Drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, we propose to examine multimodal texts from the academic genre set belonging to the field of presenting and discussing research results: the academic research article, the academic visual essay and the academic video essay. The data for this study has been collected from academic journals that belong to print medium and to multimedia. In order to articulate an analytical model for the description and interpretation of these subgenres, we depart from the understanding of genres as linguistic categories influenced by specific situations, and we take into consideration the influence of technological advances upon the development of multimodal genres and the variety of subgenres. Therefore, concepts like remediation and resemiotization that are related to a multimodal approach to genres will be employed. The exploration of these multimodal subgenres will also be facilitated by applying theoretical approaches focused on knowledge communication because the academic discourse in these subgenres is based on specific meaning-making structures. The fact that these structures are linked to the subgenres’ common communicative purpose of representing specific knowledge types implies that it is necessary to explore how the structures are influenced by the choice and interplay of several semiotic modes. We address the semiotic modes’ interaction and combination within the subgenres in order to identify the roles of the semiotic interplay in creating and multiplying meaning at various levels of the generic organization. This paper concludes that it is increasingly necessary to open up the analytical space for the study of new multimodal academic subgenres by integrating the multimodal perspective in the context of genre theory in order to highlight the newest developments in the contemporary realm of research genres.
Main Research Area:
Genre Variation in English Academic Communication, 2011