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

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.275
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Heterosemiosis: Mixing sign systems in graphic narrative texts

1Cardiff University

Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2014, Issue 202, Pages 21–39, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: 10.1515/sem-2013-0094, August 2013

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This article introduces the notion of heterosemiosis to describe the overt juxtaposition of different sign systems in graphic narrative texts. Using Guibert et al.'s (2009) The Photographer as an example, I argue that heterosemiosis is typically signalled through the use of ellipsis, excess, and/or some form of metadiscourse. Heterosemiosis can be used to draw attention to the problematic nature of all representation, thereby disrupting the narrative power of the author(s)/narrator(s) and opening up the possibility of alternative meanings and story interpretations. I also explain why I prefer the new term heterosemiosis to the commonly used notion of “hybridity.”

Keywords: graphic narrative; heteroglossia; heterosemiosis; hybridity; photo­graphy; narrative power

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