veil which covers the top half of her face. Her Gaze in effect is veiled. Jake comments in the next Mise-en-Scene, 'And I still think you are hiding some- thing'. Here the motif of distorted vision is reinforced. In this case, Jake is not gazing through a camera or car mirror, rather he is trying to penetrate the protective veil through which Evelyn views the world. The use of Colour in the restaurant scene is significant for several reasons. Digital colour matching (which can be displayed) reveals that Evelyn's red lipstick exactly matches the colour of the couch upon which she is seated. The motif of sexuality is represented through this use of the colour red in Evelyn's makeup which coheres with the intimate setting. The characteriza- tion of Evelyn as the 'spider woman' is thus created; she is veiled, oblique, sexual and potentially dangerous. This portrayal of Evelyn largely remains in place until the final scenes in the movie. The street Mise-en-Scene In the next Mise-en-Scene the viewer is confronted with a bright street scene as Evelyn and Jake walk into the open glare of sunlight outside the restaur- ant. Compositionally, the contrast in Colour Cohesion/Contrast may be dis- played through the use of colour matching and replacement. The analyst becomes conscious that the dominant background colour of bright yellow has replaced the subdued colours in the restaurant. The dark quiet world of the spider woman is contrasted to the stark brightness of the street where sunlight shines against the buildings and normal day-to-day activity takes place as the attendant rushes to open the car door for Jake and Evelyn. Through the use of overlays and drawing tools to mark the perspective and the placement of the Figures in the Mise-en-Scene, it may be appreciated that the On-Screen Space initially occupied by the attendant works perfectly in conjunction with the perspective provided by the buildings. Activities are ordinary, orderly and public in this Mise-en-Scene where the sound of car horns is heard and people walk down the street arm in arm. Jake and Evelyn become the focus of attention as they walk out onto the street. They continue to occupy the central On-Screen Space in the remainder of the Mise-en-Scene, and a dynamic visual tracing of the outline of their two Figures reveals the perfect compositional balance that is achieved within the widescreen frame format. The Colour Contrast provided by the bright background also functions to highlight the figures of Evelyn and Jake. The effect of the light provided by the sun may be marked visually through the use of'lens flare' to insert an accentuated light source. The analyst again becomes aware that the motif of hot dry weather is invoked. As the Mise-en-Scene unfolds, the exchange between the two central characters becomes increasingly intense as Jake responds with frustration to
  • 133. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 125 his lack of understanding of the situation. The intense gaze between Jake and Evelyn, which accompanies her refusal of his offer to drive her home, may be indicated visually by vectors. The On-Screen Space dominated by Evelyn and Jake continues to remain perfectly balanced, and the analyst can begin to appreciate how effectively the camera work and background setting function in this Mise-en-Scene. In addition, there is a lightly coloured ban- dage on Jake's nose which is marked with visual prominence despite its cohesiveness with the background colours. This visual prominence of the bandage is matched by the linguistic choices in the dialogue which takes place as we shall see in a moment. The triangle of social relationships between Jake, Evelyn and the car attendant is construed visually as well as linguistically. The attendant is a minor participant as indicated by his backgrounded physical position in the Movement-Action-Event when Jake and Evelyn walk out of the restaurant. Jake's use of the vocative 'sonny' in the command 'Wait a minute sonny' reinforces this position. Jake's attempts at exercising power over Evelyn, however, do not succeed. Jake fails in his bid to drive Evelyn home, and there is a pause before he turns to confront her. Evelyn remains detached and supposedly nonchalant by focusing her Gaze on her gloves, which may be indicated visually by line vectors. Evelyn's hand movements may also be highlighted visually to indi- cate Gesture. After a short silence, the Interpersonal relations between Jake and Evelyn intensify. The Gaze becomes direct and focused as the Proxemics, which may be displayed by visual vectors, decrease. The Mobile Frame has been brought into play so that the Camera Distance is decreased. This com- positional strategy further draws the viewer into the exchange between Jake and Evelyn. The Interpersonal intensity of Jake's delivery continues as he explains that Evelyn's husband was murdered. Evelyn's Gaze, which again may be marked by visual vectors, shifts downwards as Jake refers to her late husband. Jake, however, continues regardless of Evelyn's silent response. When Jake refers to a situation where he was physically attacked and his nose sliced by a knife [hence the bandage], 'but Mrs Mulwray I goddamn near lost my nose', the Interpersonal intensity of the exchange increases. The use of vectors may explicidy demonstrate how distance in the Proxem- ics has again decreased with a resulting increase in the intensity of gaze. In addition, Jake's use of'goddamn near' reinforces the affect of his speech to Evelyn, which is somewhat mocking given that he addresses her as 'Mrs Mulwray'. The climax in this Mise-en-Scene is reached when Jake accuses Evelyn of 'hiding something'. Here the motif of the truth seeker looking through a veil of deception is reinforced. While he is correct that Evelyn is withholding information, it is not exactly the sort that Jake envisages. However, in the remainder of the street scene, Roman Polanski allows the viewer to gain some insight into Evelyn's situation. The final frames of the Mise-en-Scene capture one of the rare moments in Chinatown where the Point of View switches from Jake to Evelyn. The
  • 134. 126 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS viewer is aware of Evelyn's latent appeal to Jake ('Mr Git—tes') as he drives away. Evelyn maintains her position within the Frame but the Mobile Camera effectively retreats to leave Evelyn pictured completely alone in the street scene. The appeal is reinforced through Evelyn's downcast Gaze and Gesture of moving her hand to her throat. At this stage, the viewer gains an understanding of Evelyn's efforts at self- control. With her eyes temporarily closed, the absence of Gaze and the continuing Gesture are made salient through the Duration of the Image and the Framing of Evelyn within the street scene. Jake's departing car is the only Temporal Episode in relation to Evelyn's Movement-Action-Event. A somewhat resolute Evelyn opens her eyes with a straight gaze realized as a horizontal vector as her car is reversed by the attendant. In the final frames of this Mise-en-Scene, Evelyn has again opened her eyes to a world which does not understand her position nor the reasons for her actions. Conclusion This necessarily incomplete description of the analysis of two Mises-en- Scene from Chinatown seeks to describe how a visual grammar may be applied to the dynamic visual image. In the discourse analysis of a linguistic text, the analyst directly engages with the linguistic choices which have been made in order to interpret the text. In a similar manner, the description of this analysis seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of directly engaging visu- ally with a Mise-en-Scene to make salient the choices which have been made. Through such an analysis, we start to appreciate the reasons why director Roman Polanski favoured this particular scene in Chinatown. The bright public street setting marks a stark transition from the intimate restaurant scene where Evelyn's sexuality is marked. The compositional aspects of the narrow street setting are perfect; the actors are framed through perspective, on-screen space, colour cohesion and contrast. The yellow tones of the background setting with light and shadows provided by the sun, the buildings and other lighting effects further enhance the visual salience of the two actors in the setting. The camera moves in to record the growing intensity of the exchange between Jake and Evelyn against a back- drop of day-to-day life which continues despite the drama being played out before the viewer's eyes. Through the use of gaze, gesture and proxemics the visual aspects of the interaction effectively construct Jake's growing frustra- tion and anger with Evelyn in his search for truth. The camera later lingers to capture a subtle shift in the point of view where the unenviable position of Evelyn is signalled to the viewer. Jake's arrogance transforms her per- ceived strength into a web of deceit and corruption which rightfully should be attributed to her father. Roman Polanski ensured that the usual generic conventions were not fol- lowed in the movie Chinatown. In Robert Towne's original script, Evelyn is saved and her father exposed. Thus the usual generic tropes such as 'love triumphs' and 'youth defeats old age' and 'corruption resulting in a new
  • 135. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 127 healthier social order' are eliminated by Polanski. As Heisner (1997:63) states, in Chinatown 'Evil and power have triumphed, corruption has won out'. As Heisner further explains, the pessimism of the ending extends beyond Jake's cynicism. In the final line in the film Jake is told ' "Forget it Jake. It's China- town. It's Noah Cross. It's the power structure. It's the world"' (ibid.: 64). The proposed methodology for analyzing dynamic visual images, how- ever, presents a range of difficulties. First, it proved near impossible to simultaneously record dynamically the metafunctional choices across the different semiotic systems, even in the case when each metafunction is con- sidered separately. The reason is twofold: first, the complexity and range of systems from which options are chosen; and second, the problem of the temporal unfolding of those choices in real time. In the first case, visually marking semiotic choices across a range of systems for one metafunction proves problematic. For example, recording on-screen space for compositional meaning precluded including choices for colour cohesion and contrast because the resulting footage became too dense and confused. In a similar manner, choices from Interpersonal systems such as lighting and colour could not be combined with the analysis of gaze and proxemics. This situation gave rise to the second problem. In attempts to combine the metafunctionally based analysis in real time, the temporal unfolding of the resultant footage for each metafunction was too fast for the viewer to grasp the significance of the different aspects of the analysis. It becomes apparent that we perceive so much visual data in a short time span that it is impossible to mark this visually in real time. If the analysis for all four metafunctions were recombined in the footage, the problem would be exacerbated. In order to overcome the difficulties described above, it is suggested that the analysis for one system should be documented and the shifts annotated within a system such as the MCA. After the analysis for each system has been entered, the resulting footage could be recombined to mark salient transition points which occur as the result of the conflation of choices across the systems. These higher-level transition points could also be recorded in a database format. Despite the difficulties of using a visual grammar to interact directly with the dynamic visual image, the usefulness of such an approach is that the analyst becomes sensitized to meaning through choice in visual semiosis. In a manner analogous to language, the analyst can only become attuned to metafunctionally based choices if one has in a sense directly engaged with the text. The advances in computer technology mean that this is becoming a very real option for our investigation of the dynamics of semiosis in real time. Notes 1 Despite repeated written requests to Paul Hrisko, the Manager for the Film Clip Licensing Division for Paramount Studios, copyright permission to reproduce still frames from the movie containing the analysis of Chinatown was not given. I
  • 136. 128 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS am, however, most grateful to Roman Polanski who kindly wrote in support of my requests for copyright permission. 2 See Visual Communication (Sage Publications), a journal devoted to the theory and analysis of visual images and multimodal texts. 3 See also Baldry (this volume) for the analysis of car advertisements. 4 See ledema's (2001) social semiotic framework and analysis of a television documentary. His framework consists of six levels: frame, Shot, Scene, Sequence, Generic Stage and Work as a whole. Acknowledgements I would like to thank Michael O'Toole for his kind permission to reproduce Plate 5.1 from the CD-ROM Engaging with Art (Perth: Murdoch University, 1999) [copyright Michael O'Toole] with acknowledgement to the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam for the original image of Rembrandt's The Night Watch. References Baldry, A. P. (this volume) Phase and transition, type and instance: patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordancer, 83—108. Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000) Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore. Bordwell, D., and Thompson, K. (2001) Film Art: An Introduction (6th edn). New York: McGraw Hill. Gallaghan, J. and McDonald, E. (2002). Expression, content and meaning in lan- guage and music: an integrated semiotic analysis. In P. McKevitt, S. O'Nuallain and C. Mulvihill (eds), Language, Vision and Music. Selected papers from the 8th Inter- national Workshop on the Cognitive Science of Natural Language Processing, Galway, Ireland, 1999. Advances in Consciousness Research, Volume 35. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 205—220. Christopher, N. (1997) Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the'American City. New York: The Free Press. Eaton, M. (1997) Chinatown. London: British Film Institute. Gregory, M. (1995) Generic expectancies and discoursal surprises: John Donnne's The Good Morrow. In P. H. Fries and M. Gregory (eds), Discourse in Society: Systemic- Functional Perspectives. Meaning and Choice in Language: Studies for Michael Halliday. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 67-84. Gregory, M. (2002) Phasal analysis within communication linguistics: two contrast- ive discourses. In P. Fries, M. Cummings, D. Lockwood and W. Sprueill (eds), Relations and Functions within and around Language. London and New York: Con- tinuum, 316-345. Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Arnold. Heisner, B. (1997) Production Design in the Contemporary American Film. Jefferson: Me Farland. Hirsch, F (1981) The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir. New York: Da Capo Press. ledema, R. (2001) Analysing film and television: a social semiotic account of hos- pital: an unhealthy business. In T. van. Leeuwen and C. Jewitt (eds), Handbook of Visual Analysis. London: Sage, 183—204.
  • 137. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 129 Kaplan, E. A. (ed.) (1998) Woman in Film Noir (rev. edn). London: British Film Institute. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2001) Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold. Krutnik, E (1991) In a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre and Masculinity. London: Routledge. Lemke, J. L. (1998a) Metamedia literacy: transforming meanings and media. In D. Reinking, L. Labbo, M. McKenna and R. Kiefer (eds), Handbook of Literacy and Technology: Transformations in a Post-Typographic World. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 283-301. Lemke, J. L. (1998b) Multiplying meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in scientific text. InJ. R. Martin and R. Veel (eds), Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspec- tives on Discourses of Science. London: Routledge, 87—113. Lemke, J. L. (2000) Multimedia demands of the scientific curriculum. Linguistics and Education, 10(3): 247-271. Lemke, J. L. (2003) Mathematics in the middle: measure, picture, gesture, sign and word. In M. Anderson, A. Saenz-Ludlow, S. Zellweger and V Cifarelli (eds), Educational Perspectives on Mathematics as Semiosis: From Thinking to Interpreting to Know- ing. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 215-234. Mclnnes, D. (1998) Attending to the instance: towards a systemic-based dynamic and responsive analysis of composite performance text. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. University of Sydney. Martinec, R. (2000) Construction of identity in Michael Jackson's 'Jam'. Social Semiotics, 10(3): 313-329. O'Halloran, K. L. (2003a) Educational implications of mathematics as a multi- semiotic discourse. In M. Anderson, A. Saenz-Ludlow, S. Zellweger, and V V Cifarelli (eds), Educational Perspectives on Mathematics as Semiosis: From Thinking to Interpreting to Knowing. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 185-214 O'Halloran, K. L. (2003b) Intersemiosis in mathematics and science: grammatical metaphor and semiotic metaphor. In A.-M. Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverni- ers, and L. Ravelli (eds), Grammatical Metaphor: Views from Systemic Functional Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 337—365. O'Halloran, K. L. and Judd, K. (2002) Systemics 1.0. [CD-ROM]. Singapore: Singapore University Press. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. O'Toole, M. (1995) A systemic-functional semiotics of art. In P. H. Fries and M. Gregory (eds), Discourse in Society: Systemic—Functional Perspectives: Meaning and Choice in Language: Studiesfor Michael Halliday. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 159-179. O'Toole, M. (1999) Engaging with Art. [CD-ROM]. Perth: Murdoch University. Palmer, R. B. (1994) Hollywood's Dark Cinema: The American Film Noir. New York: Twayne Publishers. Place, J. (1998) Women in Film noir. In E. Anne Kaplan (ed.), Women in Film Noir (rev. edn). London: British Film Institute, 47-68. Stables, K. (1998) The postmodern always rings twice: constructing the femme fatale in 1990s cinema. In E. A. Kaplan (ed.), Woman in Film Noir (rev. edn). London: British Film Institute, 164-201. Thibault, P. J. (2000) The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: theory and practice. In A. P. Baldry (ed.), Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Campobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore, 311—385.
  • 138. 130 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Towne, R. (1974) Chinatown (R. Polanski, Director; and R. Evans, Producer). Hollywood GA: Paramount Studio. Tuska, J. (1984) Dark Cinema: American Film JVoir in Cultural Perspective. Westport, GN: Greenwood Press. van Leeuwen, T. (1999) Speech, Music, Sound. London: Macmillan. Ventola, E., Charles, C. and Kaltenbacher, M. (eds) (forthcoming) Perspectives on Multimodality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Voytilla, S. (1999) Myth and the Movies: Discovering the Mythic Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films. CA: Michael Wiese Productions.
  • 139. 6 Multisemiotic mediation in hypertext Arthur Kok Kum Chiew National University of Singapore Introduction This paper is an attempt to understand how an institution and its objectives become translated, transmitted and received through the hypertext medium. The notion of hypertext is first clarified with the aim of abstract- ing methodological categories which may be used for a semiotic analysis. Following this, systemic functional models (Halliday, 1994; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; O'Toole, 1994) are employed to examine the semiotic choices made within a selected webpage, the Singaporean Ministry of Edu- cation (MOE) site,1 in order to examine the meanings produced by these choices and the context circumscribing this choice-making and meaning production. The interaction of meanings across different semiotic instanti- ations also features in this analysis. Genesis of hypertext The precedence of verbal over written language in human groups is firmly acknowledged in conventional histories of writing, with only certain cultures developing a recording-writing system for reasons of trade, religion or polit- ics (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996: 18-19). In Euro-American history, the advent of print technology made recordable texts not only vastly replicable but also more readily available compared to the past. In this sea of data, however, information retrieval posed a serious difficulty because texts remained in an unchangeable linear format. Early theorists concerned with presenting and retrieving information envisaged a system for providing complete access to the 'endlessly expansive world of texts' (Tuman, 1992: 55). The term 'hypertext', coined by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, was used to refer to a form of electronic text where the mode of publication was characterized by 'non-sequential writing'; that is, 'text that branches and allows choices to the reader' in the form of 'a series of text chunks connected by links which offer the reader different pathways' through an interactive screen interface (Landow, 1997: 3). In the late 1960s, theory moved towards reality when the Advanced Research Projects Agency (AREA) of the Department of Defence in the United States of America set
  • 140. 132 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS up ARPnet, an inter-computer communication network which was designed to be impervious to communication disruptions in the event of a nuclear attack (Moore, 1994: 4). While it initially connected selected academic institutions, network technology soon expanded the use of hypertext. Soft- ware applications, such as web browsers, were made available to online computer users, and these combined with other software applications (for example, word-processing software) so that hypertext could be edited, updated, copied and, in a word, 'acted' on. Juxtaposed to static and linear print technology, hypertext became dynamic, alterable and multi-sequential. Interpretations and applications of hypertext Espen Aarseth (1997), appreciating the interactive co-partnering between the reader and the creator during Internet surfing, describes hypertext as 'ergodic, using a term appropriated from physics that derives from the Greek words ergon and hodos, meaning "work" and "path"'. 'Ergodist' has been coined to refer to the person who interacts with the hypertext in this way (Lim, 1998: 31). It is perhaps necessary to discuss what is meant by 'ergodic' so as to more fully investigate the notion of the 'ergodist'. 'Ergodicity' describes, first, the complexity of path predetermination and, second, how these paths can either be followed or bypassed, thereby creating new paths. The former implicates a 'creator' of the path, and the latter a choice-making individual who is faced with these paths. The 'ergodist' is this choice-making individual who may follow predetermined paths suggested by hypertext links which connect one webpage to another, or alternatively, may forge his or her own path. In moving through hypertext, a complex tripartite relationship exists between the ergodist, the hypertext and the hypertext creator. As the next section will show, ergodist acquires its def- initional fullness at a particular abstraction of hypertext. The notion of hypertext has been rethought in various fields of study including deconstruction, structuralism, post-structuralism, reader-response theory, narratology, critical literacy (see Landow, 1997), and multiliteracy (Kress, 2003; Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001; Lemke, 1998; Unsworth, 2001). A reactionary view of hypertext sees it as artificial, a threat to face-to- face or 'real' communication, and an usurper of older communicative tech- nologies such as the nostalgic pen(cil) and paper manuscript.2 On the other hand, certain grandiose pro-hypertext statements claim hypertext to be an evolutionary superior that will replace linear writing; that better communi- cation will result simply because multiple interpretations and voices are linked; and that hypertext will democratize society and education, even surmounting artificial divisions between the disciplines. These and certain other hyperbolic construals of hypertext detract from an understanding of the nature of this new technology and what it can and cannot do for us. I therefore propose a definition which opens up hypertext to further (multi)- semiotic investigation (see also Kress, 2003; Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001; Lemke, 1998; Unsworth, 2001).
  • 141. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 133 Proposed working definition of hypertext Consensus seems to place hypertext as a new technology or medium for communication which allows new dimensions of human interaction hith- erto not possible. Indeed, hypertext is a means of communication where multisemiosis as fact impinges upon the user. From these formulations, I postulate the following working definition: Hypertext is a computer supported online telecommunication technology that makes possible the assembly, retrieval, display and manipulation of texts, which are realizations of a single semiotic resource or a combination of semiotic resources, some of which include visual, linguistic, phonic and music. The crucial qualification 'makes possible' arises for two reasons: first, multi- semiotic texts can be assembled by technology other than the hypertext; second, a whole host of factors can curtail what hypertext affords; for example, 'secure' websites that can only be accessed by certain knowledge- able people (whether one possesses the password or is an expert hacker), incompatible or missing software, lack of technical savoir-faire., and so on. On another note, my definition excludes CD-ROM programs for standalone computer workstations. These CD-ROMs, while possessing certain hyper- text features (such as connected scrollable pages and multimedia), are not related or potentially relatable to other webpages or software in a larger connected network of workstations. This exclusion holds until a website is created for supporting the said CD-ROM program in a web-browser win- dow, in effect, making it relatable to other webpages. One is forced to admit that technological innovation continues to problematize the notion of hypertext. Orders of abstraction of hypertext With this working definition of hypertext in place, it is now possible to extract what I perceive to be different orders of abstraction with which one can talk about hypertext. These orders of abstraction should not, however, be confused with ranks or levels which are posited for different semiotic resources. Halliday (1994) proposed such constituent ranks for the linguistic semiotic. Borrowing this notion of levels, O'Toole (1994) suggests rank scales for visual art, sculpture and architecture. Here the notion of rank orders and relates systems of meaning-making across the different metafunctions in what are essentially theoretical formulations of the 'grammar' of different semiotic resources. As such, the ranks operate within the confines of the 'text' produced. These ranks become useful when one seeks to uncover the choices made in instantiations of each of the semiotic resources. The orders of abstraction posited here for hypertext are methodological categories construed to handle this to-date slippery technology. As we shall
  • 142. 134 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS soon see, these orders of abstraction are not necessarily related to each other by constituency. Indeed, the orders of abstraction are different in nature to the aforementioned semiotic ranks because hypertext is not a semiotic resource, but a platform for the codeployment of different semiotic resources. The orders of abstraction proposed for hypertext are ITEM, LEXIA, CLUSTER and WEB. As these terms require theorization, I start with the lowest order of abstraction and develop these concepts to the highest or most inclusive category of hypertext. Item An ITEM is any instantiation from any meaning-making system that is sup- portable by hypertext technology, and to date, these semiotic resources include the linguistic, visual, music and phonic. The question of what instantiation(s) count as an ITEM is necessarily preceded with a brief discus- sion of ranks (in italic font below) in semiotic systems. A linguistic instantiation such as 'I could fly' is easily identified as a Clause. In contrast, the instantiation 'Move!' is simultaneously a Clause, a Verbal Group and a Word. O'Toole (1994: 12) observes the same phenom- enon in certain paintings where a Work may simultaneously be an Episode, a Figure or simply a Member. Ostensibly, ranks within any one semiotic system are not impermeable to each other. In any one semiotic, an ITEM may therefore be a number of instantiations of different ranks of the one semi- otic combining together as a discernible whole. In multisemiotic texts, an ITEM could be an instantiation of one semiotic resource, or a combination of instantiations of different ranks of different semiotic resources joining together as a methodologically justifiable whole. In this light, ITEM encapsu- lates this permeability of the ranks within and across semiotic resources. What are the semiotic choices that contribute to a sign or a complex of signs being designated as an ITEM? For either linguistic or visual semiosis, they are the choices made in the Textual or Compositional metafunction respectively. For a combination between the two resources, factors that separate one ITEM from another crucially rest on the choices made in the Compositional metafunction. These Compositional choices include those from the system of Colour Cohesion, the system of Alignment and the system of Gestalt: Framing (see Table 6.2). This is not meant, however, to play down the fact that choices made in the other metafunctions in both semiotic resources also contribute to the discreteness of a sign or complex of signs, but that the justification for ITEM rests primarily on choices made in the Compositional metafunction with regards to the Textual organization of the typographical/graphical instantiation of the linguistic/visual semi- otic choices. As displayed in Plate 6.1, the order of ITEM could apply to a Word, a boxed-up Clause(s), an Element of a stylized gust of wind, an Episode of a man swatting a fly, the Work of an evening skyline serving as a background graphic, or even a complex of signs.
