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  • Multimodality paper 120811

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Three diverse projects on multimodality – is it possible to bring CHAT together with the social semiotic approach?

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Published
Publication date09/2011
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish
EventInternational Society for Cultural and Activity Research - Rome, Italy
Duration: 5/09/201111/09/2011

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society for Cultural and Activity Research
CountryItaly
CityRome
Period5/09/1111/09/11

Abstract

Stemming from a social semiotic base, applied linguists are paying increasing attention to multimodality. While recognising the impact of the social on access to and understanding of resources, the emphasis in this theoretical perspective is on the act of selection by the individual among semiotic resources made available. I propose that the application of cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) can usefully contribute to developing our perspectives. Interaction as a dynamic process is at the centre of communication. All communication is inherently unstable, dependent upon intersubjective understandings of chains of communication, including the interpretations of the researcher. To explore some ramifications of an exploratory theoretical re-focussing I draw on empirical data from three projects. Working with very diverse starting points, data sources and aims, I show that putting human interaction at the centre of our approach to communication offers a distinctive contribution to the burgeoning multidisciplinary dialogue on multimodality.