Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Semiotica

Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.240
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.819

Online
ISSN
1613-3692
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 2016, Issue 210 (May 2016)

Issues

The thematic structure of homepages: An exploratory systemic-functional account

Leong Ping Alvin
Published Online: 2016-03-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0048

Abstract

The visual social semiotic approach, based on Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics (SFL), is widely used in studies on multimodal texts. As SFL is a framework focusing on the functions of language, several SFL categories are re-conceptualized in visual social semiotics to handle the analysis and interplay of extra-linguistic features; other categories, however, are excluded. A consequence is that any insights offered by these excluded categories in multimodal texts remain obscured. This paper focused on one such category, theme, as a generator of expectations. It analyzed the thematic structure of twenty homepages to show that the different SFL themes are applicable and evident in such multimodal texts. It underscores the importance of theme as a point of departure of any discourse, textual or otherwise, allowing us to form expectations about how the rest of the discourse may be acceptably developed.

Keywords: visual social semiotics; systemic functional linguistics; homepage; theme; rheme

References

  • Adami, Elisabetta. 2013. A social semiotic multimodal analysis framework for website interactivity. National Centre for Research Methods Working Papers. London: University of London.Google Scholar

  • Bottomley, Paul A. & John R. Doyle. 2006. The interactive effects of colors and products on perceptions of brand logo appropriateness. Marketing Theory 6. 63–83.Google Scholar

  • Braganza, Cameron, Kim Marriott, Peter Moulder, Michael Wybrow & Tim Dwyer. 2009. Scrolling behaviour with single- and multi-column layout. Paper presented at the World Wide Web 2009 Conference, Madrid, 20–24 April.

  • Callaghan, Jean & Edward McDonald. 2002. Expression, content and meaning in language and music: An integrated semiotic analysis. In Paul McKevitt, Seán Ó. Nualláin & Conn Mulvihill (eds.), Language, vision, and music, 221–230. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Callahan, Ewa. 2006. Cultural similarities and differences in the design of university websites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11. 239–273.Google Scholar

  • Daneš, František. 1989. Functional sentence perspective and text connectedness. In Maria-Elisabeth Conte, János Sánder Petöfi & Emel Sözer (eds.), Text and discourse connectedness, 23–31. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Djonov, Emilia Nikolaeva. 2005. Analysing the organisation of information in websites: From hypermedia design to systemic functional hypermedia discourse analysis: Sydney: University of New South Wales dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Djonov, Emilia Nikolaeva. 2007. Website hierarchy and the interaction between content organization, webpage and navigation design: A systemic functional hypermedia discourse analysis perspective. Information Design Journal 15(2). 144–162.

  • Falkow, Michele G. 2005. Visual literacy and the design of legal web sites. Law Library Journal 97. 435–466.Google Scholar

  • Firbas, Jan. 1992. Functional sentence perspective in written and spoken communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. 1909. A complete guide to heraldry. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack.Google Scholar

  • Gurak, Laura J. & John M. Lannon. 2001. A concise guide to technical communication. New York: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Hall, Richard & Patrick Hanna. 2003. The effect of web page text-background color combinations on retention and perceived readability, aesthetics and behavioral intention. In Dennis Galletta & Jeanne Ross (eds.) Proceedings of the ninth Americas conference on information systems, 2149–2156. Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems.Google Scholar

  • Halliday, Michael A. K. 1967a. Notes on transitivity and theme in English (part 1). Journal of Linguistics 3. 37–81.Google Scholar

  • Halliday, Michael A. K. 1967b. Notes on transitivity and theme in English (part 2). Journal of Linguistics 3. 199–244.Google Scholar

  • Halliday, Michael A. K. 1968. Notes on transitivity and theme in English (part 3). Journal of Linguistics 4. 179–215.Google Scholar

  • Halliday, Michael A. K. 1994. An introduction to functional grammar, 2nd edn. London: Arnold.

  • Halliday, Michael A. K. & Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen. 2014. Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar, 4th edn. London: Routledge.