  • 143. 135 Plate 6.1 Examples of items So far I have only concentrated on signs or complexes of signs that are either linguistic or visual as these make up most of what appears on a webpage. However, hypertext makes available instantiations from other semiotic resources as well. Can ITEM be extended to instantiations of the phonic semiotic resource? Perhaps non-linguistic phonic instantiations broadcast in hypertext may be designated as an ITEM. These may include a sound clip such as the Microsoft Startup Window chime that is emitted when the Microsoft platform is launched on the computer. An ITEM may also be extended to melodic broadcasts, which again overlap between the phonic and music semiotic resources. Likewise, perhaps in certain cases of hypertext where audio recordings of linguistic discourse are broadcast, the entire broadcast might be grouped as an ITEM. It is apparent that further work in this direction is needed. Lexia The word lexia derives from Roland Barthes (1974: 13—14) and stands for the scrollable webpage; that is, the 'text composed of blocks of texts' that an ergodist sees on the computer screen (Landow, 1997: 3—4). ITEM, which include hypertext links, become the constituents that make up a LEXIA. In practice, LEXIAS can be 'short' or 'long' depending on how many ITEMS are included and how they are organized. It is at this order of abstraction where (multi)semiotic realizations are organized in some meaningful way in rela- tion to others. 'Reality' is represented (multi)semiotically, and the ergodist engages with, and is placed in a particular relation to, what is displayed and the producers of that display. The relation between LEXIA and ITEM is one of composition where a LEXIA is made up of ITEMS. Instances of LEXIAS and ITEMS are in turn realized from choices made in the metafunctional systems for different semiotic resources. Cluster CLUSTER refers to a number of connected LEXIAS due to associations created via hypertext links. These hypertext links are classified as 'LEXIA internal' as
  • 144. 136 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS they are located within the LEXIA itself and serve to 'call-up' another LEXIA should the ergodist click on it. With hypertext links, one agency (institution, company, collective or individual) can link its many LEXIAS in such a way as to suggest (and so limit) the multidirectionality of traversing the LEXIAS that make up one CLUSTER. The notion of CLUSTER thus overlaps with the notion of a producer-created path, because it is the producers of particular LEXIAS who place hypertext links that in turn suggest or determine a pathway or pathways through the CLUSTER. A CLUSTER can appear discrete from others by means such as strategic placing of'Back', 'Forward', 'Back to Homepage' buttons or even a sidebar with hypertext links to other LEXIAS within the CLUSTER. A complication to this order of abstraction may be the fact that a num- ber of LEXIAS associated by one agency via hypertext links can join with or overlap with others as a result of hypertext links put up by the same agency or some other. This is not only a remote possibility, but an avenue exploited by agencies who insert a hypertext link on their own LEXIA that links to a larger number of associated LEXIAS. Pushed to its logical extreme, this notion breaks down what is authoritatively the CLUSTER belonging to a par- ticular agency. For example, in December 1999, a hypertext link on the MOE homepage linked directly to a webpage belonging to the Housing Development Board of Singapore (HDB), which was in turn linked with a vast series of LEXIAS that the HDB produced. One asks where the MOE CLUSTER ends and the HDB counterpart begins? This is precisely the prob- lem of designating CLUSTERS based on agency. The notion of CLUSTER is thus not concerned with agency perse., but associations formed via hypertext links. These links are finite, and a CLUSTER 'rounds off, or starts becoming a more discrete entity from other CLUSTERS with the termination of links. While the CLUSTER is constituted by LEXIAS based on internal hypertext links, these are temporal and changeable, thus making the associations between LEXIAS transient and mutable. CLUSTER is as such Virtual' and an observable disjunction occurs between this order and those of LEXIA and ITEM. Web WEB is the number of LEXIAS associable through hypertext links and other facilities internal and external to a LEXIA. Facilities that are LEXIA internal (but are not hypertext links) include search engines situated within a LEXIA, while LEXIA external facilities are those provided, for example, by the web- browser software. These appear on the web-browser window and include the 'Forward', 'Back' and 'Home' buttons among other options. LEXIA external facilities also include the hardware, or the cable connections between computers. This notion of WEB thus includes LEXIAS potentially relatable to each other by Local Area Networks (LANs), such as Ethernet, that join sets of machines within an institution or a part of one and also Wide Area Networks (WANs) that join multiple organizations in widely
  • 145. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 137 spread geographical locations. The contemporary terms 'Internet' and 'World Wide Web' capture what is believed to be an increased global con- nectivity since LANs and WANs. WEB therefore characterizes the varying degrees of associations as well as the different means of forming associations between LEXIAS and CLUSTERS. The range of facilities both LEXIA internal and external make potentially all LEXIA accessible and traversable. Perhaps here is where hyperbolic state- ments about hypertext's infinitude arise. In reality, however, even if all LEXIAS that comprise a WEB were made freely accessible, they are still a finite number, and, furthermore, restrictions limit access to particular sites. For example, certain 'secure' websites such as private online email accounts are accessible only to the person with the password or technical expertise to bypass the password requirement. WEB as an order of abstraction is what embraces all potential associations via devices that establish links originally internal or external to LEXIAS. Actual reading practice, therefore, is an interaction between the two notions of CLUSTER and WEB, where an ergo- dist's route occurs either within or without the routes made by the producer of the websites. Orders of hypertext for semiotic mediation and analysis Much effort has gone into clarifying the notion of hypertext because the objective of this paper is to give an account of how semiotic resources are codeployed in hypertext. With the ordering of hypertext into different abstractions, it becomes clear that it is at the categories of ITEM and LEXIA where multisemiosis, or the realization of different semiotic resources, occurs, and hence where multisemiosis as a fact impinges on the ergodist. It is at these two abstractions of hypertext where multisemiotic analysis can meaningfully operate. This is demonstrated in the following section which focuses on the analysis of the MOE homepage. Context for the construction of the MOE homepage Before the semiotic analysis proper, it is essential to include a brief con- sideration of webpages in relation to semiotic resources and the context of situation and culture. This relationship is represented diagrammatically in Figure 6.1. Both processes of realization and instantiation imply a dialectic activation to the right and below, and construal to the left and above. For example, culture activates the use of semiotic resources while choices from the systems of different semiotic resources construe culture. Likewise, culture activates situation while situation construes culture. A certain complexity enters into this relationship, however, when one appreciates that culture is not mono- lithic, that situations deriving from culture are not uniform and con- sequently LEXIAS are not entirely identical. Context, constituted by culture and situation, thus needs to be appreciated as multidimensional.
  • 146. 138 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Figure 6.1 Relation of culture, situation, semiotic resources and lexia (adapted from HaUiday, 1991) Nonetheless, a particularization of the aspects of a context is useful for uncovering the circumstances under which a webpage is produced. For exemplification, I examine the MOE homepage 'frozen' at 7 January 2000, scaled down and reproduced in Plate 6.2. Note the analysis refers to the actual size of what is seen onscreen. With the MOE homepage in view, one aspect of context is the socio- political climate constructed by the current ruling party in Singapore, the People's Action Party (PAP). Through the years, the PAP has selectively identified and communicated to the local population concerns over Singapore's lack of natural resources, relative geographical smallness, het- erogeneous population and proximity to nations predominantly Malay- Islamic. With this 'crisis narrative', as some have called it, the government offers economic survival among others as a solution-goal under which to unify and direct Singaporeans (Heng and Devan, 1995). Unsurprisingly, the use of hypertext has been discursively predicated on this larger concern of economic survival in the 'Information Age'. For example, in the Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times (9 February, 2000) an editorial entided 'Internet a driving force' claims that: In Singapore, where the need to be a communications hub is, if anything, more acute than it is in places less dependent on global economy, connectivity is not a slogan. It is a simple pointed imperative. Companies and employees must take
  • 147. Plate 6.2 Lexia of the MOE homepage
  • 148. 140 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS seriously the Government's call for workers to upgrade their skills to find a place in the new knowledge economy. As the educational arm of the PAP, the MOE works with such an end in mind. In a public release, in the section entitled 'Cornerstone of education policy', the MOE reveals that one of its chief foci is 'the development of human resources to meet Singapore's need for an educated and skilled workforce' (Ministry of Education, Singapore 2000). Out of this context construed by the PAP and, more specifically, the MOE, the homepage under consideration is erected. Another configuration of context, comprising the production norms for webpages, forms a necessary second step to contextualize the MOE homepage. LEXIAS can be constructed for a range of purposes. One such purpose is the display of information. Webpages that only serve this purpose emerge as 'content heavy'. Other webpages are used for administrative purposes such as gathering feedback and so possess features whereby the ergodist can 'enter' whatever he or she wishes. A particular type of webpage serves the function of welcoming and introducing the ergodist to a series of linked webpages. Such a webpage is commonly referred to as the 'homepage', since it is held to be the locus point to all the other linked webpages. Apart from welcoming and introducing the ergodist, homepages may also serve as an index of varying degrees by having visible hypertext links to the linked webpages. The norms associated with a homepage provide an insight into one aspect of the context that produces it. Most homepages have the generic layout of masthead in the topmost position with various texts and hyper- text links beneath. This layout is generally adopted by commercial and institutional organizations perhaps because apart from welcoming and introducing, it foregrounds the corporate identity behind the website. With the identity of the 'seller' disclosed, the ergodist as consumer may in 'good faith' accept the material goods, services or information proffered by the website. Nonetheless, some websites do play with the rigid style of presen- tation or depart from it altogether to increase its engagement with the ergodist. This is done either by experimenting with the different semiotic resources in the hypertext environment or communicating in novel ways through uniquely hypertext facilities to create a greater sense of dynamism and unpredictability. For example, homepages may flout conven- tion by duplicating and relocating the masthead vertically at the sides of the webpage, and such columns of words may flash alternative colours sequentially. Whatever the case may be, the purposes served by a homepage are cir- cumscribed by situational and cultural demands of context. Context thus stands as a necessary preface to any semiotic analysis. With this in mind, one may enter into an exploration of the semiotic choices and hypertext facilities employed by the MOE homepage.
  • 149. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 141 Semiotic analysis of the MOE homepage The semiotic account of the MOE homepage tackles many intersecting questions: Why are certain semiotic choices made? How do these semiotic choices work together to give meaning? What meanings are conveyed and for what purpose? In effect, the following analysis works towards the central concern of this paper: to explicate the complex question of why the web- page comes to be written in the way it is. Such an analysis in turn necessi- tates an account of the interaction of meanings between instantiations of different semiotic resources, and this is explored in the next section of this paper. The semiotic examination of the meanings put forth by the MOE homepage is systematized first at the order of LEXIA followed by the order of ITEM. Such an analysis relies on the ranked functional systems for linguistic and visual semiotic resources posited respectively by Halliday (1994) and O'Toole (1994). Tables 6.1 and 6.2 provide a sketch of these ranked func- tional systems for both the linguistic and the visual semiotic. Because Tables 6.1 and 6.2 are essentially 'unfinished' maps, the systems are to a certain degree open-ended, implying that a greater level of ana- lytical delicacy is always possible. Out of these posited systems, choices are simultaneously made to produce particular instantiations. Additionally, sys- tems across ranks may also work together for any one instantiation. To capture this complexity, semiotic choices discussed in this analysis are pre- sented in terms of'selection expressions'. These expressions use the systems available in Tables 6.1 and 6.2 as 'entry points', and these are worked to whatever level of delicacy is needed (see Hasan, 1996 for a detailed presen- tation of selection expression and entry points). All references to these entry points in Tables 6.1 and 6.2 are henceforth in plain text with the initial letter capitalized (for example Focus: Perspective), while those in italics represent my more delicate contribution (for example, Gestalt: Framing: Bordering). Pertaining to these selection expressions, there are several things to note: the left-most element is the entry point for the discussion; colons precede a more delicate choice in relation to the preceding element; and semi-colons distinguish elements of the same level of delicacy. Analysis at order of lexia Modal and compositional choices Because Modal choices are very intimately related to Compositional choices, a discussion of the former cannot avoid invoking the latter. A quick survey of the MOE homepage gives an impression of five sections represented in Plate 6.3. These divisions are strongly suggested by the Modal choices from the system of Scale to Whole, the system of Contrast and Conflict: Colour; Scale; Light; Line and the System of Relative Prominence. These choices may be more usefully explicated by complementary Compositional choices.
  • 150. 142 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Table 6.1 Halliday's functional systems for language (adapted from O'Toole, 1999) Function/ Ideational Interpersonal Textual Rank Experiential Logical Clause Transitivity Condition Mood Theme Types Of Addition Types Of Types Of Process, Report Speech Message Participants Polarity Function (Identity As and Modality Text Relation) Circumstances (The Wh- (Identification (Identity Glauses) Function) Predication (Things, Facts Reference and Reports) Substitution) Verbal Tense Catenation Person Voice Group (Verb Classes) Secondary ('Marked' ('Contrastive' Tense Options) Options) Nominal Modification Classification Attitude Deixis Group Epithet Sub- Attitudinal Determiners Function Modification Modifiers 'Phoric' Enumeration Intensifiers Elements (Noun Classes) (Qualifiers) (Adjective Classes) (Definite Articles) Adverbial 'Minor Narrowing Comment Conjunction (incl. Processes' Sub- (Classes Of (Classes Of Prepositional) Prepositional Modification Comments Discourse Group Relations Adjunct) Adjunct) (Classes Of Circumstantial Adjunct) Word (incl. Lexical Compounding Lexical Collocation Lexical item) 'Content' Derivation 'Register' (Collocational (Taxonomic (Expressive Organization Organization Words) Of Vocabulary) Of Vocabulary) (Stylistic Organization Of Vocabulary) These include Relative Position In Gestalt, In Episode And To Each Other: Proximate, Gestalt: Framing: Bordering (for example, those borders under the masthead and below 'Corporate Information') and groupings of recogniz- ably similar instantiations under headings in Stylization: Font: Font Style:
  • 151. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 143 Table 6.2 Ranked functional systems for the visual semiotic (adapted from O'Toole, 1999) Function Representational Modal Compositional Unit Work Actions, Events Focus: Perspective Gestalt: Framing Agents, Patients, Clarity Horizontals Goals Light Verticals Scenes, Settings, Colour Diagonals Features Scale Proportion Portrayals, Sitters Volume Line Narrative Themes Gaze: 'Eyework' Rhythm Interplay Of 'Paths' Geometric Forms Episodes 'Rhythms' Colour Cohesion Intermediaries 'Theme' Frame 'Weight' Modality: Fantasy Irony Authenticity Symbolism Omission Intertextuality Episode Groups And Scale To Whole Relative Position In Sub-Actions, Centrality To Whole Gestalt And To Scenes, Portrayals Relative Prominence Each Other Side Sequence) Interplay Of Alignment Interplay Of Modalities Coherence Actions Interplay Of Forms Figure Character Object Characterization Relative Position In Act Position Relation To Viewer Gestalt, In Stance Gaze Episode And To Gesture Gesture Each Other Contrast and Conflict: Parallelism and Colour Opposition Scale Subframing Light Line Member Basic Physical Stylization Cohesion: Reference Forms: Attenuation Parallel Parts Of Body Chiaroscuro Contrast Object Synecdoche Rhythm Natural Forms Irony Components
  • 152. Plate 6.3 Sections of the MOE homepage
  • 153. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 145 Bold (such as the ITEMS under 'Web Sites of Interest' and 'Corporate Infor- mation'). Because these sections are rectilinear and stacked vertically, the Gestalt is one that positively suggests stability or negatively an absence of dynamism (O'Toole, 1994). The organization of linguistic and visual instantiation of this webpage reflects a certain trend. If one were to consider the linguistic texts on the webpage, the selection is Relative Position In Gestalt: Formatting: Left Justified., meaning strings of words are aligned from the same vertical point of departure starting from the left. This left justification relates to the reading practice associated with English texts which is left to right to the row below. Additionally, each of the hypertext links under 'Highlights' and 'Corporate Information' has a graphic bullet that indicates the start of a 'new point' as well as a distinct hypertext link. These bullets therefore function to draw the eye to the right and to signal the intended discreteness of linguistic instanti- ations. In much the same way, the MOE Shield at the top left corner of the webpage calls attention to itself while bulleting the 'main point' of the homepage: the Ministry of Education, Singapore. More so than in other multisemiotic texts, the 'putting together' or con- struction of a hypertext involves a heightened awareness of bringing separ- ate elements together in spatial relation to each other. This construction is fundamentally achieved through Hypertext Mark-Up Language (HTML) that is used to 'write' computer commands which execute the webpage as seen on-screen. A source code thus details a particular webpage's HTML consisting of commands enclosed in pointed brackets such as '<P align- =centre>' to more complex ones such as <TABLE border=0 cellPadding= 5 cellSpacing=5 width='101 per cent'>'. In addition, sequentiality in the source code usually translates to the actual webpage displayed, as evinced by a simple comparison between the given source code and the MOE homepage. The HTML of the source code thus implicates a deliberate writer who is conscious of the spatial ordering of texts as they appear on a webpage. Representational choices The above choices not only underscore the MOE as most salient (and this is matter of course since it is the MOE homepage) but they also work in tandem with Representational choices to construe the MOE's institutional 'face'. Contextualized with other homepages, the MOE homepage does 'reassure' with its 'generic' layout of masthead at the top with various texts and hyper- text links beneath it. As mentioned in the discussion on context, this layout is adhered to through a choice in Portrayal to foreground the corporate agency, and this functions to increase credibility to the end of encouraging the ergodist to 'buy' what is offered on-screen. In the case of the MOE, it is information on local education-related issues that is being 'sold'. Nonetheless, there are websites that play with the rigid style of presenta- tion, or depart from it altogether, to create a greater sense of dynamism and
  • 154. 146 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS unpredictability and so increase its engagement with the ergodist. Of course, a website may go the extreme and end up deterring the mystified ergodist. Regardless, the MOE homepage evidently has not experimented with the semiotic resources nor with hypertext facilities. Consider how the rigid left to right framework set against the stark-white background makes the masthead appear as a letterhead. A sense of a printed document, that 'we have it in black and white', thus emerges. Perhaps because the homepage is contextualized as a government website in an area of such national preoccupation, in its adherence to the 'standard' layout of homepages the MOE site has chosen to foreground credibility and back- ground 'playfulness'. The MOE thus foregoes the creativity that different semiotic resources and hypertext facilities afford, making the website relatively 'conservative' compared with other webpages. How does such a webpage act on the reader and what assumptions are embedded in this representation of the MOE? Such questions are explored following the more detailed analysis at the order of ITEM. Scrollability Before finishing the analysis at the order of LEXIA, one particular hypertext feature gives cause for further thought. Due to several factors, such as a non- maximized web-browser window or a small monitor display, a LEXIA may only be presented in part. One facility hypertext opens up is what I call 'scrollability' which determines how the semiotic choices ultimately contact the ergodist. A deliberately lengthy or wide webpage exploits scrollability while simultaneously marking it as a feature for the ergodist. The feature of scrollability has two types: vertical and lateral. As the default display of webpages is always the topmost and leftmost portion first, this means that for small displays, the option to scroll laterally arises, in which case one must always start from the left. The more common case is the vertical scrolling option, starting always from the top. Noting this default top-left display, it is not surprising that webpage designers usually situate what they deem as more important in these 'guaranteed viewing areas'. In the light of scrollability, the preceding discussion needs re-examination because even with the largest monitor display presently available and maxi- mization of the web-browser window, the MOE homepage is only fully 'read' by scrolling downwards. The downward scrolling process is repro- duced in Plate 6.4. The initial window rules out all those ITEMS under the heading 'web sites of interest' and below, ensuring that the already prominent masthead is even more salient. Ostensibly, the convention of locating the most important information (in this case the MOE masthead) at the top is a recognition of the default top-left display. What is deemed most significant is situated at the said guaranteed viewing areas with the rest arranged in a descending sequence according to import. This overall arrangement has a significant contribution to how the ITEMS
  • 155. Plate 6.4 Scrolling sequence of the MOE homepage
  • 156. 148 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS are read. The questions of how the MOE homepage acts on the reader and what assumptions are embedded in this representation of the MOE may now be more fully explored in an analysis at the order of ITEM. Analysis at order of item Working through a reading path The following brief looks at the webpage's ITEMS works through a 'reading path', a notion which relies on the assumption that 'all forms of semiosis are read syntagmatically' against the patterned whole of the text (O'Halloran, 1999: 322-324). Whenever a new LEXIA is displayed on-screen, therefore, some ITEM/S will arrest or compete for the attention of the ergodist. This starting point through which the ergodist 'enters' the LEXIA is what Mario Garcia terms the focal point or the Central Visual impact (CVI) (in Bohle, 1990: 36, cited by Wee, 1999: 21). The CVI is compatible with the notion of an ITEM because, as we shall see, both can be accounted for by salient Compositional (and in some cases Modal) choices. From the CVI, the ergo- dist engages sequentially with other ITEMS of the LEXIA, in effect working through an idealized 'reading path'. From the above discussion on the fea- ture of scrollability and the semiotic choices instantiated at the order of LEXIA, I suggest a reading path labelled alphabetically in Plate 6.5. Being 'bulleted' by the MOE Crest to the left and punctuated to the right by a Y2K symbol, the masthead captures the initial attention of the ergodist at Step A for the reasons discussed above. Ostensibly, Portrayals of authority and preparedness (as embodied by the crest and the 'Year 2000 compliant' symbol respectively) function to bolster the credibility of the website. The reading practice of left to right to next line down brings one to the mission statement 'Moulding the Future of Our Nation' immediately beneath the masthead. The border below the mission statement 'closes off Step A, which constitutes the CVI due to its superordinate position through Com- positional choices. The complex interaction between the masthead and the mission statement and what this interaction means are detailed later. Next, the ergodist enters Step B via 'Highlights' in Stylization: font: font style: bold, which labels particular entities as noteworthy or of news value. The eye is then quickly drawn by the diagonal arc cutting through the logo of the 2nd AEMM Education Ministerial Meeting. This option in Gestalt: Diagonals has a certain dynamism when set against the darker coloured circle. Presumably, since the '2nd AEMM' hypertext link is topmost and alongside an image, the linked site is deemed (at least by the MOE) to be of utmost interest if not importance. Perhaps the 2nd AEMM is ranked higher because of its international scope, and this reflects a bid by the MOE, and by extension the PAP, to accredit itself with global relevance. In Steps C and D, hypertext links realized as linguistic instantiations are read in the manner of left to right to the row below, due to reading conven- tions which are reinforced by the bullets. These hypertext links are arranged
  • 157. Plate 6.5 Suggested reading path for the MOE homepage
  • 158. 150 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS in a two-column top to bottom order. With the notable exceptions of the hypertext links for 'HDB 40th Anniversary Web Site' and 'Teacher: Create a sense of wonder. Offer new perspectives', all the other hypertext links contain nominal groups. The lengthy nominalizations, such as 'New Uni- versity Admission System from 2003', recall headlines which are a notable feature for newspaper articles. Perhaps hypertext links are in general con- structed to serve as headlines, promoting or giving the gist of their respect- ively linked pages. In Steps C and D, the 'CL "B" Syllabus and Bonus Points Scheme', 'New University Admission System from 2003' and other issues that relate in some way to the centrality of ensuring that one obtains a 'good' education are deemed newsworthy. As in this case, the packing together of hypertext links becomes an index for the ergodist to obtain a limited overview of associated webpages while, on the other hand, allowing the webpage designer to limit and foreground what are considered important extensions of the webpage. An index comprised of hypertext links emerges as one way through which the webpage designers construct and underscore pathway choices for the ergodist to choose from. Reading conventions bring the ergodist to Step E through another header 'Web Sites of Interest'. Like the header before, and the final header 'Cor- porate Information' below, all ITEMS serving as headers in this webpage are a result of Stylization: Font: Font Style: Bold., deriving a visual distinctiveness against other linguistic ITEMS. Because of the option in Gestalt: Diagonals, the tilted magnifying glass draws the eye into the hypertext link of 'Teacher: Create a sense of wonder. Offer new perspectives'. The eye then moves rightwards through to Step I, in this case not only because of reading conventions. Here the subtle reduction in height of the hypertext links, the increasing colour brightness to the right, together with the diagonals in the telescope and the magnifying glass of hypertext links 'Educational Televi- sion' and 'NE.WS' respectively draw the reader across the page to Step I. A closer look at the hypertext links in Steps F, H and I shows they relate directly to what is spelled out by the MOE as the 'Cornerstone of Education Policy': Information technology will be used widely as teaching and learning resources to develop skills in communication and independent learning. National Education is also taught to foster strong bonds among students and develop in them a sense of responsibility and commitment to family, community and country . . . capable of contributing towards Singapore's continued growth and prosperity. (The Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2000, emphasis mine) The hypertext links under 'Web Sites of Interest' can thus be seen as primar- ily expansions of what are institutional-governmental goals rather than what may be of some interest to the ergodist. While one may examine any one of these ITEMS for any length of time, the leftmost ITEM draws back the eye through the hypertext facility of
