• Thomas Lamberth Sandbjerg
The purpose of the current thesis is to test the applicability of Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeu-wen’s model of compositional meaning against John A. Bateman’s genre and multimodality model. The latter is carefully designed to conduct very systematic and meticulous analyses of both the lay-out and rhetoric of elements in multimodal documents, and the former is concerned with more gen-eral meanings conveyed based primarily on the composition of multimodal documents.
In order to test the two models, the thesis has gathered a set of five multimodal documents that meet a series of criteria in relation to, for instance, target audience, communicative purpose, and histori-cal period of production. The empirical material selected comprises five single-page excerpts from five corporate annual reports published in the financial year 2014 by energy companies based in the USA. A common communicative purpose of the excerpts is to express the respective companies’ corporate culture, attitude, and/or behaviours regardless of financial performance.
Methodologically, the thesis has adopted a hermeneutic approach, supported by social construction-ism and discourse analysis, as it sets out to investigate the multimodal semiosis in the empirical ma-terial. The fact that the thesis focuses on the analysis of meaning in a relatively concentrated set of empirical data sets it apart from much of the previous research into the area of corporate annual re-ports, which generally relies upon more statistically based studies. This is of course by design, since the main goal is to evaluate Kress and van Leeuwen’s model.
As a bridge between its methodological foundation and the concrete theoretical tools, the conceptu-al framework of the thesis includes social semiotics and systemic functional linguistics (SFL).
Before the analysis proper, the thesis conducts a cursory pilot analysis by applying the two theoreti-cal models to the least complex of the five documents in order to explore what each model can rea-sonably accomplish. In the pilot analysis and the subsequent analyses of the four remaining docu-ments, the compositional meaning model and the genre and multimodality model are applied sepa-rately to ensure, in a sense, that each model functions with its interpretative licence intact.
In terms of findings, the thesis indicates that Kress and van Leeuwen’s compositional meaning model does appear largely applicable across the particular set of empirical material selected, alt-hough not altogether generalisable. Of the five documents, four could reasonably be described by the model, and one did not lend itself for such description.
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2015
Antal sider125
ID: 213323456