  • Harvey, Kevin. 2013. Medicalisation, pharmaceutical promotion and the Internet: A critical multimodal discourse analysis of hair loss websites. Social Semiotics 23. 691–714.Google Scholar

  • Hasan, Layla. 2014. Evaluating the usability of educational websites based on students’ preferences of design characteristics. International Arab Journal of e-Technology 3. 179–193.Google Scholar

  • Jewitt, Carey & Rumiko Oyama. 2001. Visual meaning: A social semiotic approach. In Theo van Leeuwen & Carey Jewitt (eds.) Handbook of visual analysis, 134–156. London: Sage.

  • Knox, John. 2007. Visual-verbal communication on online newspaper home pages. Visual Communication 6. 19–53.Google Scholar

  • Kok, Kum Chiew Arthur. 2004. Multisemiotic mediation in hypertext. In Kay L. O’Halloran (ed.) Multimodal discourse analysis, 131–159. London: Continuum.Google Scholar

  • Koller, Veronika. 2008. Not just a colour: Pink as a gender and sexuality marker in visual communication. Visual Communication 7. 395–423.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen. 1996. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen. 2002. Colour as a semiotic mode: Notes for a grammar of colour. Visual Communication 1. 343–368.Google Scholar

  • Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen. 2006. Reading images: The grammar of visual design (2nd edn.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Lane, Randall. 1991. Does orange mean cheap? Forbes 148(14). 144–147.Google Scholar

  • Lemke, Jay L. 2002. Travels in hypermodality. Visual Communication 1. 299–325.Google Scholar

  • Leong, Ping Alvin. 2004. Theme and rheme: An alternative account. Bern: Peter Lang.

  • Mackiewicz, Jo. 2004. What technical writing students should know about typeface personality. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 34. 113–131.Google Scholar

  • Madden, Thomas J., Kelly Hewett & Martin S. Roth. 2000. Managing images in different cultures: A cross-national study of color meanings and preferences. Journal of International Marketing 8. 90–107.Google Scholar

  • Martin, James R. 1992. Theme, method of development and existentiality: The price of reply. Occasional Papers in Systemic Linguistics 6. 147–183.

  • Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. & James R. Martin. 1991. A response to Huddleston’s review of Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar. Occasional Papers in Systemic Linguistics 5. 5–74.

  • Nathan, Robert J. & Paul H. P. Yeow. 2009. An empirical study of factors affecting the perceived usability of websites for student Internet users. Universal Access in the Information Society 8. 165–184.Google Scholar

  • Nebeling, Michael, Fabrice Matulic & Moira C. Norrie. 2011. Metrics for the evaluation of news site content layout in large-screen contexts. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, 1511–1520. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.Google Scholar

  • Netcraft. 2015. February 2015 web server survey. http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2015/02/24/february-2015-web-server-survey.html (accessed 26 March 2015).

  • O’Halloran, Kay L. 2008a. Mathematical discourse: Language, symbolism and visual images. London: Continuum.

  • O’Halloran, Kay L. 2008b. Systemic functional-multimodal discourse analysis (SF-MDA): Constructing ideational meaning using language and visual imagery. Visual Communication 7. 443–475.Google Scholar

  • O’Toole, Michael. 1994. The language of displayed art. London: Leicester University Press.Google Scholar

  • O’Toole, Michael. 2004. Opera ludentes: The Sydney Opera House at work and play. In Kay L. O’Halloran (ed.) Multimodal discourse analysis, 11–27. London: Continuum.Google Scholar

  • Shaikh, A. Dawn, Barbara S. Chaparro & Doug Fox. 2006. Perception of fonts: Perceived personality traits and uses. Usability News 8. 1–6.Google Scholar

  • Stöckl, Hartmut. 2005. Typography: Body and dress of a text – a signing mode between language and image. Visual Communication 4. 204–214.Google Scholar

  • Weil, Henri. 1844. De l’ordre des mots dans les langues anciennes comparées aux langues modernes. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Zhang, Yiqiong & Kay L. O’Halloran. 2013. “Toward a global knowledge enterprise”: University websites as portals to the ongoing marketization of higher education. Critical Discourse Studies 10. 468–485.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2016-03-12

Published in Print: 2016-05-01


Citation Information: Semiotica, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2016-0048.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in