  • 159. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 151 animation. For the hypertext link 'Teacher: Create a sense of wonder. Offer new perspectives' the image of the magnifying glass over a flower morphs into a girl in mid-jump and then back again in perpetual recursion. As a complex extension of the visual semiotic, animation necessitates further research which, however, is beyond the scope of this enterprise. Nonetheless, this conscious use of animation implies that the MOE made a decision to foreground this particular ITEM. This link's power of attraction is also enhanced by the possession of two of the only three Mood: Imperative clauses which, in effect, level a 'direct' address at the ergodist. Both anima- tion and the rhetorical stance carried by this ITEM function to attract and situate the ergodist as someone who can 'Create a sense of wonder' and 'Offer new perspectives'. In the recent context of a nationwide campaign to enlarge the teaching workforce, the relative magnetism of this ITEM becomes meaningful when one recognizes the fact that it serves as a link to another webpage that encourages individuals to join the teaching profes- sion. Regardless, the general paucity of direct address may be due to an aspiration towards a formal, objective register which interacts with the 'headline' convention of hypertext links as discussed above. Steps J and K comprise an ordered bi-column arrangement of linguistic hypertext links as in Steps C and D. Notably, under 'Corporate Informa- tion', a choice from Gestalt: Framing tabulates the hypertext links. Represen- tationally the rectilinear framing is a choice which projects stability and immutability which is meant to accord with the corporate, definitive nature of the information. In this light, perhaps among other reasons, the linguistic hypertext links in Steps C and D are not framed because they are by nature time sensitive. For example, in January 2000 the hypertext link for the '2nd AEMM Education Ministerial Meeting' appeared while simultaneously the hypertext link to 'ThinkQuest-Singapore' was dropped. In Step L, a border marks off the final portion of the webpage which contains the MOE's contact information and the 'Last Updated' date in small fonts. This contact information is obligatory insofar as authenticating the website and providing an avenue for dialoguing with the MOE. How- ever, this information may perhaps be obscured because it is deemed rela- tively less newsworthy to the purposes of the website which acts as a media arm for the MOE. As evidenced by choices in Relative Prominence, contact- ing the MOE through any of the channels laid out in the contact informa- tion is downplayed as an option for the reader. What is instead deliberately highlighted are the definitive statements found in the LEXIAS that the MOE has already scripted for the MOE CLUSTER. Backtracking the steps of the reading path, one finds an increasing sig- nificance associated with the ITEMS, with Step A housing the 'main subject' from which the rest of the webpage is understood: the MOE. As the tour at the orders of LEXIA and ITEM shows, different texts on a webpage stand out differently due to various Modal, Compositional and Representational choices, pulling in the ergodist's gaze at every step of the reading path. In turn, these choices as a whole reflect an image of the MOE as construed by
  • 160. 152 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS the MOE homepage for the ergodist: as the authoritative voice on local education in service of the governmental goal of economic viability through an educated workforce in the global marketplace. So far, the semiotic choices explored at the orders of LEXIA and ITEM have been rather brief owing to the limitations of space. Nonetheless, this sketch sets the backdrop against which a more delicate account of semiotic activity may be further explored and detailed. This activity is exemplified with a focused examination of Step A in the MOE homepage. An account of intersemiosis Visual semiosis The ITEM that stands out as the CVI in the MOE homepage is that com- plex of signs constituting the masthead, reproduced in Plate 6.6. Plate 6.6 The MOE masthead The Relative Prominence of the masthead at the top of the page is in sharp relief to the other ITEMS of the webpage, and this arrests the atten- tion of the ergodist and serves as the focal point through which the webpage is entered. Additionally, options in Scale To Whole realize the masthead as larger than any other ITEM, thus heightening its prominence. Furthermore, the Contrast and Conflict: Colour of the rectangle (which is brown) acts to distinguish the masthead from the white background of the webpage, simul- taneously adding salience to the white words it encloses. In a binary fashion, the white of the masthead words is now in contrast to the rest of the predominantly dark-coloured linguistic text, even as the latter derive their clarity from the white background of the webpage. This interlocking con- trast is precisely what throws the linguistic instantiations in sharp relief to one another. The masthead reveals a more delicate option in Contrast and Conflict: Scale in terms of Font Size. The words 'Ministry of Education, Singapore' are Font Size:24, which is noticeably larger than the rest of the linguistic instances which are Font Size: 12 or less. Within Stylization, Font serves as a further specification. While 'Ministry of Education, Singapore' approxi- mate Font: Times New Roman, a large number of the other linguistic instances are Font: Arial or some derivation through joint options with Font: Font Style: Bold or Font: Font Style: Italics. The uniformity displayed in the majority of linguistic instances may be related to the default setting of Font: Arial in HTML. Any other font in the actual webpage display must be deliberately
  • 161. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 153 chosen at the programming stage from a larger range of font styles. Any other font style apart from 'Arial' thus implies a certain degree of delib- erateness. The masthead with its non-conventional font is thus a deliberate choice to make it stand out from the rest. The 'effect' of Modal choices is thus intimately tied to how the texts are arranged in meaningful relation to each other, that is, the compositional choices made. Gestalt: Framing is selected for the masthead via a border with equidistant light and dark intensities of colour, suggesting both variation and regularity. The strong rectangular frame at once mirrors the rectilinear frame of the web-browser window and is echoed by the grid-like pattern within itself. Although the criss-crossing lines segment and may thus fracture the surface of the masthead, the continuity of the words 'Ministry of Edu- cation, Singapore' over the surface evokes at the very least a closely pieced together surface without chinks. What remains is a Parallelism connecting these geometric Forms which relate 'to the horizontal axis and the vertical axis [. . .] [and] contribute to stability and harmony' (O'Toole, 1994: 23). What is crucially conveyed by the Modal and Compositional choices are the discreteness, centrality and stability of the masthead. Representationally, the masthead with its tiled texture and patterned border suggests among many things some flat human-worked surface. Two important observations can be made here: first, the range of visual meanings are suggested by the actual choices instantiated; and second, while the meanings are, according to Barthes (1977: 38-39), 'polysemous', they are nonetheless finite (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996: 16). Visual-linguistic intersemiosis Barthes's (1977) attempt to 'fix' visual meanings has been criticized because it makes visual meanings dependent on linguistic choices, a phenomenon he called 'anchorage'. Nonetheless, perhaps Barthes observes part of a more complex process. Analyzing the masthead once again, the uncertainty of the visual meanings is clarified somewhat as it interacts with the linguistic mean- ings it frames. The meanings of the Nominal Group may be uncovered by examining the choices realized in its structure as we may see in Table 6.3. At the rank of Word, the Lexical 'Content' of the noun head 'Ministry' allows for these taxonomic meanings: 1 a a government department headed by a minister, b the building which it occupies. 2 a (prec. by the) the vocation or profession of a religious minister, b the office of a religious minister, priest etc. c the period or tenure of this. 3 (prec. by the) [a] the body of ministers of a government or [b] of a religion. 4 a period of government under one Prime Minister. 5 ministering, ministration. (Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder 1994: 969) At the rank of Nominal Group, the options 2 a, b, c, 3[b] and 4 are excluded by the following choices in Modification: the premodifying definite article
  • 162. 154 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Table 6.3 Nominal Group structure in the masthead The Ministry of Education, Singapore Premodification Head Postmodification Postmodification Determiner Article Postposed Postposed Noun Definite Prepositional Phrase Phrase Head 'The' establishes 'Ministry of Education, Singapore' as unique, monolithic and authoritative just as the postmodifers 'of Education, Singapore' imbue the function and sphere of influence of the ministry. The Nominal Group is thus specified to mean: (a) From la: The Ministry of Education headed by the Minister of Education. (b) From Ib: The building of this government department. (c) From 3 [a]: The body of ministers of this government department. (d) From 5: The administration of this government department. The polysemy of meanings proposed by the instantiated linguistic choices is crucially finite. What is represented visually as discussed above now comes into relation with this range of linguistic meanings, and seems to further contract the range of linguistic meanings to allow for only (b), that is, the physical building. I call this 'Specification 1'. However, 'Ministry of Education, Singapore' also comes into relation with yet another linguistic instantiation. Moulding the future of our nation As mentioned in the above discussion at the order of LEXIA, this relation- ship between these two discrete linguistic ITEMS is encouraged by the Com- positional choices Relative Position To Each Other: Proximate (instantiated as their top-bottom proximity) and Gestalt: Framing: Bordering (instantiated as the dotted line 'sectioning out' these two linguistic ITEMS from others). In addition, because the mission statement is non-finite, it can be thought of as a dependent Clause, which calls into question what it is dependent on. Causal relationships may also be implicit with dependent Clauses, and in this case, one may ask who or what agent is 'moulding the future of our nation'. As a result of these questions and the Compositional choices mentioned above, the two linguistic ITEMS come into the following possible relation in Table 6.4. The mission statement may thus be perceived as entering into Experien- tial relations with the masthead. The material process 'Moulding' stipulates
  • 163. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 155 Table 6.4 Experiential relations between the masthead and the mission statement Ministry of Education, Moulding the Future of Our Nation Singapore Participant Process Participant Actor Material Goal a sentient Participant Actor. This is complemented with the option Font: Font Style: Italics which also imbues the mission statement with a sense of dyna- mism, implicating an animate Actor. These options act to specify the linguistic meaning of the masthead as (a) and (c) (see above). I call this 'Specification 2'. As can be observed, a disjunction arises between Specifica- tions 1 and 2. The MOE as imaged by Specification 1 is solid, concrete, immovable and non-living. In contradistinction, Specification 2 suggests the MOE as the animate agent shaping Singapore's future. In this sustained ambiguity, the MOE is (re)presented as a human agency who is at the same time 'faceless', impenetrable and incontestable. This depiction of the MOE derives perhaps from the premises of its uncontestable authority with respect to educational matters and its existence as an arm of the PAP. Abstraction ofintersemiosis This discussion has been concerned with the way meanings across instanti- ations of various semiotic resources interact with one another to give a new meaning or set of meanings. This complex interaction and production of meanings between instantiations of different semiotic resources is called 'intersemiosis'. Though the prior analysis of Step A is sequenced as Specifi- cation 1 followed by 2 in keeping with the suggested reading path, intersemiosis does not in fact depend on any one sequence, but upon the meanings first conveyed by each instantiation. In other words, for multi- semiotic texts, there is no binding unidirectionality or sequentiality for meaning interaction. Rather, one instantiation comes into relation with another, and each simultaneously specifies the other. Intersemiosis as discussed so far has been circumscribed by Compositional choices such as Gestalt: Framing and Relative Position: Proximate that relate instantiations that are spatially 'grouped'. A more complete notion of intersemiosis recognizes that choices from the Modal and Representational systems can also bring instantiations that are spatially distant or ungrouped into significant relations for the interaction and production of meanings. However, these non-Compositional factors for intersemiosis can only be pursued outside the confines of this paper. An abstraction of the stages of visual-linguistic intersemiosis may be offered at this point as Relation, Intersection and Manifestation (collectively RIM):
  • 164. 156 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (1) Relation: Compositional, Modal and Representational meaning-making choices delimit what instantiations are 'connected'. It is in the context of this connectedness between instantiations of different semiotic resources where intersemiosis occurs. (2) Intersection: the range of meanings suggested by an instantiation of a particular semiotic comes into some relation with another instantiation of the same or different semiotic resource. Between instantiations, mean- ings across instantiations that are similar underscore each other to pro- duce one focused meaning, or a specification. Conversely, meanings that are not similar may be either backgrounded or foregrounded. (3) Manifestation: specifications across different semiotic instantiations may either materialize in a single highly determined, focused meaning or a number of focused meanings. In the latter case, a sustained polysemy results. Ambiguity results when the polysemous meanings are divergent. Therefore, contra Barthes (1977), it is not only linguistic meaning that anchors visual meaning, but the reverse as well. Questions of how similar or divergent meanings may be determined aside, the above approach uncovers to some degree the complexity of intersemiosis. However, it becomes clear that further work in this area is needed. Nonetheless, the abstract stages of Relation, Intersection and Manifestation (RIM) may provide a way to describe the process of encircling the pool of meanings occurring in multisemiosis. Conclusion This undertaking has been an exercise in increasing specificity. That is, against an expansive range of discourse on hypertext, four abstract orders of hypertext are posited, out of which the two lower orders of LEXIA and ITEM are identified as sites for semiosis. At these lower orders of abstraction, a multisemiotic analysis was applied to the MOE homepage to uncover the meaning-making choices which construe the MOE. A further particulariza- tion occurs when intersemiosis is demonstrated at the level of delicacy of two ITEMS. Finally, this exploratory attempt culminated in an abstraction of the process of intersemiosis, Relation, Intersection, Manifestation (RIM) which approaches the problem of how to illuminate this complex phenomenon. The issue of whether non-linguistic semiotic resources are systemic raises the question of the validity of extending the notion of the systemic metafunctions beyond language. The contention that there may not exist a stratum of 'grammar' for a non-linguistic semiotic resource and that, even if there is, this stratum is of a comparable nature to that of language becomes an issue. These theoretical questions remain still very much questions in themselves and there is no reason to date to reject the notion that non- linguistic semiotic resources are systemic and tri-metafunctional. This is not to say that the metafunctional systems between semiotic resources are
  • 165. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 157 identical. That is patently untrue for the simple reason that different semi- otic resources have different ways of meaning, and so have in themselves different meaning-making systems. The systems proposed for non-linguistic semiotic resources are markedly different from the linguistic. One crucial question may be whether non-linguistic semiotic resources serve non-social functions. The notion that semiosis is necessarily social seems to secure the notion of the three metafunctions (see Kok, 2001). While exploring the systemic choices in the MOE homepage, my analysis has worked with a suggested reading path. This does not, however, rule out the fact that an ergodist can focus initially on an ITEM other than the GVI, or in a similar fashion, can work through a different sequence of engaging with the ITEMS on a LEXIA depending upon the immediate contextual factors such as the number of times the website has been viewed. Further- more, what is immediately demanding of attention for one particular cul- ture may not be so for another, although acculturation across cultures is becoming more frequent with the spread of mass media, of which hyper- text is a part. Further to this, it appears that various meaning-making choices and facilities in hypertext, as demonstrated, function to secure cer- tain sites of immediate visual engagement so that a GVI becomes visually prominent. This enterprise has been unwilling to divorce hypertext from contextual use because as a means of communication, hypertext only acquires its richness and definition from its use in the social realm. The functions of hypertext are not wholly determined either by technology or society, but by technology used in society. As future innovations in communicative technology surface, new ways of meaning-making will be introduced. What has been suggested in the course of this undertaking are some of the new systems of meaning-making enabled by hypertext. However, fur- ther work is needed to account for the many other systems opened up in this new platform. Nonetheless, the value of this work lies in its potential to explicate the process through which semiotic choices are made, how they are made, for what purposes and to what effect. It is hoped that this has provided some answers to enquiries concerning the shifting ways of communication and works towards a fuller disclosure of multisemiotic activity. Notes 1 Due to publishing constraints, the MOE homepage could not be reproduced in colour. As colour is an important resource for meaning, these constraints some- what compromise the reader's interpretation of the webpage and the analysis presented here. However, every effort has been made to overcome this deficiency. 2 Although it seems counterintuitive to say that means of writing prior to the printing press or the typewriter are technologies, 'the papyrus roll and the vel- lum manuscript also exemplify technologies of writing . . . [as] . . . both required devices: the reed pen and papyrus in ancient Egypt, and the quill and parchment in the Middle Ages' (Snyder, 1997: 1).
  • 166. 158 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Acknowledgements Plates 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 and 6.6 are reproduced by courtesy of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore. The screenshots of the MOE homepage were captured on 7 January 2000. References Aarseth, E. J. (1997) Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. Available from: Ergodic.html. Barthes, R. (1974) S/£(R. Miller, trans.) New York: Hill and Wang. Barthes, R. (1977) Rhetoric of the image. In R. Barthes (S. Heath, ed. and trans.), Image—Music—Text. London: Fontana, 32—51. Bohle, R. (1990) Publication Design for Editors. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Halliday, M. A. K. (1991) The notion of context in language education. In T. Le and M. McCausland (eds), Language Education: Interaction and Development: Proceedings of the International Conference, Ho Chin Min City, Vietnam 30 March-1 April 1991. Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. Hasan, R. (1996) Ways of Saying: Ways of Meaning Selected Papers of Ruqaiya Hasan. London: Gassell. Heng, G. and Devan, J. (1995) State Fatherhood: the politics of nationalism, sexual- ity and race in Singapore. In A. Ong and M. G. Peletz (eds), Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 195-215. Kok, K. G. A. (2001) What is material about hypertext? Unpublished masters thesis. National University of Singapore. Kress, G. (2003) Literacy in the New Media Age. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2001) Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication Discourse. London: Arnold. Landow, G. P. (1997) Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. Lemke, J. L. (1998) Metamedia literacy: transforming meanings and media. In D. Reinking, L. Labbo, M. McKenna and R. Kiefer (eds), Handbook of Literacy and Technology: Transformations in a Post-Typographic World. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 283-301. Lim, B. L. L. (1998) Hypertext fiction: a narrative analysis. Unpublished honours thesis. National University of Singapore. Ministry of Education, Singapore. (2000) Education in Singapore; available from Moore, M. (1994) Introducing the internet. In Wired Magazine: The Internet Unleashed. Indianapolis: Sams Publishing, 4—19. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999) Interdependence, interaction and metaphor in multi- semiotic texts. Social Semiotics 9(3): 317—354. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press.
  • 167. ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND FILM 159 O'Toole, M. (1999) Functions and Systems in Verbal and Visual Texts. Paper presented at the 26th International Systemic—Functional Congress. Regional Language Centre (RELC), Singapore, 26-30 July 1999. Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder, The (1994) London: The Reader's Digest Association Limited. Snyder, I. (1997) Hypertext: The Electronic Labyrinth. New York: New York University Press. Straits Times, The (9 February 2000) Internet a driving force. Tuman, M. C. (1992) WordPerfect: Literacy in the Computer Age. London: Falrner Press. Unsworth, L. (2001) Teaching Multiliteracies across the Curriculum: Changing Contexts of Text and Image in Classroom Practice. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Wee, C. K. A. (1999) Multi-semiotic analysis of advertisements. Unpublished hon- ours thesis. National University of Singapore.
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  • 169. Part III Print media
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  • 171. 7 The construal of Ideational meaning in print advertisements Cheong Tin Yuen National University of Singapore Introduction The investigation of the intricacies, complexities and nuances of multi- semiotic texts has been the Focus of recent research. This arises from the observation that 'language, and typological modes of semiosis generally, have evolved to work in partnership with other, often more topologically grounded, semiotic systems' (Lemke, 1998: 111). O'Toole (1994), Kress and van Leeuwen (1996, 2001), Lemke (1998), Wee (1999), O'Halloran (1999) and Baldry (2000) have made significant strides within this area of multi- semiotic text analyses from a systemic-functional perspective. This paper aims to contribute to the development of a theoretical frame- work and vocabulary for the articulation of meaning in multi-semiotic texts as research in this realm has not been as extensive as the examination of purely linguistic texts. To limit text analyses to only the linguistic aspect and disregard the non-linguistic features such as graphs and diagrams is tanta- mount to annihilating the efflorescence of meaning that can emerge from a multi-semiotic analysis. As aptly stated by Wee (1999: vi): Compared to text with a single semiotic code, the meaning potential of multi- semiotic texts is greatly expanded. Hence, meaning creation becomes an inter- active, dynamic and symbiotic process. Research into multi-semiotic texts is indeed underrepresented, which is iron- ical as 'computer technologies make multimedia genres more convenient and accessible for all purposes, [thus] it will become increasingly important to understand how the resources of different semiotic systems have been and can be combined' (Lemke, 1998: 111). In this information age, it is indeed a rarity for texts not to be illustrated, and this further signals the need to invigorate and fortify research in this area. Gheong (1999) proposes a working systemic-functional model for mean- ing-making in print advertisements through proposing lexicogrammatical strategies for Ideational, Textual and Interpersonal meaning. Constraints of space here allow for only a discussion of the construal of Ideational meaning in multi-semiotic texts. In this paper the generic structure potential of
  • 172. 164 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS advertisements is proposed and illustrated through the examination of five advertisements. In the following sections I discuss five strategies for construing Ideational meaning: the Bidirectional Investment of meaning, Contextual Propensity, Interpretative Space, Semantic Effervescence and Visual Metaphor. Hasan's (1996) Generic Structure Potential for advertise- ments and Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) concept of Given and New are critiqued, together with a re-examination of Barthes's (1977) notions of 'anchorage' and readerly and writerly texts. Generic structure potential of a print advertisement Hasan (1996: 41-42) proposes 'CaptureAFocusAJustification' as the generic structure for an advertisement. Hasan (1996: 41) aims to encapsulate the multi-semiotic nature of advertisements, with the Capture functioning: to attract attention . . . [and] realized in the written mode through the manage- ment of the visual layout, the typeface patterns and/or the presence of pictures. According to Hasan (1996: 41), the Focus csingle[s] out that which is being advertised'. However, while stating that the Focus can be visually realized, Hasan (1996) does not clarify whether the Focus has a linguistic realization as well. Hasan (1996) also establishes the presence of a visual aspect to the Justification, but in a similar manner does not include the component to give a 'detailed account of other elements of structure for an advertisement' (Hasan, 1996: 42). Suffice to say that Hasan's (1996) generic structure Cap- tures to some extent the multi-semiotic nature of advertisements. Following Hasan's proposal, there is a need to provide a more detailed account of generic structure for advertisements. Hasan's (1996) model does not make explicit the complexities involved in the interaction between visual images and linguistic text in advertisements. It is the aim of this paper to provide a model that best Captures the multi-semiotic interaction between visual images and linguistic text in print advertisements. Based on this limited study of print advertisements, the Generic Structure Potential or GSP which ' [expresses] the total range of optional and obliga- tory elements' (Halliday and Hasan, 1985: 64) for advertisements may be Captured as: LeadA (Display)AEmblemA (Announcement)A (Enhancer)A (Tag)A (Call-and-Visit Information) Table 7.1 details the generic structure of a print advertisement. In this framework the various visual and linguistic components in an advertisement are made explicit, together with the interaction between these semiotic resources which creates differing levels of Ideational, Interpersonal and Compositional/Textual meaning.
  • 173. PRINT MEDIA 165 Table 7.1 Proposed generic structure of print advertisements Visual components Lead: Locus of Attention (LoA), Complement to the Locus of Attention (Gomp.LoA) Display. Explicit, Implicit, Congruent, Incongruent (metaphorical) Emblem Linguistic components Announcement Primary, Secondary Enhancer Emblem Tag Call-and-visit information Interaction to create Interpersonal, Ideational and Compositional/Textual meanings Five advertisements are analysed in this paper: the Golf, the Epson, the Ml, the Beetle and the Guess? advertisements, which are displayed in Plates 7.1-7.5. I discuss in the next section why the Lead and the Emblem are designated obligatory elements while the others are optional. The Lead The discussion that follows details the characteristics and function/s of the various components that constitute the Generic Structure Potential of a print advertisement. I will begin with the Lead. The Lead is thus termed as it is Interpersonally most Salient (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996) through choices in size, position and/or colour. The Lead is illustrated in Plate 7.1. On its own, the Lead has a wide spectrum in terms of meaning potential, that is, many possible meanings emanate from the Lead. Interpreted independently of the Announcement, Enhancer, Dis- play and Emblem, the Lead is figuratively an efflorescence of meaning. For example, the sensual looking female who is the Lead in the Golf advertise- ment (Plate 7.1) could be calling to attention the new millennium look or she could be an ambassador for women's rights. Therefore, on its own, the Lead has a bounty or a kaleidoscope of possible meanings. As I explain below, the Lead consists of the Locus of Attention (LoA) and Complements to the Locus of Attention (Comp.LoA). There is an element in the Lead that by its very Salience, be it an unusual quality that challenges reality or outstanding size, colour and so forth, arrests the attention of the viewers. In Plate 7.2 depicting the Epson advertisement, it is the splash of the water outside the boundaries of the photograph. This attention- arresting element is termed the 'Locus of Attention' (LoA). The LoA embeds the central idea of the advertisement, that Epson produces lifelike quality prints. The three-fold functions of the LoA include Interpersonally attracting attention, and Ideationally construing reality in a way intended by the advertisers, where the viewer's perception of reality is manipulated. Textually, it is a springboard for further development of the central idea, for
  • 174. 166 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Plate 7.1 Generic structure of the Golf advertisement example, that Epson produces lifelike quality prints in the linguistic text that follows. 'The text serves to elaborate' the visuals (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996: 194). But by what specific strategies/systems, we are left uninformed. The following discussion serves to explain this.
