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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 17, 2018

Sign Markup Language in a Multimodal Context

Cognitive mechanisms and memes

Linda Jianlin Chen and Jianbin Huang
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


The process of “telling through words” and “understanding by insight” of a language are closely related to high-context and low-context cultures. Various concepts and knowledge systems constitute a hierarchy of cognitive domain networks. Bilingual and multilingual sign markup language can be seen everywhere in a multicultural setting, which is full of cognition, construal, and variation in the process of cross-cultural communication under the multilingual context. Sign markup language is presented in a multimodal discourse form, such as business language, advertising language, commercial logos, slogans, or propagation language. It contains known and unknown information and foreground and background cultures, changing with technological knowledge and history development. The cross-cultural cognitive research of sign markup language in a multimodal context is increasingly important, especially in today’s society undergoing the development of economic globalization, high-speed information, urban internationalization, and data digitization. Based on instances of sign markup language, the present paper will apply the theory of memes in sign markup language to analyze and put forward the cognitive mechanism used in multimodal contexts.


We wish to thank Professor Gu Qian, PhD supervisor and director of the Dialect and Culture Research Institute in Nanjing University.


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Published Online: 2018-02-17
Published in Print: 2018-02-23

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston