Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 7, 2017

The argumentative and rhetorical function of multimodal metonymy

Andrea Rocci, Sabrina Mazzali-Lurati and Chiara Pollaroli
From the journal Semiotica

Abstract

The aim of this article is to contribute to the theoretical development of multimodal metonymy and the argumentative and rhetorical role that the trope can fulfil in multimodal advertising campaigns. A model for the analysis of multimodal tropes in page-based advertising messages is developed by drawing insights from different disciplines. This model involves the identification of the elementary and layout components of the message, the description of its multimodal structure (in terms of the visual structure and the contribution of the verbal component), the reconstruction of its meaning operation, and the reconstruction of its enthymematic structure. In particular, the meaning operation is reconstructed by the employment of Conceptual Integration Theory, which we have slightly revised in order to better account for metonymical mappings. The enthymematic structure is reconstructed following the Argumentum Model of Topics, a model of argument schemes that enables one to make explicit the contextual and the logical dimensions of arguments. Based on the tenets of the two frameworks, we claim that multimodal metonymy condenses and gives access to a complex chain of connections, which mirrors the argumentation the audience is invited to infer. This argumentation is based on causal schemes of reasoning. This claim results in the in-depth analysis of both a billboard belonging to an anti-AIDS campaign and a social campaign by Greenpeace against the use of environmental-damaging paper for toy packages by Mattel.

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Published Online: 2017-11-07
Published in Print: 2018-01-26

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