  • 175. PRINT MEDIA 167 Plate 7.2 Generic structure of the Epson advertisement Visually, the LoA encapsulates the central idea that Epson produces life- like prints. This central idea is reiterated in the linguistic text. That is, there is a linguistic equivalence (be it in the form of sentences or particular lexis) that coheres ideationally with this central idea conveyed in the LoA. Idea- tionally, the following linguistic items, including clauses and nominal groups, encapsulate tightly and parallel the idea embedded in the LoA, that is, Epson produces lifelike prints:
  • 176. 168 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (a) EPSON STYLUS PHOTO EX - crystal-clear, photographic quality printing (b) //Six specially formulated colour inks deliver richer, more lifelike images// (c) //while EPSON PhotoEnhance provides realistic colour balance every time// (d) //The EPSON Stylus Photo EX can transform your photography// (e) EPSON Stylus. The most advanced inkjets. If the above linguistic items had occurred in isolation without the accompaniment of the LoA, they would be mere statements weakened of their persuasive force to manipulate perception in a way intended by the advertiser, thus diminishing the influence over viewers to purchase the product. However, with the LoA conveying visually the idea that Epson produces lifelike prints, the meaning potential in linguistic items (a)-(e) is significandy enhanced. Interpersonally, the LoA provides the context in which linguistic items (a)—(e) are endowed with greater persuasive force to influence viewers to purchase the product. Meaning-making of (a)-(e) from the Ideational perspective is enhanced, as the LoA serves textually as a reference point for readers to make sense of what exactly is meant by 'crystal-dear photographic printing', 'lifelike images', 'realistic colour balance', 'Epson . . . can transform your photography' and 'EPSON STYLUS. The most advanced inkjets'. When the rankshifted clause 'to make a bigger splash with your images' in the Enhancer (see Plate 7.2) is read within the context of the LoA, it is identified as a pun. There is an interplay between linguistic item and the visual image that enhances the meaning potential of the rankshifted clause as well as the LoA. Without the LoA, there would be no such interplay of meaning, thus the rankshifted clause 'to make a bigger splash with your images' would not be interpreted as a pun, reducing the overall affective appeal of the adver- tisement. Extending Wee's (1999) concept of symbiosis, the LoA and the linguistic text act on each other, mutually reinforcing and enhancing the meaning potential of the Lead. Particular facets of the meaning potential of the Ideational meaning of the LoA can be articulated linguistically, that is, the Ideational meaning of the visual code can be translated into the linguistic code. Items (a)—(e) above are an articulation and representation, in linguistic form, of the meanings embedded in the LoA. Conversely, it can be stated that the Ideational mean- ings in Items (a)-(e) are loaded into the LoA. The LoA is a visual compres- sion of the linguistic meaning in (a)-(e). The LoA can thus be interpreted as a Visual Metaphor as explained below. Bohle (1990: 36) mentions Garcia's centre of visual impact (CVI), 'where the reader enters the page . . . without the CVI, a page is a mass confusion of elements competing for attention'. Wee (1999) further states that the CVI 'becomes the entry point for the reading path of the multi-semiotic text. It is the Theme of the entire text' (Wee, 1999: 21). Though paraUeling the CVFs function in engaging the viewer Modally, the proposed LoA functions
  • 177. PRINT MEDIA 169 beyond a mere Interpersonal engaging of viewers' attention. It is not limited to just being the theme, 'the point of departure of the message' (Halliday, 1994: 37). Functioning as a Visual Metaphor, the LoA ideationally elucidates and enhances the Ideational meaning potential of the linguistic text in the advertisement. The Complements to the LoA (Comp.LoA) refer to components in the Lead which are comparatively less Salient than the LoA. They functionally enhance the Interpersonal and Ideational Salience of the LoA. In other words, the Comp.LoA plays a subordinate role, to channel and Focus viewers' attention on particular aspects of the LoA. In the following discus- sion of the Ml advertisement, accompanied by Plate 7.3 depicting the Generic Structure of the Ml advertisement, I illustrate how the interaction between the Comp.LoA and the LoA brings out the Ideational and Inter- personal Salience of the LoA. In Plate 7.3, which advertises the perks of the Ml telecommunications service, the woman is Salient (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996), while in O'Toole's (1994) terms, she has Prominence. She is the most illuminated by the Emblem, that is, the logo of the 'Sun' which represents Ml. Her mega- watt smile lends her affective appeal. The female model is thus the LoA. Plate 7.3 illustrates two Complements to the LoA in the Ml advertise- ment: (1) Comp.LoA 1: the two boys beside the LoA, who are reduced in size and are lacking in affective appeal, and therefore visually less inviting than the smiling LoA. Their Stylization (O'Toole, 1994) differs from the model's. They do not hold the Ml placard, and are not smiling, which implies also that they would never be able to say 'Everything they offer is brighter, nicer and more fun'. The Comp.LoAl subordinates itself to bring the LoA and the Emblem into Focus. The LoA and the Emblem become the confluence of all attention. (2) Comp.LoA2: the background, which remains in dark hues and fails to be illuminated, despite the spotlights. The backgrounded stalls and the goods the stalls are selling are generally obliterated and unobservable. This may be contrasted with the LoA who is illuminated by the Emblem of the 'sun' (that is, Ml) she is holding, while the spotlighted back- ground, ironically, fails to brighten up. Thus the Comp.LoA2 under- scores the prominence of the LoA and by extension, the prominence of the product (that is, Ml). The Comp.LoA2 thrusts the LoA and the product (that is, Ml) into viewers' attention. Juxtaposing the LoA with the Comp.LoAl, we see an interplay of meaning between the visual images, that is, the LoA represents those who have and enjoy the Ml benefits and therefore are happy, while the Comp.LoAl repre- sents those excluded from such benefits. The ideology of exclusivity becomes apparent. Without an Ml subscription, life will not be 'brighter, nicer and morefun f . Thus, be bright and make the wise choice of subscribing to Ml.
  • 178. 170 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Plate 7.3 Generic structure of the Ml advertisement
  • 179. PRINT MEDIA 171 The Display Explicit: pictures of a tangible product Implicit: an intangible product or service given tangible form through another medium Display Congruent: product not realized through symbolism Incongruent: product realized through symbolism Figure 7.1 The Display in a print advertisement The LoA can also function as an Implicit Display in certain advertisements where the Display refers to the photographic Display of the product or ser- vice in the advertisement. If the product advertised is in a tangible form, for example the Golf, it is termed Explicit Display. In comparison to the Beetle advertisement (Plate 7.4) which employs symbolism as an advertising strat- egy, the Golf in the Golf advertisement can also be construed as a Congru- ent realization of the product, as no symbolism is involved. Therefore, the Golf is construed as ExplicitCongruent Display. However, some products or services are intangible, or difficult to Capture in tangible form. For instance, the '118 off-peak hours every week' service provided by Ml is not a tangible product with a physical form that can be captured in print. Thus, the advertisers find a way of portraying such a service through the smiling model who has obviously been the beneficiary of such a service. The model, which has been previously established as the LoA, is then also the Implicit Display of the product/service. She personifies the '118 off-peak hours every week' service. As can be seen, a conflation of functions is possible in an advertisement, that is, the LoA conflates with the Implicit Display, as illustrated in Plate 7.3. Arising from creative advertising strategies in the Beetle advertisement depicted in Plate 7.4, the insect beetle is creatively used as a substitute for the car, the New Beetle. This substitution strategy makes the beetle an Implicit Display of the product which is a car. The insect beetle symbolizing the car operates as an Incongruent realization of the product. Thus it can be construed as Implicit:Incongruent Display. The Emblem, the Announcement and the Enhancer The Emblem may be realized visually as the logo of the product/service advertised and its linguistic realization is in the form of the brandname of the product/service. Ideationally and ideologically, it is the stamp of author- ity bespeaking and validating the authenticity of the product advertised. The Emblem functions to bestow an identity, as well as to confer status to a
  • 180. 172 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Plate 7.4 The Beetle advertisement
  • 181. PRINT MEDIA 173 product. The Emblem may be positioned anywhere in the advertisement. However, it is interpersonally Salient to Capture attention. The Emblem in the Ml advertisement is the logo of the 'Sun' and the brandname 'Ml', as depicted in Plate 7.3. In a print advertisement, the most Salient linguistic item/s are termed the Announcement. The Announcement has Relative Prominence in Scale and Colour, Font and Size (O'Toole, 1994). Ideationally, the Announcement cap- tures and conveys the essence of an intended message the advertisers wish to foreground to the consumers. Figure 7.2 Displays the functional realizations of an Announcement. The examples are taken from the Golf and Ml advertisements (Plates 7.1 and 7.3 respectively). The Enhancer comprises linguistic items only, usually in paragraph form, as exemplified by the labelled advertisements above. The Enhancer builds on or modifies the meaning emanating from the interaction between the Lead and the Announcement. Interpersonally, its function is to persuade and influence viewers to purchase the product, thus the Enhancer contains Interpersonal lexis (in bold print below), which carry an attitudinal and/or affective thrust. Through Interpersonal lexis, 'texts/speakers attach an inter- subjective value or assessment to participants and processes by reference to emotional responses or to systems of culturally-determined value systems' (White, 1999). Ideationally, it details the advertisers' reasoning/argument as to why the product is worth the customers' attention and money, and so Logical relations and rankshifted clauses are evident. The Golf advertisement Defined as the only announcement in the advertisement Primary (E.g. 'It doesn't make a statement. It's for people who already have one' (Golf)) Defined as the most interpersonally salient announcement among other announcements in the same advertisement (E.g. '118 Off-peak hours every week' (Ml)) Announcement The catch-phrase of an advertisement (E.g. 'Everywhere under the sun' (Ml)) Secondary The less interpersonally salient announcement/s among other announcements in the same advertisement (E.g. 'I get thefeeling that Ml wants me to enjoy value - and enjoy life. Everything they offer is brighter, nicer and moreJim!' (Ml)) (E.g. 'Bigger value. Better service. Brighter smiles. Nobody covers it all as nicely as Ml' (Ml)) Figure 7.2 The Announcement in print advertisements
  • 182. 174 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS is one illustration of the use of Interpersonal lexis and interdependency between clauses. //In its own confident and quiet style [[that have won endless admirations the world over]], the New Golf has come of age with a sophistication beyond comparison// a //[[Setting itself apart and in a blistering pace]], is a new and awesome 1.8 litre turbo engine// X (3 //to take its performance to a higher level// //Not only that, the beauty and luxury of the New Golf is also graced with equally exciting refinement both inside and outside// 1 //Truly the New Golf hasn't changed in spirit and valour// + 2 a //but has gotten better// X (3 //to assert itself as the ultimate hatchback// //No wonder it has been hailed as '. . . a triumph of execution' by UK's Car's Magazine (January '99)// //And termed by others as the 'Rolls-Royce of hatchbacks'// The abundance of Interpersonal lexis in the Enhancer suggests room for the application of Appraisal Theory which 'is concerned more particularly with the language of evaluation, attitude and emotion . . .' (White, 1999). However, space does not permit the investigation of Appraisal Theory in this context; no doubt future research in this area would be productive. The Tag and Call-and- Visit Information Certain elements of information about a product/service that are not included in the Enhancer are captured in the Tag. The Tag is usually in the form of one-liners in small print and is typically non-Salient as illustrated in preceding labelled advertisements. Grammatically, Tags are usually realized as non-finite, for example, 'Based on Super Off-Peak rates of 5c per rnirH in the Ml advertisement, and as ellipted Subject and finite element, exemplified by 'Available in 1.8 Turbo and 1.6 Automatic1 in the Golf advertisement. Grammatically, there could be exceptions to the above but it is not within the scope of this paper to explore the lexicogrammatical realizations of Tags. As can be seen in the preceding labelled advertise- ments, the Call-and-Visit Information is usually in small print and non- salient, comprising contact information as to where, when, how the product/service is available to the consumer. For example, from the Golf advertisement in Plate 7.1, 'Cars and Cars Pte Ltd. 10 Leng Kee Road, Tel:474-llir. Revisiting the Generic Structure Potential (GSP) for print advertisements The GSP for advertisements in this paper is stated as:
  • 183. PRINT MEDIA 175 LeadA (Display) AEmblemA (Announcement)A (Enhancer)A (Tag)A (Call-and-Visit Information) Table 7.2 is a brief survey of the advertisements analyzed in this paper and reveals which elements are optional, and which obligatory. Evident in Table 7.2 is the diversity of choice as to which elements are included or excluded from the advertisements. This study indicates that only the Lead and the Emblem occur in all the advertisements which have been analyzed. Thus the Lead and the Emblem appear to be obligatory elements, while the rest are optional in the GSP of print advertisements. Cook (1992: 216), quoting Barthes, states that advertisements represent a 'resdess' discourse type. He explains (ibid. 217): The conventions of ads change fast, driven by an internal dynamic, by changes in society, and by changes in the discourse types on which they are parasitic or in which they are embedded . . . they are . . . constantly transmuting and re-combining, so that at present any lasting characterization is impossible. Syn- chronically, there are too many exceptions. Diachronically, the rules are in a flux. Deriving a GSP for advertisements is thus made difficult due to this 'rest- lessness' of advertisements. The GSP for advertisements which I have derived is at best tentative, insofar as advertisements metamorphose along with 'changes in society . . . constantly transmuting and re-combining' Table 7.2 Tabulation of Elements in the five advertisements Advertisement Element/ s present in Element/s absent in advertisement advertisement Golf Lead, Emblem, Display, Announcement, Enhancer, Tag, Gall-and-Visit Information Epson Lead, Emblem, Display, Tag Announcement, Enhancer, Gall- and-Visit Information Ml Lead, Emblem, Display, Announcement, Enhancer, Tag, Call-and-Visit Information Beetle Lead, Emblem, Display, Tag Announcement, Enhancer, Call- and-Visit Information Guess? Lead, Emblem Display, Announcement, Enhancer, Tag, Gall-and- Visit Information
  • 184. 176 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (ibid.}. I venture further to say that the GSP for advertisements is chameleon- like, slippery to define and ever-evolving. Further research into the GSP of advertisements, which needs to be conducted in greater breadth and depth, may produce a different GSP. For example, Hasan (1996) establishes 'CaptureAFocusAJustification' as the generic structure for advertisements but my research has produced a GSP which differs in terms of the degree of detail and the ability to Capture the complexity of intersemiosis in advertisements. Strategies for Ideational meaning-making in multi-semiotic texts The section above introduces the Visual Metaphor which ideationally eluci- dates and enhances the Ideational meaning potential of the linguistic text in the advertisement. I introduce another four strategies for Ideational mean- ing in Table 7.3. Table 7.3 The construal of Ideational meaning in print advertisements Ideational meaning Strategies for meaning-making 1. Bidirectional investment of meaning in a multi-semiotic text 2. Contextualization Propensity 3. Interpretative Space 4. Semantic effervescence Generic Structure Potential of a LeadA(Display)AEmblemA(Announce- print advertisement ment)A(Enhancer)A(Tag)A(Call-and-Visit Information) The Bidirectional Investment of meaning refers to the cross-investment of lexicogrammatical meaning in the linguistic text in the Announcement to the visual image in the Lead and vice-versa. The Contextualization Potential (CP) refers to the degree to which linguistic items in a print advertisement contextualize the meaning of the visual images. In a print advertisement, viewers have an Interpretative Space (IS) within which to create meaning and the wider the IS, the greater the Semantic Effervescence (SE) of the advertisement. The sections below further elaborate. Lead, Announcement and Enhancer: a triumvirate approach to meaning-making The Ideational metafunction is concerned with 'understanding] the environment' (Halliday, 1994: xiii), '[enabling] humans to ... make sense of what goes on around them and inside them' (Halliday, 1994: 106). Figure 7.3 outlines the four stages of triumvirate interaction between the Lead,
  • 185. PRINT MEDIA 177 Effervescence of meaning; a kaleidoscope of meaning; Low GP, wide IS, high SE Contextualization of meaning; options of meaning unintended by advertisers closed off Meaning in advertisement funnelled towards a preferred direction intended by advertisers Stability in meaning; X number of meanings intended by advertisers communicated to and received by viewer. High CP, narrow IS, lowSE Figure 7.3 Triumvirate Interaction of Lead, Announcement and Enhancer Announcement and Enhancer in construing Ideational meaning in a print advertisement. Stages 1-4 detail how new dimensions of meaning may be accessed and made manifest through the interaction of the Lead, Announcement and Enhancer. Stage 1 The Lead in the Golf advertisement is the most interpersonally Salient, as seen in Plate 7.1, and thus this element is first approached by viewers. The
  • 186. 178 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS gaze of the LoA locks with the viewer, and the latter is led into the adver- tisement. If interpreted independently of the Announcement, Enhancer, Display and Emblem, the Lead is figuratively an effervescence of meaning. As mentioned above, the Lead could represent an ambassador for women's rights, or a call to attention to the new millennium look. On its own, a kaleidoscope of possible meanings characterizes the Lead. There is a wide scope in terms of meaning potential in the Lead. At this stage, there is low CP, wide IS and high SE. Stage 2 In a print advertisement, the next most Salient item is the Announcement, thus the Primary Announcement is second in the reading path. There is Bidirectional Investment of meaning between the Announcement (the linguistic code) and the Lead (the visual code) as illustrated in Figure 7.3. The term Investment refers to the Bidirectional Investment of meaning from the lexicogrammatical choices in the Announcement to the visual in the Lead and vice-versa. For example, should the Announcement in the Golf advertisement 'It does not make a statement. It's for people who already have one' occur elsewhere, for instance on the back of a T-shirt, it would connote different meanings. Similarly if the Lead of the Golf advertisement appears in a different context, for instance in a Playboy magazine, it would have different connotations from what it has here. So how are the viewers constructed by the advertisers to read the meaning in the Golf advertisement that the LoA represents someone with a statement- making personality? After all, the Announcement is a linguistic code while the Lead is a visual one. How does the juxtaposition of two different codes result in meaning that can be unambiguously conveyed by the advertisers and unambiguously decoded by the viewers? I propose that the juxta- position of the linguistic texts and visuals sets up Transitivity processes that invest meaning from the linguistic code to the visual code and vice versa. The discussion that follows unravels and explicates the mechanics of this Bidirectional Investment of meaning from the Announcement to the Lead and vice-versa. Stage 2a In the Golf advertisement (Plate 7.1), there is a Relational:Attributive: Intensive process between the Primary Announcement and the Lead. The Attribute 'statement-making personality' is invested from the Primary Announcement into the Carrier (that is, the LoA in the Lead) by virtue of their proximity, thus causing viewers to see the LoA as a person with a statement-making personality (Figure 7.4):
  • 187. PRINT MEDIA 179 Primary Announcement 'It does not make a statement. It's for people who already have one' Relational: Attributive: Intensive process occurs between Primary Announcement and Lead. Investment The Attribute 'statement-making personality' is invested into the LoA in the Lead. The LoA is construed as Carrier with such an Attribute. Lead 'Visual of LoA' Figure 7.4 Investment of Meaning from Primary Announcement to Lead Due to the Relational process between Primary Announcement and Lead which invests meaning from the former to the latter, viewers read the Experiential meaning in the Golf advertisement. The LoA has a 'statement-making personality'. The LoA is statement-making Statement-making are beautiful, sensuous, stylish individuals Carrier Attributive: Attribute Intensive The Primary Announcement thus acts as a stabilizer for an otherwise semantically efflorescent Lead. The Primary Announcement provides a con- text for viewers to adopt/pursue the preferred thread of meaning intended by the advertisers. Whatever 'it' refers to, 'it' is only for beautiful, sensuous and stylish statement-making individuals. Even at this early stage, a flux of ideologies emerges, that of elitism and exclusivity, where only statement- making individuals deserve the Golf. With elitism and exclusivity arise 'social power' (Goldman, 1992: 115) and an endowment of status, also gender and beauty stereotyping, as the LoA in the Lead defines and epitom- izes allure, beauty, charm and desirability. Stage 2b Figure 7.5 illustrates how the Lead enriches the Ideational meaning carried in the Primary Announcement. The sophisticated, sensuous, coy- looking LoA in Plate 7.1 is a visual exemplification of the statement 'people who already have (a statement to make)'. A RelationaLIdentifying: Intensive process occurs in the Investment of meaning from Lead to Announcement.
  • 188. 180 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Primary Announcement 'It does not make a statement. It's for people who already have one' Investment Relational: Identifying: Intensive process occurs between Announcement and Lead. The sophisticated LoA in die Lead is the Value exemplifying the Token 'It's for people who already have one'. Lead 'Visual of LoA' Figure 7.5 Investment of Meaning from Lead to Primary Announcement Through the Identifying: Intensive process, viewers read the following meaning in the advertisement: The LoA represents 'people who already have (a statement to make)' Token Identifying: Intensive Value At this stage, another ideological perspective emerges: the promoting and endorsing by advertisers of how statement-making women should look. Should one paradigmatically replace 'It doesn't make a statement. It's for people who already have one' with 'Dangerous: wanted convict', the LoA would assume a different meaning. Thus the point is she means what she means, whether as a statement-making person or as a dangerous convict, due to Relational processes that invest meaning bidirectionally from the Primary Announcement to Lead and vice-versa. Barthes's (1977:40) concept of'anchorage' operates when: the text directs the reader through the signifieds of the image, causes him to avoid some and receive others; by means of an often subtle dispatching, it remote- controls him towards a meaning chosen in advance. In all these instances of anchorage, language clearly has a function of elucidation, but this elucidation is selective . . . Barthes (1977), however, does not address how this selective elucidation is achieved. The ongoing discussion on Transitivity processes between the Announcement and the Lead, resulting in the Investment of meaning bi- directionally, is proposed as the crux to this selective elucidation. Not all Announcements, however, enter into a Relational process with the Lead. The Primary and Secondary Announcements in the Ml advertisement
  • 189. PRINT MEDIA 181 (Plate 7.3) enter into Relational, Verbal, Mental and Material processes with the Lead (Figure 7.6). Defined as the most Interpersonally Salient Announcement among other Announcements in the same advertisement (E.g. (1) '118 Off-peak hours every week') Primary Announcements The catch-phrase of an advertisement (E.g. (2) 'Everywhere under the sun') Secondary The less Interpersonally Salient Announcement/s among other Announcements in the same advertisement (E.g. (1) 'I get the feeling that Ml wants me to enjoy value — and enjoy life. Everything they offer is brighter, nicer and more fun!') (E.g. (2) 'Bigger value. Better service. Brighter smiles. Nobody covers it all as nicely as Ml') Figure 7.6 The Primary and Secondary Announcements in the M1 Advertisement At the most obvious level, the LoA in the Lead is the Sayer, with 'I get the feeling that Ml wants me to enjoy value - and enjoy life. Everything they offer is brighter, nicer and more fun!' as the Locution and the viewers as the Receiver. Underscoring this is an ideology of persuasion particularly through the Attributive:Intensive process in the Locution: //Everything [[they offer]] is brighter, nicer and more fun!// Carrier Attributive: Intensive Attribute The juxtaposition of the Lead and the Primary Announcement 1 gives rise to the following possible meanings: She has 118 off-peak hours every week (because she uses Ml) Carrier Attributive: Possessive Attribute She enjoys 118 off-peak hours every week (because she uses Ml) Senser Mental: Affect Phenomenon Ml gives to her 118 off-peak hours every week (therefore she is smiling)
  • 190. 182 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Actor Material Beneficiary: Range Recipient She is bright [[to choose Ml (with its 118 off-peak hours perk)]], thus she stands out from the rest Carrier Attributive: Intensive Attribute Again in Barthes's (1977) words, how does the language 'remote-control' viewers to read the above meanings in the advertisement? How does the Announcement selectively elucidate the meaning in the Lead? I propose that Relational, Mental and Material processes occur between the Announcement and the Lead, resulting in a preferred reading intended by the advertisers. Stage 3 The advertisers are able to convey, and viewers are able to receive, the meaning of a satisfied Ml customer unambiguously because the juxta- position of Announcements and Lead has resulted in the above Transitivity processes. Should the Lead be paradigmatically replaced by a visual of uncongested roads in the city, the meanings conveyed would definitely be different. Again, although the Announcements are linguistic codes and the Lead a visual one, their juxtaposition still creates meaning due to the Transitivity processes between them. These meanings that result from the interaction between the Announcements and the Lead are built on or modi- fied (depending on the advertisers' intention) by the Enhancer. An analysis of the Transitivity processes in the Enhancer reveals how it builds on the meanings generated by the Announcements and the Lead. In Stage 2b one meaning generated between the Lead and the Primary Announcement in the Ml advertisement is: Ml gives to her 118 off-peak hours every week (therefore she is smiling) Actor Material Beneficiary: Recipient Range Material processes in the Enhancer build on this meaning, with Ml as actor. //Nobody covers it all as nicely as M l / / Actor Material Range Circumstance : Circumstance : Manner: Quality Manner: Comparison
  • 191. PRINT MEDIA 183 //Ml offers (to you) more off-peak hours than anyone else.// Actor Material Beneficiary: Range Circumstance: Recipient Manner: Comparison 1 //Weekend at 50% off start at 7 p.m. every Friday// off-peak hours, Token Circ: Rel Ident: Value Circ: Frequency: Manner: Intensive Time Quality +2 // and last right through the weekend// Rel Att: Circ Attribute Note: Att = Attributive (process), Benef = Beneficiary, Circ = Circumstance, Ident = Identifying (process), Rel = Relational (process) Ml is constructed as the Actor providing services benefiting the Recipients. Thus, the Recipients have only to subscribe to Ml to enjoy all the benefits. The ideological perspective that emerges is one of persuasion. The Circum- stantiahManner: Comparison ('than anyone else') strengthens this persuasive voice. So do the Relational participants, which emphasize the frequency and duration of Ml benefits. As mentioned earlier in Stage 2b, another meaning that arises from the interaction of Primary Announcement 1 and Lead in the Ml advertisement is: She enjoys 118 off-peak hours every week (because she uses Ml) Sensor Mental: Affect Phenomenon The Enhancer builds on this meaning of enjoyment through the clause: //But that is not all [[an Ml customer enjoys]]// Carrier Attribute: Intensive Attribute
  • 192. 184 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS In the Relational clauses below, the 'Free talk time' is accorded a Value and an Attribute, to attract viewers to these benefits that they can enjoy. Herein, again, lies the ideology of persuasion. (iporv //Free (is) worth 3>4U every month with the Ml talk time PrimePlan// Token Identifying: Value Circumstance : Circumstantial: Intensive Extent: Accompaniment Frequency //which can be as much as 400 min// Carrier Attribute: Attribute Intensive The reading path for the Ml advertisement is displayed in Figure 7.7, according to the layout of the original Ml advertisement. Halliday's (1994) model of expansion for logical meaning can be adapted and applied to the Ml advertisement. The notion of expansion includes: (B) Primary Announcement 1: Second in Salience therefore read second. The meaning of (A) is further enhanced, LoA is smiling because of the '118 off-peak hours every week'. (C) Secondary Announcement 1: Third in Salience therefore its reading follows Primary Announcement 1. Meaning of Primary Announcement 1 further enhanced, that is '118 off-peak hours eveiy weeK is not only of good value, it enables one to enjoy life. The '118 off- peak hours every weeK is a means to a 'brighter, nicer and morejuri lifestyle. (A) Lead is visually most Salient therefore viewers interact with it first. (D) Secondary Announcement 2: Next in Salience after (C) and enhances the meaning of (C). (E) Enhancer: Read last since it is at die bottom. The Enhancer further builds on what it means to have a 'brighter, nicer and moreJim' lifestyle, by describing the benefits. Figure 7.7 Reading Path for the Ml Advertisement
  • 193. PRINT MEDIA 185 (a) elaboration, represented by the notation '—' (b) extension, represented by the notation '+' (c) enhancement, represented by the notation 'x' In the M1 advertisement, the Logical relations between the elements in the advertisement may be expressed as: Lead X Primary Announcement 1 X Secondary Announcement 1 X Secondary Announcement 2 X Enhancer Stage 2a mentions the interaction between the Announcement and the Lead in the Golf advertisement which sets up Relational processes resulting in the following meanings: The LoA represents 'people who already have (a statement to make)' Token Identifying: Intensive Value The LoA has a 'statement-making personality' The LoA is statement-making Statement-making are beautiful, sensuous, stylish individuals Carrier Attributive: Intensive Attribute The Enhancer, which is the paragraph detailing additional information about the car, and by extension the LoA, builds on the meaning of 'state- ment-making personality'. The following Circumstance types, Carriers and Attributes are amplifications of what it means to be statement-making: In its own confident the New has come of with a beyond and quiet style Golf age sophistication comparison [[that has won endless admirations the world over]] Circ: Manner: Carr Att: Attr Circ: Circ: Quality Poss Accomp Manner: Quality
  • 194. 186 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS //[[Setting itself is a new and awesome 1.8 litre turbo apart even further engine [[to take its performance to ...]] a higher level]]// Carr Att: Intensive Attr //Not the beauty is also graced with both inside only and luxury exciting and that of the New refinement outside// Golf Carr Att: Poss Circ: Att: Attr Circ: Accomp Poss Location Note: Accomp = Accompaniment, Att = Attributive (process), Attr = Attribute, Garr = Carrier, Girc = Circumstance, Poss = Possessive (process) The Enhancer functions to amplify the meanings generated between the Primary Announcement and the Lead. The Display (that is, the Golf), and the LoA, if unaccompanied by the Enhancer, would not realize the mean- ings advertisers intended. Figure 7.8 illustrates the reading path according to the Compositional layout of the Golf advertisement. Adapting Halliday's (1994) system of Expansion for Logical meaning, relations in the advertisement may be expressed as: Lead = Primary Announcement X Enhancer To review, in Stage 1 of Figure 7.3, meaning in the Lead is initially effer- vescent and unstable. By the time the viewer reaches Stage 3, the initially effervescent meaning is straitjacketed by the Announcement/s and Enhancer. The meanings intended by the advertisers become crystal-clear and are unambiguously communicated by the advertisers and unambigu- ously received by the viewers. We have moved from a meaning which is effervescent, unstable and ambiguous to one which is stable and con- strained. Any meaning options not intended by the advertisers are effectively closed off. Suffice to say at this point of the discussion, with reference to Figure 7.3, that the Interpretative Space is narrower and the Semantic Effervescence low due to the contextualizing effect of the Announcement/s and Enhancer in Stage 3. The Contextualization Pro- pensity is thus higher in Stage 3. This is in contrast to the low Contextualiza- tion Propensity, wide Interpretative Space and high Semantic Effervescence of Stage 1.
