Pragmatics and Society 12 (2):188-222 (2021)

The present study propounds a novel discourse-semantic approach that problematizes the social semiotic analysis of visual narrative in two respects: the lack of a model that can explain the plurifunctional structure of visual acts of communication in general and the failure to provide the deep structure underlying the characters and/or objects in visual narrative in particular. Redressing these two shortcomings, the approach is methodologically geared towards analysing the visual narrative grammar that encodes the 2017 BBC image-enabled news story of Islamic State. The proposed approach rests on two theoretical models: RomanJakobson’s communication model of language functions; Algirdas Julien Greimas’s structural-semantic model of actant grammar. The study has reached two major findings. First, theoretically, the visual narrative analysis of images demands the presence of both a theory that can adequately explain the plurifunctional structure associated with the semiotic complexity of visual communication and a structural-semantic model that reveals the deep structure of the actants that enable thedramatis personaeto relate to the events featuring in the mono-/multimodal discourse of narrative. Second, on a practical level of the BBC’s visual storyline, IS has been represented within three actant-based enunciation-spectacles: victimhood with Subject versus Object, beneficiariness with Sender versus Receiver, and villainy with Opponent/Victim versus Helper.
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DOI 10.1075/ps.18045.sal
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The Discourse Reader.[author unknown] - 2014
Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye.Rudolph Arnheim - 1956 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 16 (3):425-426.

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