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The visual basis of linguistic meaning and its implications for critical discourse analysis: integrating cognitive linguistic and multimodal methods

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Discourse and Society
Issue number3
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)335-350
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/03/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Two important challenges currently facing CDA concern (i) the nature of language processing and (ii) the relation between linguistic and multimodal approaches. In this paper I seek to address both issues by advancing an integrated cognitive and multimodal approach to CDA to account for the communication of ideology in linguistic discourse. This approach is predicated on an argument from Cognitive Linguistics which suggests that understanding language involves the construction of multimodal mental representations, the properties of which can be approached within frameworks of multimodal social semiotics. Specifically, the paper shows how spatial organisation and orientation feature in our linguistic understanding of certain grammatical constructions and, consequently, what evaluative functions those constructions covertly confer. Traditionally, the direction of influence between linguistic and multimodal forms of discourse analysis is unidirectional with the former informing the latter but not the other way around. This paper represents a reversal of this orthodoxy.