  • 195. PRINT MEDIA 187 (C) Enhancer is least in Salience therefore read last. The meaning generated through the interaction between Lead and Announcement is 'the LoA exemplifies people who already have a statement', 'She is statement-making'. The Enhancer builds on this meaning, that statement-making people have 'exciting refinement', 'setting (themselves) even further apart', etc. (B) Primary Announcement read second as it is second in Salience. Through Relational processes that invest meaning Bi-directionally from Announcement to Lead and vice-versa, the Announcement serves to define the Lead as a visual exemplification of the Announcement. There is semantic equivalence between Lead and Announcement. (A) The Lead is visually most Salient therefore read first. The LoA carries some meaning but we are not sure yet what meanings advertisers intend her to have till she interacts with the Announcement. Figure 7.8 Reading Path for the Golf Advertisement Stage 4 The total meaning derived from the interaction between the Lead, Announcement/s and the Enhancer needs to be read in the socio-cultural context within which it is placed. The meaning of the entire advertisement, according to Wernick (1991: 42): delivers back to the people the culture and values that are their own . . . [it is] a reinforcement of whatever ideological codes and conditions [that have] come to prevail. Moreover, advertisements (Dyer, 1982: 77) project: the goals and values that are consistent with and conducive to the consumer economy and [socialize] us into thinking that we can buy a way of life as well as goods. However, society's ideologies are in continual evolution and metamorphosis. The ever-shifting ideologies will influence the way society interprets
  • 196. 188 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS advertisements. Whether society reads a marked or unmarked interpret- ation in the advertisements is 'culturally determined and changes over time and may also eventually result in a narrowing of the meaning of an option' (O'HaUoran, 1999: 320). Gontextualization Propensity, Interpretative Space and Semantic Effervescence: a further exploration of Ideational meaning I discuss in greater detail here the Contextualization Propensity (CP), Inter- pretative Space (IS) and Semantic Effervescence (SE). As mentioned above, the generic structure of a print advertisement constitutes visual as well as linguistic components, and the interaction between these components cre- ates Interpersonal, Ideational and Textual meanings. I further illustrate in Figure 7.3 that through the Bidirectional Investment of meaning between visual and linguistic components, the meaning of the visual images, such as the Lead, is contextualized by the linguistic items, for example the Announcement/Enhancer. Without the contextualizing function of linguistic items, the Lead, as previously mentioned, has a bounty, a kaleidoscope of meaning and has great meaning potential. The GP refers to the degree/ extent which linguistic items in a print advertisement, be it the Announce- ment, the Emblem and/or the Enhancer, contextualize the meaning of the visual images. Thus the degree of interconnectedness and the degree of interweaving of meaning between the Scene, Episode (O'Toole, 1994) and the participants/processes in the visual images and linguistic text determine the degree or extent of contextualization, as illustrated by the Epson adver- tisement. Such advertisements have high CP. Where a minimum of lin- guistic items accompany the visual images, and less definable relationships are established between the linguistic and visual codes, as illustrated in the Guess? advertisement, the meanings of the visual images are less contextual- ized. These advertisements exhibit a low CP. The low CP Guess? advertisement and the high CP Epson advertisement Advertisements with a high CP allow viewers to read specific strands of meaning intended by the advertisers. In the above discussion of the Epson advertisement, linguistic items (a)-(e) contextualize the meaning of the LoA, that is, the splash of water in the Epson advertisement, depicted in Plate 7.2. Linguistic items (a)-(e) are redisplayed below for convenience of reference: (a) 'EPSON STYLUS PHOTO EX - crystal-clear, photographic quality printing' (b) //Six specially formulated colour inks deliver richer, more lifelike images// (c) //while EPSON PhotoEnhance provides realistic colour balance every time// (d) //The EPSON Stylus Photo EX can transform your photography// (e) 'EPSON Stylus. The most advanced inkjets.'
  • 197. PRINT MEDIA 189 Linguistic items (a)-(e) provide the context within which the meanings of the LoA may be negotiated and established. As the LoA is more contextualized by linguistic items (a)-(e), the meaning of the LoA becomes more strait- jacketed. Such a scenario defines a high CP in an advertisement. With a high CP, the viewers' interpretation of the LoA is constricted, with a low- ered freedom to read other meanings in the LoA given the semantic input by linguistic items (a)—(e). The CP, therefore, has ideological implications. A greater Propensity for Contexualization implies greater effort by the advertisers (through the lin- guistic items) to introduce specific strands of meanings. One is discouraged to read alternative meanings in the LoA given the context by (a)-(e). The viewers thus have limited IS, that is, space to create, invent and author meaning. This of course does not mean that alternative readings do not occur. A critical reader can interpret the intended meanings and offer fur- ther perspectives other than those intended by the advertiser. As illustrated in Plate 7.5, the CP is low in the Guess? advertisement as there is only one lexical item, namely 'Guess?' to contextualize the meaning of the entire Lead, made up of the LoA, that is, the model whose limbs shine with metallic sheen, and the Comp.LoA, that is, the background. Apart from the possible reading that the LoA is in some way related to Guess?, which is the brandname of a fashion product known for its watches and clothes, and that there is the underlying message that Guess? fashion is trendy, chic and in vogue, the entire Lead is an effervescence of meaning as there is a lack of contextualizing function by linguistic items. Arising from this lack of contextualization, that is, a low CP, a myriad of interpretations of the LoA is possible: the LoA with the metallic sheen-like complexion is a probable personification of the futuristic stance Guess? adopts towards fashion; the current Guess? trend is the minimalist look, as exemplified by the generous show of legs and body swathed with a minimum of cloth; the Guess? con- sumer is bohemian in outlook, as is the LoA whose cascading hair is caressed by the wind and throws a cold, removed glance at the viewer and the world; the Guess? consumer looks down at the world in nonchalance, articulating the superiority of the product and hence the consumer who chooses to use Guess? products. Guess? is thus selling an attitude, a certain style of living; Guess? products hint of sexual attractiveness and availability (as signified through the high-split in the skirt and slightly parted legs), which can be extended to imply the non-conformist nature of Guess? products, which challenge the conservative mould of society; Guess? applauds the flat- chested female as opposed to society's fascination with and celebration of the amply endowed female, again a hint of Guess?'s non-conformist ideology; dark skies and seas fail to intimidate Guess? consumers, who are able to put their best foot forward in style and confidence, the Stance (O'Toole, 1994) adopted by the LoA; Guess? is beyond definition, there is no single aspect to its fashion statement. Guess? products, it seems in this particular advertise- ment, have limitless possible interpretations within the semantic realm of 'the desirability' of this label, and that is likely to be the message intended by
  • 198. 190 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Plate 7.5 The Guess? advertisement the advertisers. The IS in the Guess? advertisement is thus wide. There is a pun on the Emblem 'Guess?': viewers are left guessing the most likely valid readings of the advertisement. A low CP is no less ideological than a high CP. That the advertisers allow viewers a larger and wider IS suggests that
  • 199. PRINT MEDIA 191 advertisers wish the consumers to purchase the illusion that consumers are empowered to create meanings for themselves in an advertisement. The ideology of manipulation is no less evident, for by thinking they have free- dom to interpret, the viewers have played themselves into the hands of the advertisers. They have bought the ideology of Guess?, that is, there is no single definition of the Guess? fashion statement, so dress the Guess? way and be open to interpretation by the (admiring?) eye of the public. Graphical representations of CP, IS and SE To summarize, a low CP allows a wider IS, as evidenced in the previous sections. There is greater SE of meaning in the Lead as a result of the lack of linguistic items, which perform a contextualizing function in a print adver- tisement. Conversely, a high CP results in a narrower, limited IS, as seen in the Epson advertisement. There is less effervescence of meaning in the Lead as viewer choice in the selection of meaning is constrained by the more abundant linguistic items, which define more tightly the meanings of visual images in a print advertisement. The triumvirate correlation among the CP, IS and SE in the Lead can be captured graphically, as illustrated below. 'A' in Figure 7.9 indicates the region that the Guess? advertisement is likely to be positioned. With few linguistic items to provide an interpretative context for the Lead (that is, a low CP arises), there is greater SE in the Lead, and thus greater Interpretative Space (wide IS) for the viewer to roam and make meaning. This situation corresponds approximately to Stage 3 in Figure 7.3 above. The Epson advertisement is likely to be positioned in the vicinity of'B' in Figure 7.9, as the advertisement contains an abundance of linguistic text which provides the context within which the meaning of the LoA may be derived. That is, there is a high CP, which narrows the IS of the advertise- ment. The Lead has lower SE due to the high CP. Stage 1 of Figure 7.3 reflects this. Barthes (1977: 26) writes: 'formerly the image illustrated the text (made it clearer); today the text loads the image, burdening it with a culture, a moral, an imagination'. However, how much imagination and by what means the text loads an image is not explained by Barthes (1977). The CP, IS and SE Figure 7.9 Correlation between IS, CP and SE
  • 200. 192 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS which I propose can be used as a tool to elucidate the degree/extent of imagination invested into a visual image by a linguistic text. The lower the CP, the greater the SE in the Lead and hence the wider and more open the IS, indicating greater loading of imagination into the visual image. A high CP, conversely, limits a freer loading of imagination from text to image as the IS is narrower. CP, IS, SE and Barthes's (1977) notion of readerly and writerly texts Barthes introduces the notion that texts vary in the degree to which they let the reader enter into this creation of meaning from both the Textual and the extratextual factors. On the opposing ends of the scale, he places 'writerly' and 'readerly' texts (Bruns, 1998). Bruns (1998) further quotes Barthes, stating that for readerly texts, the reader is 'left with no more than the freedom to either accept or reject the text', as in the case of a technical manual, as opposed to writerly texts, which offer 'the reader more choice and try much less to push them in one or the other direction' (Bruns, 1998). Barthes is further quoted, 'The writerly text . . . has no determinate meaning' and 'can create a number of possible meanings for readers' (Bruns, 1998). The Epson advertisement, with its high CP, narrow IS and low SE in the Lead, may, in the light of Barthes's (1977) readerly and writerly texts, be construed as tending toward a readerly text while the low CP, wide IS and high SE in the Lead of the Guess? advertisement lends itself more as a writerly text. A new dimension to the 'New' in Kress and van Leeuwen (1996) Information Value, according to Kress and van Leeuwen (1996: 183), is Compositionally determined. The information value of a left and right Composition is construed as Given and New information respectively, where (ibid.: 187) [the Given is defined as] something the viewer already knows, as a familiar and agreed-upon point of departure for the message. For something to be New means that it is presented as something which is not yet known, or perhaps not yet agreed upon by the viewer, hence as something to which the viewer must pay special attention. However, my proposal is that Given and New information need not be Com- positionally determined in this manner of left to right organization. The Given-New information value may be derived in any print advertisement, in any layout, whether with left-right or top-down Composition. The Guess? advertisement is a case in point.
  • 201. PRINT MEDIA 193 From the low GP in the Guess? advertisement arises a multiplicity of interpretations of the LoA in the Lead, as discussed above, since there is a lack of linguistic items to contextualize the meaning of the LoA. That viewers are given a wider IS to interpret the LoA, and that the LoA remains Semantically Effervescent indicate that it is the Focus of the advertisement to present the LoA. To reiterate Kress and van Leeuwen (1996: 187), 'some- thing which is not yet known, or perhaps not yet agreed upon by the viewer'. Ideationally, the LoA in Plate 7.5 is ambiguous, teeming with possible mean- ings. The LoA is thus construed as the New, while the Emblem 'Guess?' is the Given, as viewers are not likely to have any argument with alternative (a) Guess? advertisement Epson advertisement Lesser degree Greater degree ofCP ofCP Degree of Contextualization Propensity (b) Epson advertisement Guess? advertisement Narrower IS Wider IS Expanse of Interpretative Space (c) Epson advertisement Guess? advertisement Lesser amplitude of SE Greater amplitude of SE Amplitude of Semantic Effervescence Figure 7.10 Mapping CP, IS and SE
  • 202. 194 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS interpretations of the brandname. Though the Guess? advertisement does not have a left-right composition, New and Given information can still be derived, thus strengthening my thesis that there is no need to limit Given- New information to a left-right Composition in a print advertisement. Conclusion: moving towards a topological grammar The analysis of multi-semiotic texts, such as print advertisements, necessi- tates the formulation of a topological grammar, one which can handle the analysis of texts in terms of'degree, quantity, gradation, continuous change, continuous co-variation, non-integer ratios, varying proportionality, complex topological relations of relative nearness or connectedness, or non- linear relationships and dynamical emergence' (Lemke, 1998: 87). The concepts proposed in this paper, namely, Contextualization Propensity, Interpretative Space and Semantic Effervescence, can be seen as topological. These proposed concepts are resources for articulating gradients and nuances of meaning, and shades of significance in the multi-semiotic print advertisement. Figure 7.10 explicates the varying degrees of CP, expanse of IS and amplitudes of SE. This paper has proposed a generic structure potential for advertisements, and, further to this, suggested strategies for construing Ideational meaning in multi-semiotic texts. There still remains a vast expanse to be traversed, with exciting opportunities to further explore meaning-making of multi-semiotic texts from a systemic-functional perspective. Acknowledgements Plates 7.1 and 7.4 are reproduced with kind permission of Volkswagen. Plates 7.2, 7.3 and 7.5 are reproduced with kind permission of Epson, MobileOne Ltd and Guess? Inc, respectively. The credits for the photo- graph in Plate 7.5 are due to creative director Paul Marciano and photo- grapher Dah Len. References Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000) Multi-modality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore. Bardies, R. (1977) (S. Heath, ed. and trans.) Image-Music-Text. London: Fontana. Bohle, R. (1990) Publication Design For Editors. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Bruns, A. (1998) Major Terms in Structuralism: Text, Reading, Author, Intertextuality, Discourse, ( Cheong, Y Y. (1999) Construing meaning in multi-semiotic texts — a systemic- linguistics perspective. Unpublished masters thesis. National University of Singapore. Cook, G. (1992) The Discourse of Advertising (2nd edn 2001). London: Routledge. Dyer, G. (1982) Advertising as Communication. London: Routledge. Goldman, R. (1992) Reading Ads Socially. London: Routledge.
