Multimodality Reading Group

This meeting was proposed by Liling Siew, aiming at obtaining a review of multimodal research and discussing some basic concepts of social semiotics. The reading materials for this meeting are:

  • Glossary from Van Leeuwen, T. (1999). Speech, Music, Sound. London: Macmillan.
  • Appendix from Hodge, R. and Kress, G. (1988). Social Semiotics. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Book chapter: Adami, E. (2017). Multimodality. In O. Garcìa, N. Flores and M. Spotti (eds) Oxford Handbook of Language and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 451-472.


The chapter reviews the growing field of multimodality in relation to the study of language, text and society. It introduces the concept of multimodality as an increasingly visible phenomenon of communication and it traces the developments of multimodality as a field of research, along with the extant theoretical approaches to multimodal analysis. The chapter further discusses and exemplifies key notions of a social semiotic perspective to multimodal analysis and mentions potentials and limitations, pointing to future directions of research in the field. Rather than a comprehensive review of extant studies in multimodality, the chapter discusses selected key assumptions, topics and analytical developments in multimodal research that are relevant to its relation with language and society.

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