Integrating systemic functional and cognitive approaches to multimodal discourse analysis

Dezheng Feng, Elaine Espindola



This study explores the complementarities between systemic functional and cognitive metaphorical approaches to multimodal discourse analysis. Their common concern with the construal of human experience and their shared theoretical foundation of viewing language and other semiotic systems as meaning-making resource make it possible to integrate them in analyzing linguistic and multimodal data. Meanwhile, as far as multimodal discourse analysis is concerned, the theoretical strengths of systemic functional visual grammar and multimodal metaphor theory are able to bridge existing gaps. on the one hand, the systemic functional framework provides a comprehensive modeling of the visual realization of metaphor; on the other hand, conceptual metaphor theory provides an epistemological status to the semiotic description of visual images. Therefore, from the results here obtained, it is possible to conclude that the integration of these two major theoretical approaches is significant to furthering our understanding of multimodal discourse.


Systemic Functional Theory; Conceptual Metaphor Theory; Multimodal Discourse Analysis


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