  • 203. PRINT MEDIA 195 Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M. A. K. and Hasan, R. (1985) Language, Context and Text: Aspects of Language in a Socio-Semiotic Perspective. Victoria: Deakin University. (Republished by Oxford University Press, 1989). Hasan, R. (1996) What's going on: a dynamic view of context in language. In G. Gloran, D. Butt and G. Williams (eds), Ways of Saying: Ways of Meaning. Lon- don: Gassell, 37-50. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2001) Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold. Lemke, J. L. (1998) Multiplying meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in scientific text. InJ. R. Martin and R. Veel (eds), Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspec- tives on Discourses of Science. London: Routledge, 87—113. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999) Interdependence, interaction and metaphor in multi- semiotic texts. Social Semiotics 9(3): 317—354. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. Wee, G. K. A. (1999) A systemic-functional approach to multi-semiotic texts. Unpublished honours thesis. National University of Singapore. Wernick, A. (1991) Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression. London: Sage Publications. White, P. R. R. (1999) An Introductory Tour Through Appraisal Theory. English Language Research, Department of English, University of Birmingham, (http://
  • 204. 8 Multimodality in a biology textbook Libo Guo National University of Singapore Introduction Introductory biology textbooks in current use in educational institutions invariably contain words and visual images, for example, schematic draw- ings, photographs, and mathematical and statistical graphs. Further, it is not only recently that biology texts have been multimodal; drawings of animals and plants have been used as an aid to the study of living organisms for agricultural, medicinal and biological purposes since ancient civilizations (Ford, 1992). Sociologists or ethnomethodological researchers, notably Lynch (1990) and Myers (1990, 1995), have attempted to theorize about the deployment of visual displays in biology texts. Lynch (1990: 153-154), for instance, believes that 'visual displays are more than a simple matter of supplying pictorial illustrations for scientific texts. They are essential to how scientific objects and orderly relationships are revealed and made analyzable'. In a similar vein historians and philosophers of science have turned their atten- tion to the evolution and philosophical aspects of scientific (including biological) illustrations (see, for example, Baigrie, 1996). Although these investigations have made significant contributions to our knowledge and understanding, they often seem to lack a coherent framework to explain how the various visual displays make meaning in their natural and social settings. These approaches have shown us what is happening through videotape recordings, verbal accounts and historical documents, but they have not been explicit enough about the systems and functions that underlie the use of visual images. This paper explores the potential of an alternative approach to the study of meaning-making practices in scientific discourses. This is the social semi- otic approach developed by M. A. K. Halliday (1978, 1994) as systemic- functional linguistics (henceforth SFL) and the emerging SFL-informed the- ory of multimodality (Baldry, 2000a, 2000b; Kress, 2000, 2003; Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; Lemke, 1998; O'HaUoran, 1999a, 1999b, 2003). Due to the main purpose of my study, that is, helping non-native university learners of English cope with English for Specific Purposes (ESP) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP), I confine myself to the study of textbook
  • 205. PRINT MEDIA 197 articles in biology, sharing Myers's conviction that textbooks are the type of writing that university students are 'most likely to face' (Myers, 1992: 3). The excerpts analysed here are from Chapter 17 Cell Division of Essential Cell Biology: An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell (henceforth ECB) by Alberts et al. (1998). This textbook is used as required reading material for second-year biology majors for Bachelor of Science degrees at the National University of Singapore for the module of Cell Biology. This paper is organized as follows. I first discuss the semantics of biology and what biologists do that characterize them as biologists. Second, follow- ing O'Toole (1994), Lemke (1998), and O'Halloran (1996, 1999a, 1999b) I propose frameworks for the analysis of visual images in the textbook, and, following this, I analyse two multimodal composites and discuss how each type of resource contributes to meaning-making. This paper concludes by outlining some of the implications of a multimodal approach for teaching ESP/EAP to non-native speakers of English. Biology and miiltimodality Biology is 'the study of living things past and present, including their struc- ture, function, chemistry, development, evolution, and environmental inter- actions', the 'environment' here including both the physical environment and the biological environment (Purves, 1999: 769). Out of the different approaches to studying life, two are particularly important to modern biologists: observation and experimentation. Observation is to experience the living world and take note of the living organisms. This represents the naturalist tradition of doing biology, exemplified by Charles Darwin (1809-1882). And today's biology majors at universities are required to go on field trips as part of their degree programme. The key to experimenta- tion, on the other hand, is manipulation and control of 'conditions in order to reveal or produce observations that contribute to the solutions of puzzles' (Janovy, 1996: 44). 'Certainly molecular biology and all its older relatives rely on experiments, and experimentation is becoming more a part of eco- logical field research every day' (ibid.}. Observation and experimentation as two important ways of studying life are reflected in many universities' cur- ricula designed for biology majors. The practical classes for biology majors in the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore, for instance, account for 27.0 per cent and 39.5 per cent of the total contact hours of a first- and second-year student's learning life respect- ively, which strongly suggests that hands-on skills are crucial for a biologist in training. On the other hand, a biologist also reads and writes papers, textbooks, and other documents. Similarly, the bulk of a biology student's learning time in the first two years at college is spent in classes and tutorials (Haas, 1994: 59-63) where he or she is required to read, write and interpret verbal and non-verbal messages. Minds-on skills are as important as hands-on ones. As pointed out by Osborne (2002: 206), 'just as there can be no houses
  • 206. 198 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS without roofs or windows, there can be no science without reading, talking and writing'. Due to the nature of the inquiry of the discipline and its methodological approaches, biology texts have always been multimodal, that is, deploying a range of semiotic resources in addition to natural language. The reason for this is clear: natural language alone cannot adequately communicate or construct the process and product of observation and experimentation; the potential of natural language as a typologically oriented semiotic resource (Lemke, 1998) falls far short of the semiotic demands of the discipline. For example, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to describe in natural language alone the colours, shapes and the flight path of a butterfly. Like research activities in other fields, many of the investigations in the biological sciences are quantitative, involving the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of numerical observations. The biological researchers apparently need an objective method of organizing the data collected from field trips or experiments. In addition, they must draw sens- ible conclusions from the analysis of the data. Many have been guided by statistics. In the US, statistics was first introduced to the university curric- ulum for biology students as early as 1897 at Harvard (Zar, 1999: x); biosta- tistics, or biometry, has nowadays become an important part of a biology student's education. This involves the deployment of appropriate statistical procedures and graphs in biology texts. The semiotic demands of the discipline do not stop here. In cell biology, in particular, recourse to non-linguistic semiotic resources has been neces- sary since Robert Hooke (1635-1703) first drew a picture of the 'cell' seen under his microscope as reported in Micrographia (1665). This time-honoured morphological approach to the studies of the cell, with the help of a light microscope and an electron microscope, has recently culminated in what we know as the ultrastructure of the cell. To communicate what was observed under the microscope, the cell biologists have developed a range of devices, including light micrographs, electron micrographs, and schematic drawings, each of which has several sub-types, depending on the techniques adopted. More recently, however, cell biologists have attempted to investigate the biochemical basis of the structure and function of the living cell. Rather than merely describe the mechanical or morphological features of the cellu- lar life, this new approach seeks to account for the cell and cell activity in terms of the structure and function of its chemical components, the four major families of small organic molecules (sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and nucleotides) and the macromolecules (polysaccharides, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids). Most of the macromolecules normally exist as specific biologically significant three-dimensional structures called conformations, for example, the double helix for DNA, the extended chain conformation for cellulose and the a-helix, (3-pleated sheet, p-turn and loop conforma- tions for proteins. As noted by McMurry and Castellion (1999: xvi), '[understanding many aspects of chemistry — such as the specificity and selectivity of enzymes, or the action of drugs - requires understanding the
  • 207. PRINT MEDIA 199 three-dimensional nature of molecules'. That is, the introduction of bio- chemistry means that the semiotic demands of the discipline have exponen- tially increased so that natural language, however important it may be, is inadequate when deployed as a single resource. As a result, other semiotic means such as chemical notation, ball-and-stick models, space-filling models, animations, video recordings and so forth have evolved for com- municative purposes. Natural language alone has been inadequate with morphological research; it is naturally insufficient as a means to describe both the morphological and the biochemical. Theoretical frameworks for the analysis of biology texts In what follows, I present the frameworks for analysing the biology text, which include the frameworks for analysing schematic drawings and stat- istical graphs. I also discuss the issue of the reading path in introductory multi-semiotic texts. Myers (1990: 233-249) identifies, 'in terms of realism and abstraction' (ibid.: 247), five categories of visual displays in a sociobiology text: photo- graphs, drawings, maps, graphs/models/tables, and imaginary figures (ibid.: 234). The first three types have some reference to our everyday visual experience while '[gjraphs, models, and tables redefine space [. . .] so that each mark has meaning only in relation to the presentation of the claim' (ibid.: 235). In many textbooks on the molecular study of the cell, one of which is ECB, biochemical symbolism constitutes yet another semiotic resource. For lack of space, however, I present the frameworks for the analysis of two common types of visual displays in biology: schematic drawings and stat- istical graphs. Framework for analysing schematic drawings By schematic drawings I refer to those that are designed to depict in a simplified way some scene or process, actual or imaginary. The functions and systems chart for the analysis of schematic drawings is displayed in Table 8.1. Although the rank scale in the chart follows O'Toole (1994: 24), the functions and systems are not, unsurprisingly, identical. For instance, in O'Toole's (1994) model, in the Modal function at the ranks of Work and Figure, Gaze is an important means deployed by artists to attract the attention of the viewer. In the biological schematic drawings I have analysed, Gaze does not appear to figure as an important resource. More importantly, in the Compositional function, unlike in paintings where usually littie more than a tide is provided to indicate what is depicted, in scientific illustrations, Labelling appears frequently. This feature is related to the pedagogic use of the schematic drawing. An important part of a biology student's training is to learn to recognize the shapes of components of an organism and learn how these components are named by the scientific community; for example,
  • 208. Table 8.1 Functions and systems in schematic drawing (adapted from O'Toole, 1994: 24) Unit/ Representational Modal Compositional Function Work Overall shape; Frame; Gestalt Framing, Horizontals, Components of the structure; Size; Verticals, and Diagonals; Whole process; Scale; Proportion; Phases of the process Perspective; Geometry; Full colour or black and white; Colour; Colour contrast; Drawing's relation to running text: Shade or light Spatial and Colour; Labelling: Positioning, Colouring and Leaders Episode Shape; Relative Prominence: Colour, amount Relative position in the structure or Colour; of detail; process; Size; Centrality; Colour contrast between components Spatial relation to each other, and to Lettering (for label and caption): type the structure; size, style (serif or san serif), Weight; Actions, events Line and arrow width; Numerical sequence Figure Components; Acts Contrast: Scale, Line, Light, Colour; Relative position in the component or Omission of detail phase; Colour contrast or similarity; Subframing Member Natural form: Shape, colour, etc. and Stylization; Cohesion: Parallel/Contrast in Shape spatial relationship to other C onventionalization and Colour; components Reference through language
  • 209. PRINT MEDIA 201 a certain shape is named the 'stem', or 'root', or 'microtubule'. Labels and Leaders provide in part the means for the enculturation of the learner into the discipline of biology. The Representational meaning of the schematic drawing is what Lemke (1998) calls the 'topologicaP meaning, especially, the Shape, Colour, Size, Spatial relation to each other and to the whole structure, and Action. Such meanings are also typological in that they fall into categor- ies; for instance, the Shape is round, square, rectangular, and so on. But the predominant aspect of these meanings in biology is topological where the irregularity defies any linguistic encoding except in the most general terms. The exact Spatial relations and the moment-to-moment movement in space can best be shown in a drawing or video recording rather than by verbal description. Framework for the analysis of statistical graphs Statistical graphs for frequency distributions, which include bar graphs, his- tograms, frequency polygons and so on, derive from data tables, which in turn originate from linguistic and mathematical expressions of some quanti- tative relation between a set of variables. In most cases, statistical graphs make use of the coordinate system, that is, the horizontal #-axis designating the independent variable and the vertical j-axis designating the dependent variable stand for the Given, and the space circumscribed by the two axes is the New where the relations between the two variables are shown. Also thejy- axis represents the quantitative information, ratio- or interval-scale data, which is capable of being scaled. This means that thejp-axis's quantitative values can be turned into visually perceptible heights which can be com- pared visually: the higher the bar or point, the higher the value of the y variable for the corresponding x variable. There is nothing in the height of the bar per se except its assigned meaning concerning the quantitative value. That is, a statistical graph, quite unlike a photograph, is an abstract theor- etical entity although it may have material form: a photograph resembles the perceptible object while a statistical graph constructs a theoretical object, which may be invisible to human vision prior to its material formation. The framework for analysing statistical graphs, adapted from O'Halloran (1996: 161), is presented in Table 8.2. Compared with that for natural language, the Representational meaning of a statistical graph is more specialized in that it deals only with the relative numerical relationships between two sets of variables, or how an attribute of some entities, for example, the height or weight of school children, is distributed among a sample or a population, the latter being in essence a comparison between the entities in terms of the attribute. This visually expressed topological relationship powerfully complements the semantics of natural language, which is typically typologically oriented (Lemke, 1998). Depending on the nature of the variable designated by the ;v-axis, a curve within a coordinate system may mean either a material process, as the output of the crop increasing or decreasing, or a relational process, as the
  • 210. Table 8.2 Functions and systems in graphs (adapted from O'Halloran, 1996: 161) Unit/ Representational Modal G ompositional Function Graph Statistical reality: topological meanings, Accompanying text in the form of Gestalt: Framing, Horizontals, Verticals such as trends, continuous co- Caption, Tide and Labelling which are and Diagonals; variations, correlation and frequency emphasized by Size, Positioning, Positioning; distribution; Underlining and Font; Use of Lines, Curves and Bars; Comparisons of patterns of variation Colour, Line width, Shading, Line Interconnections established through Solidarity, Arrows; symbolism and language for the Curvature; labelling of Participants and Processes; Perspective; Cohesion: links to the running text Framing; Scale; Style of production; Directionality Episode Change, or Relations between Figures Prominence of interplay Labelling of interplay Figure Participants; Prominence of individual figures; Labelling of Figures through Circumstantial features; Displayed trend of process through symbolism and/or language; Portrayal of co-variation associated Line, Bar, Curve Portrayal of Process between with process as a Curve, Line or Bar Participants as Axes and Figure with relative Positioning and Size of Figure and salient features as displayed by Lines, Curves, Bars, Colour, Line width, and Shadings Part Title; Stylization; Cohesion: Parallelism, Contrast; Axes, Scale, Arrows; Conventionalization reference through language and/or Labels; symbolism Lines, Curves, Intersection points; Slope of Parts of the Figure
  • 211. PRINT MEDIA 203 comparison between the entities. Interpersonally and experientially, although in principle a graph is as reliable or unreliable as the data that informs its compilation and, for that matter, is subject to the semiotic choices made in the display (for example, the selection of the scale), whenever a student encounters a graph in the textbook, he or she is normally expected to believe it rather than doubt it. That is, the graph carries with it a self- authenticating power and a high modality. Further, as noted by O'Halloran (1999b: 18), with exceptions '[Interpersonal] strategies for engaging the viewer of the mathematical visual display do not operate through nuance as found in forms of art, but rather select for a direct unmarked command, "look here"'. Gompositionally, x- andjy- axes provide the basis or grounding where the New is expressed in the form of Curve, Line or Bar. The axes 'contribute to stability and harmony' (O'Toole, 1994: 23), while the Curve, Line or Bar 'create[s] energy and dynamism' (ibid.}. The reading path in introductory texts Another crucial question with a multi-semiotic text is the reading path it may create for its hypothetical reader. Underlying this question is the rec- ognition of the page as a Textual unit where various semiotic resources make meaning (Baldry, 2000b: 42). As O'Halloran (1999a: 322) points out, '[wjith multi-semiotic texts, the most important stage is a step-by-step analysis of the text through the reading path determined by the choices within different semiotic codes'. It is to be noted that the reading path in a multi-semiotic text identified by O'Halloran (ibid.} is not linear, from left to right, or from top to bottom, but typically follows some specific sequence (see also Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996: 218 if., 1998: 205-209; Kress, 2003: 156-160). As will be illustrated below in the analysis of multimodal texts, there seem to be two aspects to the reading path: the intersemiotic aspect, that is, how the reader is expected to shift his or her attention from one semiotic to another, and the intrasemiotic aspect, that is, how the reader is expected to move from one component to another within one semiotic mode. Very often the intersemiotic aspect of the reading path in an introductory textbook is that after a brief'modal "scanning" of the page' (Kress, 2003: 159), or a quick perusal of visually salient elements, usually images, the reader moves from the verbal text (expressed by specific typographical features) to the non- linguistic resources and then to the verbal text again, thus following a back- and-forth reading sequence. Initially the visual image on the page exerts a strong impact upon the reader through choices such as Colour and Framing. After the initial visual impact subsides, however, he or she normally begins to study the verbal text and may later be linguistically instructed to study the visual image in greater detail. The relative privilege the verbal text enjoys in the reading path is partially explained by the fact that at this stage of the student's education it is largely through the verbal language in the running text that he or she is instructed explicitly when to view and study the
  • 212. 204 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS non-linguistic resources and how to interpret them. In other words, how a multi-semiotic text 'indicate [s] to the reader/viewer the possible ways of reading the text and the relative information priority to be assigned to the different component parts of the overall visual composition' (Baldry, 2000b: 42) and how a reader/viewer is expected to respond to the text constitute a visual semiotic strategy to realize the educational goals within which a mul- timodal text is constructed and interpreted. As the context of situation and culture (Halliday, 1978) within which the text operates changes, the reading path, along with the nature of the semiotic resources employed, also differs. For example, Kress and van Leeuwen (1996: 219) and Lemke (1996: 216) have observed that some scientists have non-sequential reading habits and that many books are not designed 'to be read only in the strict linear order in which the text appears on the pages' (Lemke, 1996: 216). This applies to established scholars or scientists, people who are beyond their basic 'military training' periods (Knight, 1992: 6, 143) and for whom texts are created and read for research purposes rather than learning purposes. Students of biol- ogy or literature or any other field need eventually to learn non-sequential reading. While they are still students, however, they may need in the multi- modal textbook page a clear, pre-coded reading path in order to enter the paradigms of contemporary science (Kuhn, 1996) and the practices and conventions that characterize scientific activity. Analysis of the multi-semiotic text: two examples Drawing upon the discussion of the frameworks for schematic drawings and statistical graphs presented above, this section contains an analysis of a schematic drawing and a statistical graph from ECB.1 Analysis of a schematic drawing: Figure 17—3 Figure 17—3 (ECB, p. 549), together with the relevant verbal text, is repro- duced in Figure 8.1 (see Note 1). The reader is formally introduced to Figure 17.3 when he or she reads the following clause: These two processes together constitute the M phase of the cell cycle (Figure 17.3). However, he or she may not wait until being instructed to view Figure 17.3. Since Figure 17.3 is a full-colour drawing, a picture more attractive than the largely black and white verbal text, a reader's attention is more likely to be drawn to the drawing than to the written description. Thus one plausible reading session may be that a reader, at some point in his or her reading, turns his or her attention to the figure, and then back to the verbal text for careful study and then back to the figure again, following a back-and-forth type of reading path as explained above.
  • 213. PRINT MEDIA 205 Figure 8.1 Reading path for Figure 17.3 The reading path within Figure 17.3 is marked in Figure 8.1 by the capitalized and italicized Roman letters A to G. As is clear from Figure 8.1, the reading path is not linear, from left to right, from top to bottom, but is determined ideationally by what is in focus in the running text (the M phase of the cell cycle), and interpersonally by the visual means of directing the reader's attention (for example, the bright yellow Shading and Capitaliza- tion of MITOSIS and CYTOKINESIS and light green Shading of M phase and the large square bracket embracing MITOSIS and CYTOKINESIS in the original text). This is, in verbal and common parlance, equivalent to saying 'Hey, look at what is highlighted first!'. Indeed, in this part of the reading, Steps C and D are all an experienced reader needs to attend to. The highlighting devices such as arrows are equivalent to a lecturer's cursor in an actual classroom, where he or she, while talking to the students, points to relevant parts of the figures. Although in viewing Figure 17.3, one's gaze, especially that of a novice, may work from Step G down to Step D due to the Interpersonal impact of the downward-pointing arrows and the reading habit of a normal reader, it is nonetheless arguable that the reading path suggested above is
  • 214. 206 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS most economical for the experienced reader, that is, one that has followed the Textual explication up to this point. At the rank of Work, interpersonally, this figure thus employs an array of visual means to emphasize various parts of the cell structure and stages of cell division. Ideationally, the figure is designed to tell a story about what happens in a cell cycle, in particular the M phase of the cell cycle. The ideational meanings include: (a) material processes realized by changes in the shapes at different stages, the arrows and the nominal groups in the linguistic text; (b) intensive identifying processes realized by the labels, lead- ers and the pictorial elements, and, in the absence of leaders by the labels, the spatial proximity between the pictorial element and the labels, and the pictorial elements; and (c) possessive identifying relational processes realized by the labels, square bracket, the pictorial elements and the linguistic text. The overriding Experiential content seems to be concerned with material processes, although the intensive and possessive relational processes con- tribute significantly to the construction of biological knowledge. And text- ually, the drawing is not isolated from other parts of the text. It is related to the main text and the caption and is placed in a specific position on the page. The drawing is vertically positioned, with the Arrows connecting one stage with another. Other resources employed for the textual meaning include Geometry (e.g. circles), Colour Contrast or Similarity, Labelling (with or without leaders) and Framing. In what follows, I analyse selected steps in terms of the Interpersonal (Modal) meaning, Ideational (Represen- tational) meaning and Textual (Compositional) meaning, by reference to the functions and systems chart in Table 8.1. Step A: the title Distinctive typographical features, such as the bold face of the title and the greenness of the figure's caption number, function to attract the reader's attention and thus attach more importance to this linguistic message. The title is also the only explicit link to the main text; it is the reader's entrance to the pictorial world of the figure. It is designed to be read first and taken as the point of departure for what is to come next. The title is a nominal group and apparently does not select an Inter- personal stance at the rank of clause in terms of SPEECH FUNCTIONS (Offer or Demand) and MODALITY and MODULATION (Halliday, 1994). This is a nominal group whose function is termed by Halliday (1994: 96) as 'Absolute' in that it 'could be either Subject or Complement in an agnate major clause'. Indeed all the linguistic components except the caption in Figure 17.3 are '[ujnattached nominals' (ibid.: 395) which function in this way. But such nominal groups are nonetheless far from being free from any Interpersonal meaning. As for this title, the nominal group presents the Process of a cell dividing as a Thing, which is objective, absolute, visible and concrete. Such a high level of certainty about the state of affairs is attainable through nominal groups or grammatical metaphor in the form of nominalization (Halliday,
  • 215. PRINT MEDIA 207 1993, 1998). In other words, distillation of phenomena into entity or trans- formation of clausal grammar to nominalized form means that the reader is not in a position to doubt the existence of a phenomenon, but is led to believe in its absolute, timeless and unconditional existence. Ideationally, being a nominal group, the title serves to identify, and is thus equivalent to an intensive identifying clause (Halliday, 1994: 119-120), for example 'This is the drawing of the M phase of the cell cycle'. It is import- ant to note that the nominal group identifies not only through language but also by its spatial proximity to the schematic drawing. By itself this nominal group points to a nominalized process, the M phase of the cell cycle. Thus a sequence of dramatic events, where one cell splits into two, has been trans- formed into a thing which has consequently been deprived of all the original vigour, liveliness and particularities. Step C: mitosis This step can be broken into three sub-stages: Step C-l the word 'MITOSIS', Step C-2 the arrow and Step C-3 the circle and the two over- lapping circles which contain the semiotic depiction of the cell. Step C-2: the arrow Interpersonally, the single-headed arrow is a Command; it demands that the reader look in the direction of the arrow, in this case, from top to bottom of the page. Here, the Command effect is strengthened by the particular dark- ness and thickness of the arrow. Ideationally, the arrow serves to signify the process and direction of movement, change or progression, or the numerous intermediate phases between the circle above and the circles below. In terms of Peirce's (1985: 9—12) trichotomy of signs into an index, an icon or a symbol,2 the arrow is a highly stylized icon. That is, the arrow proper does not exist in the actual world in the process of cell division; the designers have added it to the depic- tion. Besides, the direction of the arrow in the physical sense, that is, from top to bottom, is iconic of progression in time. Step C-3: the circles Inside the circle (second from top), highlighting devices such as the Colour- ing of the two pairs of lines and pink Shading in the original text serve to draw attention to the essential defining features of a cell at this stage. The blank space (Omission) between the outer ring of the circle and the pink- shaded central area is, in reality, just as occupied as other parts of the cell. This distortion functions as yet another means of highlighting the two pairs of lines. The outermost black circle and the adjacent blank space inward (Omission) surround the central pink-shaded area, serving as a Framing to give weight to what is highlighted in the centre. Although not evident here in the black and white reproduction, the Contrast of colour between black, red, pink and white serves the same highlighting purpose.
  • 216. 208 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Ideationally, the circle is drawn to represent a snapshot of a particular stage in cell division. It focuses on the separation of the two pairs of chromosomes, omitting the changes taking place in the cytoplasm. The Ideational meaning is realized by the changes in shapes and contents of the pink-shaded area and also by the Diagonal orientations of the two pairs of lines representing chromosomes. We need note that this circle is not an obvious icon (Peirce, 1985). The two pairs of lines inside and the circular shapes do somewhat look like some types of cell components, hence they are iconic. But the colours, the circle and the blank space testify to the symbolic nature of the iconic sign. For instance, the colour of a particular cell com- ponent one sees in a micrograph is the result of dyeing technique. However, what is shown in the micrograph is not necessarily reproduced in a sche- matic drawing; in a drawing further treatment is carried out to produce what appears in the final printed book. In other words, what meets a reader's eye in a schematic drawing is at least two steps away from what is really there: in terms of choice of colour and diagrammatic transformation. Compositionally, several devices contribute to the organization of the text. For instance, Colour Cohesion and Contrast enable the viewer to rec- ognize similarity and difference in the Ideational meaning and Inter- personal meaning: in the colour reproduction appearing in the textbook, the colours red, pink, black and white serve as a backdrop against which the Ideational and Interpersonal meanings are expressed. Similarly, the shapes of the components, that is, the lines, circles, and the Relative Position of the components also constitute a resource to organize the text. Below I discuss in greater detail the role of Horizontals, Verticals and Diagonals in the Textual organization in the schematic drawing. The two pairs of lines in the first circle in Step C are positioned diag- onally relative to the vertical-horizontal frame of the drawing. In the ori- ginal text, the pair to the right are coloured red and the pair to the left are black. The red pair resembles the contour of a hill or sea wave, each of which is perceived as the trace of drastic movement or thrust resulting from the physical or geographical forces such as the gravitational pull. The axis of the black pair is approximately 30° anticlockwise to the vertical axis of the drawing. This tilt or obliqueness creates 'directed tension' (Arnheim, 1974: 424-428), or 'energy and dynamism' (O'Toole, 1994: 23; Thibault, 1997: 315-322). We may note that whereas the shape of the red pair of lines remains roughly constant throughout the drawing, the black pair tilts most in Step C. This well fits the Ideational theme of the step, which is concerned with drastic change in terms of chromosomes in the nucleus. On the other hand, the Diagonal orientations of the two pairs of lines in the step also serve to connect this step with the preceding and following steps, thus con- tributing to the Textual organization or unity of the drawing. In other words, obliqueness in orientation of the lines is echoed or shared by all the steps in the drawing albeit to varying degrees. It is true that in the laboratory cell biologists will know that the cells are undergoing some transformation how- ever they are aligned relative to the mechanical stage of the microscope. But
  • 217. PRINT MEDIA 209 when cells are represented in micrographs and in particular in schematic draw- ings, that is, when they are turned into lines, circles and so forth, to contrib- ute to the Textual organization, 'the canons of classical painting' (Bastide, 1990: 199-200) are often respected. One such canon is what has been discussed in this paragraph, that is, the deployment of oblique lines to represent 'energy and dynamism' (O'Toole, 1994: 23; Arnheim, 1974: 424-428). Step E: the caption The black and white caption has less visual salience through the smaller font size, normal type (i.e. not bold face) and shorter leading. This sug- gests that the caption is to be read later in the reading sequence. Space limitations preclude a detailed analysis of the lexicogrammatical features of the caption. It is worth noting, however, that Ideationally the caption presents a possessive identifying relation and circumstantial identifying relation, realized respectively by the verbal groups 'consists of and 'fol- lowed by'. This repeats the information presented in the main text (for example in the clause 'These two processes together constitute the M phase of the cell cycle'). The caption, however, serves in particular to specify what the square bracket in Step B refers to, that is, a visual iconic expression of a possessive identifying relation. Here we can appreciate that while the visual images are important in biological texts they have to be given categorical meanings by linguistic resources. The value of the visuals in this figure is that, in addition to representing or constructing the shapes of biological entities, they are a spatialization or icon of the tem- poral flow of events and also aid to construct a taxonomy of biological terms (the relations between M phase, mitosis and cytokinesis). However, language has to specify the relations and their visual transformation (Barthes, 1977: 38-41). Step F: chromosome replication This step can be broken into two sub-stages: Step F-l the words 'chromo- some replication' and Step F-2 the arrow. Step F-2: the arrow Compared to the others, this arrow is short, indicating less Prominence in the figure. This arrow also leads the reader's attention to the next visual representation. Ideationally, this arrow denotes the process by which one pair of chromosomes duplicates into two pairs. One needs to note, however, that the shortness of this arrow misrepresents the length of the time period. That is, replication in the S phase takes much longer than the M phase. A typical eucaryotic cell spends a fraction of its cell cycle time in the M phase, and most of it in interphase, as noted in ECB, p. 549. For example, a
  • 218. 210 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS mammalian cell of a 24-hour cell cycle requires only about one hour for the M phase to complete. This misrepresentation of the temporal dimension functions to highlight the M phase of the cell cycle. Step G: the structure of the cell Step G is located at the top of the figure and an uninitiated reader may begin viewing the figure here as this step provides the background for what follows. The labels in this step and the leaders functioning as the identifying processes disappear in the later depictions. This means that once they have fulfilled their contextualizing function, they are discarded and are no longer made visible. Having previously established the struc- ture of the cell in ECB, the reader is now invited to study in detail the M phase. As argued above, the experienced reader reads Step A first and this step last or simply skips this step, as would perhaps a lecturer in the classroom. This step can be read in two sub-stages: G-l the circle and G-2 the labels. Step G-2: the labels Like 'chromosome replication' in Step F, the words in Step G-2 are made least prominent by means of smaller font size, no Shading and no Capitaliza- tion. The leaders are also made insignificant by means of Length and Weight. Ideationally, they identify the major components of a cell, as if saying, for example, 'This is the nucleus of the cell'. Having explored the systems and functions that a schematic drawing in a cell biology textbook has created and drawn upon to make meaning, I now undertake a partial analysis of a visual image of a different kind, a statistical graph, before discussing the implications of this research. Analysis of a statistical graph: Figure Q17.1 Figure Q17.1 (ECB, p. 550) is a statistical graph which appears in Question 17.1. Here the students are expected to solve the problem by reference to information from the main text and the verbal section of the question and the graph. The Question including the graph is reproduced in Figure 8.2 (see Note 1). The discussion below briefly deals with the recording path, the Ideational meaning of the graph and how the graph contributes to the problem-solving required to answer the question.3 The expected reading path for this multimodal composite involves a shut- ding between the verbal and the visual: from the main text to the Question (including the graph), then to the 'problem' part of the Question and rele- vant main text, and finally to the graph again. Within the graph, after locating the orientations of the graph and identifying what the horizontal x- axis and the vertical jy-axis refer to, the reader would survey the green- shaded curve which is supposed to carry the New. At this stage the reader may have to mark the graph to solve the problem.
  • 219. PRINT MEDIA 211 Question 17.1 Cells from a growing population were stained with a dye that becomes fluorescent when it binds to DNA, so that the amount of fluorescence is directly proportional to the amount of DNA in each cell. To measure the amount of DNA in each cell, the cells were then passed through a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FAGS), an instrument that registers the level of fluorescence in individual cells. The number of cells with a given DNA content were plotted on a graph, as shown in Figure Q17.1. Indicate on the graph where you would expect to find cells that are in the following stages: G b S, G2 and mitosis. Which is the longest phase of the cell cycle in this populationof cells? Figure Ql7.1 Figure 8.2 Reproduction of Figure Ql 7.1 Ideationally, at the rank of Graph, the graph shows visually the Result (or part of the Result) of an experiment, the frequency distribution of cells with different DNA contents in a population of growing cells. The x values refer to the DNA content per cell, as the label indicates, and the y values the number of cells with a given DNA content. In other words, cells in the population are divided into various types according to the amount of DNA the cell contains: the type of cells on the right of the .x-axis contains more DNA than a type on the left. The value in thejy-axis records the number or frequency of occurrence of each type of cells in the population. A higher point on the graph means that the number of cells of a particular type is greater. Thus Ideationally the graph is a visual equivalent to a group of linguistic relational processes through its Curvature. In addition, this graph shows the 'conceptual relations, and not actual data' (Lemke, 1998: 102). For instance, we are not told how many cells there are in the population, the exact number of cells with different DNA contents, nor how much DNA each cell contains, as there is no indication of the unit of measurement on either x- oiy- axis. We are provided with the theoretical relation between the
  • 220. 212 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS two variables: the type of cell defined by its DNA content and its frequency of occurrence in the population. It is worth noting that this Ideational meaning resides uniquely in a graph and that it cannot be expressed as effectively by a verbal text or a mathemat- ical equation. For Figure Q17.1 visually expresses the general abstract pattern, or spatializes the quantitative relationship. It is a document with visual impact, one that enables the viewer or reader to 'take in' the pattern at a glance. However well a verbal clause or clause complex or a mathematical equation may express the trend or relationship, a graph always does so with a strong visual impact. I would also like to note that just as the move from concrete data record- ing to the abstract relationship between the values of two variables may involve grammatical metaphor (Halliday, 1998), the visualization of the abstract relationships may involve semiotic metaphor as formulated by O'Halloran (1999a, 2003, forthcoming). By semiotic metaphor, O'Halloran (2003: 357) refers to the phenomenon in which 'when a functional element is reconstrued using another semiotic code' there may occur 'a shift in the function and the grammatical class of [the] element, or the introduction of new functional elements'. The formulation of semiotic metaphors involved in the movements between natural language, mathematical symbolisms and visual displays is crucial for the ultimate solution to mathematical problems, as demonstrated by O'Halloran (1999a, 1999b, 2003, forthcoming). Here I analyse the movements between the verbal text and the visual text in Question 17.1, which involves instances of semiotic metaphor. 'The number of cells with a given DNA content' in the verbal section of Ques- tion 17.1 functions as one participant, the Goal, with 'The number of cells' as the head and 'with a given DNA content' as the embedded Postmodifier (Halliday, 1994: 191-192). Experientially the 'cells' functions as the Thing and 'with a given DNA content' the Qualifier. But the elements 'The num- ber of cells' and 'with a given DNA content' do not mean only within language; they are also to mean mfe^emiotically, that is, in relation to the visual text. In other words, the Head and Postmodifier composite in the linguistic text is transformed into two separate participants in the visual text, the two variables represented by the j-axis and thejy-axis perpendicu- lar to each other. This shift from one linguistic participant to two visual participants of equal status may be considered an example of 'parallel semiotic metaphor' (O'Halloran, 1999a: 348) in that the two participants in the second semiotic derive from the Goal in the first. This movement from the linguistic to the visual code permits, however, the exploitation of the meaning potential of the visual semiotic. Once this shift has taken place, it is possible to represent the relationship between the number of cells and the amount of DNA content per cell in terms of the height of the points or lines in the coordinate system and to make visual comparisons and even hypothesize some mathematical relationship between the two variables.4 The precise shape of the curve in the visual text did not exist in the linguistic text and thus may be considered as a case of 'divergent semiotic metaphor'
  • 221. PRINT MEDIA 213 (ibid.} because a new participant is introduced with the movement from the language to the visual image. In this case the divergent semiotic metaphor (the curve) occurs as a consequence of the parallel semiotic metaphor (the introduction of two participants). As will be clear shortly, the solution of the problem depends to a large extent on how much sense the student can make of the two instances of semiotic metaphor together with the informa- tion contained in the main text. In what follows I discuss two questions: (a) how do the Question and the graph relate to the main text? and (b) how do the main text and Question (including the graph) contribute to the solution of the problem? The relationship between the question, the graph and the main text The relevant main text reads: During S phase (S = synthesis), the cell replicates its nuclear DNA, [. . .] S phase is flanked by two phases where the cell continues to grow. The G1 phase (G = Gap) is the interval between the completion of M phase and the beginning of S phase (DNA synthesis). The G2 phase is the interval between the end of S phase and the beginning of M phase. (Figure 17.4). (ECB, p. 550) This means that if a cell in Gl phase has 2n units of DNA content, then by the end of S phase ('replicates its nuclear DNA'), it has doubled the amount of nuclear DNA content and in the G2 and M phases, it has 4n units of DNA content. That is, the amount of DNA per cell in G2 and mitosis is twice the amount in Gl and S phase is in the transition from 2n to 4/z units. Then how do Question 17.1 and the graph relate to such information contained in the main text? The main text reveals the general facts, the 'laws' in biology, the conclusion, and/or the theory, which scientists arrive at from numerous experiments (as can be seen in the use of simple present tense in the quotation above). Question 17.1 (including the graph), on the other hand, reports just one experiment, complete with Method and Results of an experimental report (the verb tense in some of the first few clauses in the Question is the simple past, for example, 'were stained' and 'were then passed'). That is, the main text presents the conclusion and the Question presents one of the experiments leading to such a general conclusion. Question 17.1 is not, however, a real experimental report, but rather it is a textbook question. In a real experimental report, the conclusion is presented in the final part while in the textbook question the conclusion is the point of departure and the student is expected to apply this general rule to solve a practical problem. The contribution of the main text, question text and the graph in solving the problem There are two parts to the Question. The first part reads: 'Indicate on the graph where you would expect to find cells that are in the following stages: G l5 S, G2, and mitosis'. To answer this question, the student must understand
  • 222. 214 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS the change in the amount of DNA content at different stages of the cell cycle. That is, he or she must understand the relevant part of the main text quoted above. Then in relation to the question he or she must also know how to interpret the x-axis and know that at point b, the point on the x-axis corresponding to Peak B (which is not displayed in Figure 8.2) the amount of DNA per cell is twice that at point a, the point on the x-axis correspond- ing to Peak A (again not displayed in Figure 8.2), and that Peak B is therefore the place where one would expect to find cells in G2 and mitosis phases (chromosomes replicated, doubled) and Peak A the place to find cells in Gl phase (chromosomes not yet replicated). Here the ability to deduce b = 2a on the x-axis is crucial to the solution of the problem. To know where to find the cells that are in the S phase, the student must again understand the relevant main text. He or she must also be able to translate such main text information into the line segment ab on the x-axis and know that cells that are in the S phase can be found between Peaks A and B. The second sub-question reads: 'Which is the longest phase of the cell cycle in this population of cells?'. To answer this question, the student needs to interpret the divergent semiotic metaphor, that is, he or she needs to know how to interpret the frequency graph. That is, Peak A is the highest, indicat- ing that the number of cells with this DNA content, that is, cells at Gl phase, is the largest. This further suggests that Gl is the longest phase of the cell cycle, assuming that the cells were selected on a random basis. In this subsection I have discussed the essential role that a knowledge of the linguistic and visual resources and how they interact with each other plays in the solution of an in-text problem in ECB. In the final section of the paper I discuss the implications of the preceding analyses. Multimodal meaning-making: some concluding remarks This paper has proposed tentative frameworks for the analysis of two types of visual displays common in biology texts and has attempted to apply them to the analysis of multimodal meaning-making in the biology text. As may be clear from the above discussion, the visual images in the biology text are not redundant with language in meaning-making; they extend and com- plement it. The words, on the other hand, specialize in a range of typo- logical meanings and certain Interpersonal and Textual meanings and thus 'anchor' and constrain the many possible meanings made in the visual (Barthes, 1977: 38-41). One is dependent upon and co-contextualizes the other (Thibault, 2000: 312). To understand the text, as in Figure 17.3 in ECB, or solve a problem, as in Question 17.1, the reader must be able to integrate the meanings made in the linguistic and the visual codes. My analysis has also shown that each type of visual display carries with it different sets of conventions of meaning-making, not only in the deploy- ment and interpretation of combinations of ink or paint (dots, lines, curves, etc.) but also in their relations to the verbal text. For example, a schematic drawing, such as Figure 17.3 analysed above, spatializes the ideational
  • 223. PRINT MEDIA 215 meanings made in the verbal text, while a statistical graph, such as Figure Q17.1, transforms a set of quantitative data into a visually per- ceptible object. Although many aspects of the interstratal relationship between the visual signifiers and their signifieds remain to be explored (Thibault, 1997: 329-334), my analysis in the paper has shown that the visual displays in disciplinary discourses as exemplified in the biology text are important for meaning-making and that what they mean and how they mean it are not always self-evident or universal. What does all this mean for the teaching and researching in ESP/EAP? Research in these areas, both for native speakers of English and for non-native speakers, has almost exclusively concentrated on language issues (see, for example, Swales's (2001) review of the developments of ESP/EAP in the past forty years), assuming that once the learner crosses the language barrier, he or she will achieve academic success. Language, of course, constitutes our major means of meaning-making and may continue to be one of the problems that hinder one's progress through his or her career. But as I have shown in this paper, following Myers (1990, 1995) and Thibault (2001), in biology textbook genres language is only one resource for making certain kinds of meaning. It is simply not able to make certain topological meanings required in certain contexts and it means what it does mean in the first place only in co-deployment and co-contextualizations with other resources (Thibault, 2000: 312, 362). In professional scientific practice, as well-attested by Lynch and Woolgar (1990) and Lemke (1998), 'as the fine edge and the final stage' of some laboratory research, the 'tiny set of figures' drawn on the paper rather than the '[bjleeding and screaming rats' in the lab 'is all that counts' (Latour, 1990: 39-40; emphasis in original). And the grant-proposals in engineering must be written and designed in a way that enables the peer reviewers 'to find the abstract, [mathematical] formulas, tables, illustrations, and references with ease' (Johns, 1993: 82). Thanks to the pioneering work of Kress et al. (2001), Lemke (2000), O'Halloran (1996, 2000), Scott and Jewitt (2003) and Johns (1998) we have been able to see that in science classrooms 'learning can no longer be treated as a process which depends on language centrally, or even dominantly [. . .] Learning happens through (or [. . .] learners actively engage with) all modes as a complex activity in which speech or writing [are] involved among a number of modes' (Kress et al., 2001: 1). Therefore, we ESP/EAP teachers and researchers need to take seriously the multimodal nature of meaning-making in academic apprenticeship and professional life and refocus our research and teaching agenda so as to better prepare our students for their current and future academic and professional life. We need, for example, to complete more research into the nature of the interactions between the verbal and the visual in various genres and in various disciplines rather than assuming a universal model. This is particularly important when the learner of ESP/ EAP is a university student from a non-English-speaking background, where the visual images need to be related to the verbal resources in English. ESP/ EAP teachers will be expected to 'give students a visual grammar that
  • 224. 216 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS supplements the grammar of English' (Baldry, 2000b: 53) and organize practical classroom activities that are geared towards the development of the 'multimodal communicative competence' (Royce, 2002: 192). For want of a thorough and systemic description of the 'full system of relations' that several semiotic codes simultaneously enter into (Thibault, 2000: 362), we may introduce our students to some basic multimodal analytical tools and principles and then encourage them to reflect on the intersemiosis in specific instances in their disciplines. Following Baldry (2000b) we may guide our students to compare the contemporary multi-semiotic meaning-making with that of the past. This guided reflection may benefit the students as well as ESP/EAP teachers. In many circumstances it is also desirable for the ESP/EAP teachers to consult the expert staff about the intersemiotic meaning-making in their teaching and professional research (Johns, 1998: 193). It is encouraging to note that since the mid-1990s Baldry (2000b) and Pavesi and Baldry (2000) have taken significant steps to design and offer multimodal ESP/EAP courses to both complete beginners and more advanced students. This includes the development of multimedia environ- ment self-access courseware and corpora. Finally, I also suggest that the multimodal construction of meaning should be reflected in ESP/EAP assessment, although this is largely absent in many parts of the world. With the new pair of spectacles called multimodal social semiotics, the nature and complexity of scientific discourse and how they might be more effectively taught to ESP/EAP students may be further explored. Notes 1 Unfortunately, it has not been possible to reproduce these Figures in colour as they appear in the textbook. However, the following glosses are provided on the colours used in the original text. Figure 17—3, reproduced in Figure 8.1 The words 'Figure 17—3' are green. The nucleus of the cell is shaded in pink. In the top circle the chromosome on the left is black, the one on the right red, and this scheme is retained throughout. 'MITOSIS' and 'CYTOKINESIS' are shaded in bright yellow, and 'M phase' light green. Figure Q17—1, reproduced in Figure 8.2 The Question is framed by a box which is marked by its yellow background. In a similar manner, the actual graph is framed inside the yellow box by a white background. The curve, the A and B, and the area underneath are green. 2 On the basis of how a signifier relates to the signified, Peirce (1985) classifies signs into an icon, an index and a symbol. In simple terms, an icon is a sign that relates to its object in terms of their resemblance. This resemblance can be similarity in 'simple qualities', as in images or photographs, or in 'relations', as in diagrams and algebraic formulae, or it can be 'a parallelism' as in metaphors (Peirce 1985: 10-11). An index is 'a sign which refers to the Object that it denotes by virtue of being really affected by that Object' (ibid.: 8), for example, smoke as an indication of fire. A symbol is a sign that derives its meaning by conventions, by agreement between people (ibid.}, for example, the phonological
  • 225. PRINT MEDIA 217 or graphological feature of the word 'man' and its meaning. The reason for applying Peirce's trichotomy to the present analysis is that it brings to light the fact that the relationship between the signified and the signifier is not always identical or straightforward. Thus signs vary in the degree of the potential semiotic load they pose for students. An iconic photograph of some familiar object is easy to decipher, less so the schematic drawing, and even less so the symbolic signs such as 5'-UGC-3'. 3 For lack of space I do not analyse the graph in a step-by-step manner, as I did with Figure 17.3 above. However, one can always explore the visual resources the graph exploits by reference to Table 8.2. 4 According to Tilling (1975: 200-211), quantitative graphs were not only used by scientists such asj. H. Lambert (1728—1777) to present experimental data graph- ically but also help to analyse them, for example derive mathematical relation- ship between the variables (e.g. the rate of water evaporation as a function of temperature as reported in one of Lambert's papers (Tilling, 1975: 201)). Apparently, the student reader in this question is not required to derive an equation from the graph but just to interpret the results displayed in the graph and draw some conclusions. Acknowledgements Figures 8.1 and 8.2: Copyright © 1998 from Essential Cell Biology: An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts, B., Bray, D., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter, P. Reproduced by permission of Routledge/Taylor & Francis Books, Inc. References Alberts, B., Bray, D., Johnson, A., Lewis, J, Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter, P. (1998) Essential Cell Biology: An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell. New York: Garland. Arnheim, R. (1974) Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye. Berkeley: University of California Press. Baigrie, B. S. (ed.) (1996) Picturing Knowledge: Historical and Philosophical Problems Concerning the Use of Art in Science. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Baldry, A. P. (ed.) (2000a) Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance Learning Age. Gampobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore. Baldry, A. P. (2000b) English in a visual society: comparative and historical dimen- sions in multimodality and multimediality. In Baldry (ed.), 2000a: 41-89. Barthes, R. (1977) Rhetoric of the image. In R. Bardies (S. Heath, ed. and trans.), Image—Music—Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 32—51. (Originally published in 1964.) Bastide, F. (1990) The iconography of scientific texts: principles of analysis. In Lynch and Woolgar (eds), 187-229. Ford, B. J. (1992) Images of Science: A History of Scientific Illustration. New York: Oxford University Press. Haas, G. (1994) Learning to read biology: one student's rhetorical development in college. Written Communication 11(1): 43-84.
  • 226. 218 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Halliday, M. A. K. (1978) Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning. London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M. A. K. (1993) On the language of physical science. In M. A. K. Halliday andj. R. Martin, Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power. London: The Falmer Press, 54-68. Halliday, M. A. K. (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M. A. K. (1998) Things and relations: regrammaticizing experience as technical knowledge. In J. R. Martin, and R. Veel (eds), Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspectives on Discourses of Science. London: Routledge, 185—235. Janovy,J.,Jr. (1996) On Becoming a Biologist. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Johns, A. (1993) Written argumentation for real audiences: suggestions for teacher research and classroom practice. TESOL Quarterly 27(1): 75—90. Johns, A. (1998) The visual and the verbal: a case study in macroeconomics. English for Specific Purposes 17(2): 183-197. Knight, D. (1992) Ideas in Chemistry: A History of the Science. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Kress, G. (2000) Multimodality. In B. Cope and M. Kalantzis (eds), Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures. South Yarra: Macmillan Publishers Australia Pty Ltd, 182-202. Kress, G. (2003) Literacy in the Mew Media Age. London: Routledge. Kress, G., Jewitt, G., Ogborn, J. and Tsatsarelis, C. (2001) Multimodal Teaching and Learning: The Rhetorics of the Science Classroom. London: Continuum. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1998) Front pages: (the critical) analysis of news- paper layout. In A. Bell and P. Garrett (eds), Approaches to Media Discourse. Oxford: Blackwell, 186-219. Kuhn, T. S. (1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (3rd edn). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Latour, B. (1990) Drawing things together. In Lynch and Woolgar (eds), 19—68. Lemke, J. L. (1996) Hypermedia and higher education. In T. M. Harrison and T. Stephen (eds), Computer Networking and Scholarly Communication in the Twenty-First- Century University. New York: State University of New York Press, 215—231. Lemke, J. L. (1998) Multiplying meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in scientific text. InJ. R. Martin and R. Veel (eds), Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspec- tives on Discourses of Science. London: Routledge, 87—113. Lemke, J. L. (2000) Multimedia literacy demands of the scientific curriculum. Linguistics and Education 10(3): 247-271. Lynch, M. (1990) The externalized retina: selection and mathematization in the visual documentation of objects in the life sciences. In Lynch and Woolgar (eds), 153-186. Lynch, M. and Woolgar, S. (eds) (1990) Representation in Scientific Practice. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. McMurry, J. and Castellion, M. E. (1999) Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (3rd edn). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall. Myers, G. (1990) Every picture tells a story: illustrations in E. O. Wilson's Sociobiol- ogy. In Lynch and Woolgar (eds), 231-265. Myers, G. (1992) Textbooks and the sociology of scientific knowledge. English for Specific Purposes 11 (1): 3-17.
  • 227. PRINT MEDIA 219 Myers, G. (1995) Words and pictures in a biology textbook. In T. Miller (ed.), Functional Approaches to Written Text: Classroom Applications Vol. I, The Journal of TESOL France, Paris, in association with US Information Service, Paris, 113—126. O'Halloran, K. L. (1996) The discourses of secondary school mathematics. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. Murdoch University, Western Australia. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999a) Interdependence, interaction and metaphor in multi- semiotic texts. Social Semiotics 9(3): 317—354. O'Halloran, K. L. (1999b) Towards a systemic-functional analysis of multi-semiotic mathematics texts. Semiotica 124(1/2): 1-29. O'Halloran, K. L. (2000) Classroom discourse in mathematics: a multi-semiotic analysis. Linguistics and Education 10(3): 359—388. O'Halloran, K. L. (2003) Intersemiosis in mathematics and science: grammatical metaphor and semiotic metaphor. In A.-M. Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverni- ers, and L. Ravelli (eds), Grammatical Metaphor: Views from Systemic Functional Lin- guistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 337—365. O'Halloran, K. L. (forthcoming) Mathematical Discourse: Language, Symbolism and Visual Images. London: Continuum. Osborne, J. (2002) Science without literacy: a ship without a sail? Cambridge Journal of Education 32(2): 203-218. O'Toole, M. (1994) The Language of Displayed Art. London: Leicester University Press. Pavesi, M. and Baldry, A. P. (2000) Learning to read scientific texts: integrated self- access courseware and corpora for university science students. In Baldry (ed.), 2000a: 227-245. Peirce, C. S. (1985) Logic as semiotic: the theory of signs. In R. E. Innis (ed.), Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology. London: Hutchinson, 4—23. Purves, W. K. (1999) Biology. In The Encyclopedia Americana (international edition) Vol. 3. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 769-778. Royce, T. (2002) Multimodality in the TESOL classroom: exploring visual-verbal synergy. TESOL Quarterly 36(2): 191-205. Scott, P. and Jewitt, C. (2003) Talk, action and visual communication in teaching and learning science. School Science Review 84(308): 117-124. Swales, J. (2001) EAP-related linguistic research: an intellectual history. In J. Flow- erdew and M. Peacock (eds), Research Perspectives on English for Academic Purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 42—54. Thibault, P. J. (1997) Re-reading Saussure: The Dynamics of Signs in Social Life. London: Routledge. Thibault, P. J. (2000) The multimodal transcription of a television advertisement: theory and practice. In Baldry (ed.), 2000a: 311-385. Thibault, P. J. (2001) Multimodality and the school science textbook. In C. Torsello, G. Brunetti, and N. Penello (eds), Corpora Testuali per Ricerca, Tradu^ione e Apprendimento Linguistico. Studi Linguistici Applicati. Padova: Unipress, 293—335. Tilling, L. (1975) Early experimental graphs. The British Journal for the History of Science 8(30): 193-213. Zar, J. H. (1999) Biostatistical Analysis (4th edn). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall.
  • 228. 9 Developing an integrative multi-semiotic model Victor Lim Fei National University of Singapore Introduction In this age of the multimedia, there is an increasing awareness that meaning is rarely made with language alone. As Baldry (2000), Kress (2003) and Kress and van Leeuwen (2001) note, we live in a multimodal society which makes meaning through the co-deployment of a combination of semiotic resources. Visual images, gestures and sounds often accompany the lin- guistic semiotic resource in semiosis. As such, there is a pressing need to understand the dynamics of meaning-making, or semiosis, in multimodal discourse. Academic disciplines that focus on mono-modality, such as that of linguistics, must come into dialogue with other fields of research, for instance, visual communication studies and media studies, to facilitate the interdisciplinary nature of multimodal research. In this paper, the Integrative Multi-Semiotic Model (IMM) (Lim, 2002) is proposed as a 'meta-model' for the analysis of a page or frame which involves the use of both language and pictures as semiotic resources. The term 'meta-model' is used to describe the IMM as a model which brings together and incorporates the systemic-functional matrices and frameworks currendy available in the field of multimodal studies. This is undertaken with the aim of unifying these contributions for the expression, content and communicative planes of language and visual images in the IMM. There is a need, however, to further develop the model into one that can account for meaning arising from other semiotic resources in dynamic environments such as video texts and hypertext. Systemic-functional linguistics (SFL), developed by Michael Halliday (1978, 1994) and extended by Martin (2002) and Martin and Rose (2003), provides the theory for this investigation into semiosis involving language and visual images. Although originally conceived for the semiotic resource of language, the application of SFL to other semiotic resources has been productive. Pioneering work in the application of systemic-functional the- ory to visual images, architecture and sculpture includes O'Toole's (1994) The Language of Displayed Art and Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) Reading Images. Following this, further applications of SFL to other semiotic resources for the analysis of multimodal discourses in mathematics, science,
  • 229. PRINT MEDIA 221 and three-dimensional museum displays have provided insights into the nature of intra-semiosis - meaning within different semiotic resources, and inter-semiosis - meaning across different semiotic resources (for example, Baldry, 2000; Baldry and Thibault, forthcoming; Pang, this volume; Lemke, 2002; O'HaUoran, 1999a, 1999b, 2000, forthcoming; Royce, 1998a, 1998b, 2002). Of particular interest in this paper is the development of the theory of the interaction and integration between language and pictures in cases where these semiotic resources co-occur on a page as found, for example, in children's picture books and advertisements. ledema (2003: 30) refers to such intersemiotic shifts as 'resemioticization' which he defines as 'the ana- lytical means for . . . tracing how semiotics are translated from one into another as social processes unfold'. In this respect, of significance are Lemke's (1998) observation of the 'multiplication of meaning' which takes place in multimodal texts and O'Halloran's (1999a, 1999b) identification of'semi- otic metaphor' which refers to the new 'semantic reconstruals' which occur intersemiotically with shifts between semiotic codes. Royce (1998b) also pro- poses an 'intersemiotic complementarity' which describes the deployment of intersemiotic resources in a multimodal text. Further to this, Thibault (2000, forthcoming) uses phase theory to effectively conceptualize a frame- work to analyse the integration of language, visual images, sound and music in television advertisements. While the direct adoption of a linguistic theory for other semiotic resources has been criticized (for example, Saint-Martin, 1990), Sonesson (1993: 343) cautions that 'the outright rejection of the linguistics model must be at least naive, and as epistemologically unsound as its unqualified accept- ance'. As such, a delicate balance between the adoption and rejection of linguistics theories to visual analysis and intersemiotic processes must be maintained. That is, theories and concepts used in linguistics may not belong solely to the study of language and could be productive in their applications to other semiotic resources. For example, the systemic- functional theory and the tri-metafunctional organization of semiotic resources, although originally applied to language, rest essentially on the basic assumption of language as a social semiotic. Therefore, it is appropri- ate to interpret SFL as a semiotic theory rather than a particular theory of language. Proposing an IMM Despite the advances made in recent research, there remains a lack of understanding of how meanings arise in multimodal texts. Apart from Thibault's (2000; forthcoming) comprehensive framework for the analysis of television advertisements and Baldry and Thibault's (2001) conception of phase in dynamic video texts, an overarching model and a meta-language to describe the processes involved in semiosis and intersemiosis in multimodal texts is lacking. As such, the IMM and the related concepts introduced in
  • 230. 222 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS this paper are proposed as a tentative step to account for the different aspects of meaning arising from the use of multiple semiotic resources. The IMM, which may be used for the analysis of a printed text involving the two semiotic resources of language and visual images, is a modest step. None- theless, the necessity of developing a 'meta-model' with an accompanying 'meta-language' to describe semiotic processes in multimodal discourse is demonstrated through the discussion of the IMM and the issues raised by such a model. The IMM, as displayed in Figure 9.1, demonstrates topologically the complex multifaceted nature of meaning made in a multi-semiotic text. The rectangular blocks are used metaphorically to represent the strata, planes and dimensions of meaning within and across language and visual images. Following Martin (1992), three planes are conceptualized for these two semiotic resources. That is, the language and visual image plane consists of an Expression plane and a Content plane (which is further divided into grammar and discourse semantics strata), and the Context plane which consists of register, genre and ideology as displayed in Figure 9.1. The top view of the model appropriately displays the Expression plane which is referred to as 'Typography' for language and 'Graphics' for visual images. This is significant as the Expression plane is the interface between the text and the reader. As seen in Figure 9.1, this interface is mediated by the medium and materiality of the text, which also mediates the other planes. This mediation may be seen in operation in the simple case of a wedding invitation card which is usually printed on certain types of paper. This demonstrates that the Content, register and genre of the text (the wed- ding invitation) are related to the materiality options of the medium (the Figure 9.1 The IMM (Lim, 2002: 37)
  • 231. PRINT MEDIA 223 type of paper and print). Together, these choices carry ideological implica- tions, which in this case concern the elevated status of weddings in Western society. An elevated platform between the linguistic and pictorial modalities can be seen from the top of the IMM. This is called the Space of Integration (Sol), which is the theoretical platform where intersemiosis occurs through contextualizing relations. The elevation of the Sol signifies topologically the semantic expansions that result from the interaction and negotiation between semiotic resources in what Lemke (1998) terms as 'the multiplica- tion of meaning'. Below the Expression plane is the Content plane which consists of the lexicogrammatical and discourse semantics strata for lan- guage, and the visual grammar and discourse semantics strata for visual images. As seen in Figure 9.1 the Sol also operates on the Content plane. The lexicogrammatical and discourse systems for language are organized according to the three metafunctions proposed by Halliday (1994); the idea- tional, Interpersonal and Textual metafunctions. The theory of metafunc- tionality has been extended to the systems which constitute the grammar of other semiotic resources. For example, Kress and van Leeuwen (1996) and O'Toole (1994) extend the metafunctional hypothesis to the systems of a visual grammar. O'Toole (1994) proposes a detailed metafunctionally based matrix for the analysis of paintings. In addition to the lexicogrammatical and grammatical systems, a discourse semantics stratum is also recognized for the pictorial modality as well as for the linguistic in the IMM. Although not developed here, this extension follows from Martin's (1992) metafunc- tionally based discourse systems for language. The discourse semantics stratum for language and visual images is useful for analysing children's picturebooks, for example, which consist of a sequence of pictures and text (Lim, 2002). The systems of meaning in the Expression and Content plane for lan- guage and visual images are seen to be organized metafunctionally in the IMM. The metafunctional distinctions within the systems on the grammar and discourse strata in the IMM are indicated through the three rectangular boxes of different Tone in Figure 9.1. Thibault (2000: 362) proposes that 'metafunctions are best seen as a principle of integration for approaching the Experiential, Interpersonal, logical and Textual dimension of the text as a whole'. The commonalities of metafunctional organization across semiotic resources are drawn upon and metafunctional distinction is used as a means of conceptualizing meaning across the different strata in the IMM. The term system-metafunction fidelity is used to signify the degree of dedication of a system towards a specific metafunction. Although meaning is organized around the metafunctional classifications, the system- metafunction fidelity of the visual grammar is less rigid compared to the lexicogrammar in language. In other words, the metafunctional categories by which the systems for visual images on the grammar stratum are organized may be more fluid than depicted by the three rectangles in Figure 9.1. For example, the system of Rhythm in the grammar for visual images (O'Toole,
  • 232. 224 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS 1994) may be oriented towards Interpersonal meaning (to capture atten- tion), Textual meaning (to cohesively link parts of a text) or Experiential meaning (to indicate an action) in different instantiations of the system in text. The orientation of the system towards one metafunction rather than another depends upon the surrounding co-text in the visual image. The problem of system-metafunction fidelity is also relevant to the sys- tems which operate on the Expression plane. That is, the Expression plane for language and visual images, referred to as Typography and Graphics respectively, is also seen to be organized metafunctionally. However, the major systems on this plane are not always dedicated primarily to a single metafunction. The system-metafunction fidelity is even lower than noted above for the grammar of visual images. Although it is possible to dis- tinguish meanings as being ideational, Interpersonal or Textual, the systems on the Expression plane which are responsible for these meanings overlap with regards to their metafunctional capabilities. For instance, the system of Colour can realize ideational, Interpersonal, and Textual meanings as noted by Kress and van Leeuwen (2002). The tendency of the instantiation of a system to be orientated towards a particular metafunction is discussed in more detail in relation to the notion of Critical Impetus (see below). However, at this stage we may note that a cline, rather than a categorical tri- metafunctional distinction, is used in Figure 9.1 to show the fluidity of the systems which operate on the Expression plane. This cline is represented by graduation in the system of Tone in Figure 9.1. Kress and van Leeuwen (2002) adopt an alternative approach to deal with the metafunctional diversity of the systems which operate on the Expression plane by proposing that Colour, for example, is a semiotic modality in its own right. Thus, rather than positing colour as a system which operates on the Expression plane, Kress and van Leeuwen (2002) attempt to locate Colour on the grammar stratum as a semiotic modality which possesses its own grammatical systems - or rather scales - of mean- ing; for example, Saturation, Purity, Modulation and Hue. However, as admitted by Kress and van Leeuwen, Colour differs from other semiotic modalities such as language and visual images in that it cannot exist on its own: 'It can survive only in a multimodal environment' (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2002: 351). In order to accommodate this limitation of Colour as a social semiotic, an alterative perspective is provided here. That is, Colour is conceived to be a system with a low system-metafunction fidelity on the Expression plane in the IMM. Systems such as Hue, Tone, Saturation and so forth, are seen as sub-systems of the system of Colour. To account for the metafunctional diversity of a system such as Colour, the notion of 'critical impetus' is developed. The IMM rests entirely upon the Context planes of register, genre and ideology. This is significant because meaning is located within the Context of Situation and Context of Culture. Martin (1992) suggests that the soci- osemantic variables of Field, Tenor and Mode 'hook up' with the metafunc- tions on both the communication planes of Register and Genre. Another
  • 233. PRINT MEDIA 225 layer, ideology, is also proposed by Martin (1992) to look at positions within discourse formations manifested across a range of texts. Meanings made on this intertextual level are also heteroglossic in nature according to different reading positions and subjectivities. The IMM aims to provide the apparatus for the analysis of a text which utilizes both the linguistic and the pictorial semiotic resources. Using the IMM as an approach also allows for a systematic evaluation of the meaning made on various strata and planes and, at the same time, provides a plat- form for understanding the interaction between modalities and examining the occurrence of semantic expansion during intersemiosis. In what follows, two particular dimensions of the IMM which can contribute to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of intersemiosis are explored: the systems which operate on the expression plane, and the Space of Integration (Sol). The scope of this paper There is only space to investigate two issues raised by the IMM. The first aspect is concerned with the systems such as Colour which operate on the Expression plane of language and visual images. This is an undertheorized area of research as the focus of interest has tended to be the Content plane which consists of the grammar and discourse systems. The second aspect is concerned with the interaction and negotiation between the two semiotic modalities on the Sol in a multimodal environment. An understanding of the intersemiotic processes which take place in the Sol is critical for an understanding of how meaning is made in a multimodal environment. In the first case, the Expression plane of language, or the 'Typography' of printed texts, has often been neglected in linguistic theory. Likewise, the Expression plane of the pictorial semiotic, referred to here as 'Graphics', has also been undertheorized. Responding to this need, system networks are proposed to account for the Typographic and Graphic selections made from within the linguistic and pictorial semiotics respectively (see Figures 9.4 and 9.5). The system networks, still very much at an exploratory stage, are conceived in the tradition of SFL and thus are seen to be organized metafunctionally. The proposed networks represent a deliberate effort to give recognition to the role of the Expression plane in contributing to the functions and meaning of discourse which is traditionally seen to be located within the realm of the Content plane. In the second case, Gestalt theory in art has long observed the phenom- enon of the whole as always greater than the sum of its parts (Gombrich, 1960). Likewise, in the interaction and integration between the linguistic and pictorial semiotic resources, the total meaning made is more than just adding up the meaning made by each independent modality. In other words, semantic expansion or a 'multiplication of meaning' (Lemke, 1998) occurs during this co-deployment. To account for this expansion of meaning, an Sol in the IMM is proposed so that the contextualizing relations between two modalities can be studied. As explained in a following section, semantic
  • 234. 226 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS expansion can occur through the mechanisms of'Homospatiality' and 'Semi- otic Metaphor' (O'Halloran, 1999a, 1999b, 2003, forthcoming) in the Sol. Other intersemiotic mechanisms have also been proposed: semiotic cohesion, semiotic mixing, semiotic adoption, juxtaposition and semiotic transition (O'Halloran, forthcoming). However, in this discussion only homospatiality and semiotic metaphor are considered. Before discussing these contextualizing relations, the Expression plane for language and visual images is examined. The Expression and Content planes for language and visual images Halliday (1978: 39) proposes that language is 'a system of meaning poten- tial'. Seen to operate on the levels of the Content and Expression plane, meaning potential is conceived as a network of options where meaning is made through paradigmatic selections from the available system networks. Language is an abstraction (the system network) until it is materialized or expressed through either speech or writing (the process in the form of a text). When the linguistic semiotic is expressed through sound, the Expres- sion plane consists of Phonology. When language is materialized as writ- ing, the Expression plane is Graphology, or in the case of a printed text under consideration here, Typography. The visual image is similarly a tool for meaning construction. That is, the pictorial semiotic resource is also seen as a conceptual abstraction with systems of meaning constituting the meaning potential. As shown in Figure 9.2, language is conceived to possess abstract lexicogrammatical sys- tems of meaning where choices are expressed on the Expression plane through Typography in printed texts. In the same manner, the grammar of visual images is also abstraction which is instantiated through choices from networks of systems (such as Form, Perspective, Layout and Strokes) on the Graphics Expression plane. The separation of the Expression and gram- mar strata for the pictorial semiotic may be perceived as an uneasy one due to the interwoven nature of the elements on both strata in meaning-making. Nonetheless, it is useful and necessary to differentiate between the two strata in order to investigate the systems' potential and understand the meaning- making process. Figure 9.3 is used to discuss the theoretical distinction between the Expression and visual grammar planes. Figure 9.2 Instantiation of language and pictures
  • 235. PRINT MEDIA 227 Figure 9.3 An iconic face The Expression plane of the Figure involves, for example, the systems of Colour and Form used to make meaning. This refers to choices in the form of the black thin line, the two small black circles and the larger circle in Figure 9.3. Should any of the choices be altered at the rank of the Expres- sion plane; for example, should the eyes become green, or the thin black line becomes a red brushstroke, the meaning of the picture would change. The choices from systems in the Expression plane (see Figure 9.5) are signifi- cant in terms of the meaning of the picture. This illustrates that choices made from systems on the Expression plane contribute or feed through to the meanings made through systems operating on the Content plane. This point is further discussed below. The grammar stratum, as extensively theorized by O'Toole (1994, 1995) and Kress and van Leeuwen (1996), relates one disparate element to another and explains how the whole functions cohesively to make meaning. Just as the grammar of language concerns itself with the chains of words to form coherent sentences, the grammar of visual images is about the piecing of one item with another to construct a coherent message. The relations of the parts to a whole, for instance, how the various shapes form the iconic face in Figure 9.3, operate on the grammar stratum. This grammar is cul- turally dependent and governs the way a reader 'reads' and understands images such as the iconic face in Figure 9.3. Following O'Toole (1994: 24), a hierarchy of different ranks analogous to Halliday's (1978) rank scale for language, is proposed for the visual gram- mar. In this way, it is possible to examine the meaning made on each of the rank units, which are Member, Figure, Episode and Work. This adoption of a rank scale operating within the principle of constituency, where one rank is constitutive of the next higher rank in the hierarchy, facilitates a more systematic analysis of the meaning made in the different units on the visual grammar stratum. In a sense, the delicate distinction between the Expression plane and grammar stratum can be made with the Expression plane being largely concerned with the surface instantial features of the text and the Content plane with the interaction and negotiation between the different elements in the text. In the same way that Context mediates the meaning of a text, the Expression plane mediates the choices made from the grammatical and discourse systems operating on the Content plane. The notion here is one of 'mutual engendering' which has been used to describe the relationship
  • 236. 228 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS between language and social Context (Martin, 1992). In this case, the mutual engendering encompasses the Expression plane and the Content plane, the materiality and medium of the text, and the social and cultural Context within which the text was produced. Perceptual equity between language and visual images Saint-Martin (1990) claims that pictures are primarily objects of visual per- ception and therefore are distinct from language in many ways. While acknowledging this, it is also recognized that the linguistic semiotic resource instantiated through the system of Typography is also a visual experience. With the adoption of this position, some of the assumptions based on the commonalities between the two modalities are discussed before introducing the unique systems through which each semiotic operates to make meaning. Since both the linguistic and the pictorial semiotics are expressed through the visual medium on a page and experienced visually through the sense of sight, it appears reasonable to assume co-equal statuses between the two modalities. This assumption challenges the conventional privileging of lan- guage over the visual image. Here it is recognized that both the linguistic and the pictorial semiotic resources serve different, though complementary, functions. Therefore, both are equally important as signifying systems through the different roles they perform. This point is developed below. Until recently, the pictorial text has often been relegated to the status of mere illustrations to the linguistic text. In the field of semiology, recent interest in visual communication may be traced to Barthes's (1977) influen- tial work, Rhetoric of the Image, where the visual images are seen to play a somewhat attendant role to language. That is, Barthes proposes that lan- guage serves to 'anchor' (by elaborating) or 'relay' (by extending) the mean- ing of the visual text. However, it is important to recognize that despite the constant co-deployment of language and pictures in multimodal texts, both the linguistic and the pictorial semiotic modalities have the potential to function independently. Some instances of these include the popularity of wordless picture books, such as Monique Felix's (1980) The Story of A Little Mouse Trapped in a Book, and the increasing use of wordless instruction sheets to transcend language barriers, such as the Swedish-based but internation- ally marketed IKEA furniture which utilizes only the pictorial semiotic in the assembly instructions. The success of these examples of visual com- munication attests the ability of the pictorial modality to operate as an independent semiotic resource. The adoption of the stance that both the linguistic and the pictorial modal- ities should share an equal status is now widely recognized (for example, Baldry, 2000; Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001; O'Halloran, 2000; Thibault, 2000). Van Leeuwen (2000), for instance, criticizes the negative comparisons between language and visual images in his refutation of Barthes's (1977) earlier proposition that words have 'fixed meaning' while images are 'polysemous'. In addition to this, van Leeuwen (2000) confronts some
  • 237. PRINT MEDIA 229 misconceptions regarding the pictorial semiotic such as the assertion that visual images cannot represent negative polarity. Van Leeuwen (2000: 179) also argues that visual semiotics should focus 'not only on the image as representation, but also on the image as (interact5. However, it is important to remember that each semiotic resource (lan- guage, visual images, mathematical symbolism, gesture for example) has evolved to be used in conjunction with other semiotic resources, and this rather obvious but often neglected fact has serious implications for the way we view the functions and resulting grammatical and discourse systems of each resource. Examining one semiotic resource in isolation, for example lan- guage, results in an impoverished view of how that resource is organized for meaning. The grammatical and discourse systems of each semiotic resource need to be considered in relation to how they are organized to interact with systems in other semiotic resources to accomplish particular functions within the whole realm of what can be achieved semiotically. Lemke (1998), for example, observes that language and visual images each have their individual functions and strengths. He summarizes some of the key distinctions by noting that language is more adept in encapsulating typological meaning, or meaning by category. It is also a more time-sensitive semiotic where the linear progression of time can be reflected. The pictorial semiotic, on the other hand, has resources for the representation of topo- logical meaning, or meaning by degree. It is also a more space-sensitive semiotic that supersedes the linguistic mode in representing spatial relations. Each with their own niches, it is hardly surprising to find them serving different functions in a multimodal text. In addition, the co-deployment of these two modalities in a multimodal text can lead to meaning expansions as well. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that systems within each resource independently have the potential to realize unique meanings that may not necessarily be integrated during intersemiosis. This is the meaning made by each independent modality on each stratum and is topologically reflected in the model as the area outside the Sol as shown in Figure 9.1. The assumption of equal status means that both are accorded co-equal value in meaning-making. The implication of this on the Expression stratum is that of perceptual equity between the two semiotic modalities. It must be noted, however, that having the same status does not translate to the claim that both the semiotic resources of language and the pictures have the same degree of influence on each other in a text. It is not unusual to find that in one particular text, the linguistic semiotic may be more dominant in terms of meaning than the pictorial semiotic, and yet in another text, the visual semiotic may be the primary semiotic source for meaning. This point is further elaborated when intersemiosis between language and visual image on the Sol is discussed below. The proposed model shown in Figure 9.1 allocates equal space for each semiotic resource thereby signifying topo- logically the equity in status between the two semiotic modalities.
  • 238. 230 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Reading path The assumption of perceptual equity on the Expression plane has pro- found implications for our approach to the analysis of the multimodal text. The Expression plane is the interface the reader experiences upon reading the text. In this paper, the term 'reading', despite being a term derived from the study of language, is taken to include visual perception or viewing. Following Sardar and van Loon's (2000: 44) work in media studies, reading is defined as 'the process of interaction when a text is analysed as well as the final result of that process, the interpretation'. Hence, in any multimodal text, it is useful to chart a typical reading path that the hypothetical reader may follow in the reading of different episodes on a page. In a sense, the reading path is the order by which the reader may process different episodes in a multimodal text. As previously mentioned, Thibault (2000, forthcoming) and Baldry and Thibault (2001, 2004) use phasal analysis in their deconstruction of a film segment, where salience or the 'use of foregrounding strategies' allows for certain modalities to be thrust into prominence. Analysis is therefore guided by the contrastive salience of a specific semiotic resource in each particular instance. This presupposes and builds upon the theory of a 'reading path' where the viewer reads according to the contrastive salience of the semiotic resources at each instantiation. O'Halloran (1999: 323) proposes that a prac- tical approach to analyzing a multi-semiotic text can be through a progres- sive analysis following the 'reading path determined by the choices within different semiotic codes'. The notion of a linear or uni-directional reading path, however, deserves to be more closely scrutinized. This conception seems to be appropriate for a reader reading a book or magazine, navigating across the pages or frames in a linear reading pattern, governed by literacy conventions. Following Pang (2000), however, this would more suitably be termed as a directional path rather than a reading path. The usefulness of a restrictive and regulated reading path breaks down when analyzing the multimodal text on a page or frame. The reading path on a multimodal frame is seldom only uni- directional, as the hypothetical reader's eyes are led through contrastive salience, possibly even in a back and forth fashion between two items or Episodes (O'Toole, 1994) on a page. In other words, the path, although sequential due to constraints of human visual perception, may not be uni- directional but is free to be bidirectional (Pang, 2000) or multidirectional as displayed in Plate 9.1. Following the assumption of perceptual equity, the reading path may disregard the distinction between linguistic and pictorial semiotic resources as the reader is drawn by the contrastive salience of a section or Episode. Kress and van Leeuwen (1998) introduce the notion of scanning which clarifies their earlier claim that readers tend to read in a left to right and up to down pattern. They describe scanning as a process that occurs before reading. The 'scanning process sets up connections between the different
  • 239. PRINT MEDIA 231 Plate 9.1 Unrestrictive bidirectional reading path across three Episodes reproduced from Wong (2000: 6) elements, relating them to each other in terms of their relative importance' (1998: 205). This 'relative importance' is determined by the contrastive salience between Episodes. The scanning process first locates our eyes on the Centre of Visual Impact (C VI), which signals the beginning of our reading pro- cess. The scanning pattern is closely related to salience of semiotic choices within the multimodal page and the Context of the reader's literacy conventions. The notion of a CVI is an interesting one. Bohle (1990) cites Garcia's proposal of the CVI as the focal point where the reader enters the page. Working in the tradition of Gestalt psychology of picture perception, Sonesson (1993: 378) claims that evidence has been found for 'the existence, if not for an order of reading, then at least of certain points of fixation where the glance tends to cluster'. The initial point of fixation or the CVI is the hypothetical reader's point of entry into the multimodal text, which initiates the entire process of visual perception. Thus, on a web page for instance, although there may exist in theory multiple entry points into the text, in practice semiotic choices function to ensure that the viewer's attention is initially focused on one part of the text. This can be explained, for example, by the relative Interpersonal salience of semiotic choices, a point which is developed below. Critical impetus in metafunctional meaning in the Expression plane The purpose of this section is to introduce concepts which require further development and theorization, in particular the notion of 'critical impetus' which is used to explore the metafunctional diversity of the systems operating
  • 240. 232 MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS on the Expression plane. This includes developing the notion that a viewer is drawn towards interpersonally salient components in a multimodal text. While system networks for some of the more prominent systems of the linguistic and pictorial modalities on the Expression stratum are proposed in the next section of this paper, these are not exhaustive and remain very much at a preliminary stage. Although the meanings made through the systems in the grammar stra- tum are organized metafunctionally, the tri-metafunctional distinction appears to be more uncertain on the Expression plane as previously dis- cussed. These systems with a low system-metafunction fidelity can be more appropriately described as functioning on a cline and, as such, the classifica- tion of the systems is not based on metafunctionally based discrete categor- ies in Figure 9.1. Instead, systems operating on the Expression plane can contribute to the ideational, Interpersonal and Textual meanings in a text. It is therefore useful to examine the critical impetus, or the necessary conditions and circumstances which reveal which particular metafunctional meaning is likely to emerge from choices within systems on the Expression plane. The critical impetus for a dominant Interpersonal meaning on the Expres- sion plane is salience., and this can be achieved through contrast of Colour, Shape, Size, and so forth. The critical impetus for Textual meaning on the Expression plane is the presence of Textual unity and cohesiveness. But first, what is the nature of the ideational meaning made on the Expression plane? Visual semioticians Floch (1986) and Thurlemann (1990) have observed a double layer of signification in pictures. They term the first level as 'iconic' and the second as 'plastic'. Sonesson (1993: 325) explains that 'on the iconic level, the picture is supposed to stand for some object recognizable from the ordinary perceptual lifeworld, while concurrently on the plastic level, simple qualities of the pictorial Expression serve to convey abstract concepts' within the lifeworld as well. Lifeworld, according to Husserl, is the 'world taken for granted'. To extend this rather crudely int