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

Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

6 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.448
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.686

CiteScore 2016: 0.63

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.644
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.508

Online
ISSN
1860-7349
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 34, Issue 3 (May 2014)

Issues

Semiotic technology and practice: a multimodal social semiotic approach to PowerPoint

Sumin Zhao / Emilia Djonov / Theo van Leeuwen
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
  • Institute of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-04-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0005

Abstract

The ubiquitous software PowerPoint has significant influence on evaluations of professional and academic success, and has attracted considerable attention from both social commentators and researchers in various fields. Existing research on PowerPoint considers the software, slideshows created with it, and PowerPoint-supported presentations in isolation from each other and is therefore unable to promote better understanding of the interaction between the software's design and its use.

This article proposes a model for exploring this interaction. Specifically, it introduces a multimodal social semiotic approach to studying PowerPoint as a semiotic practice comprising three dimensions – the software's design, the multimodal composition of slideshows, and their presentation – and two semiotic artefacts, the software and the slideshow. It discusses the challenges each dimension presents for discourse analysis and social semiotic research, focusing especially on the need to step away from the notion of text and to develop a holistic, non-logocentric, and adaptive multimodal approach to researching semiotic technologies. Using PowerPoint as a case study, this article takes a step toward developing a social semiotic multimodal theory of the relation between semiotic technologies, or technologies for making meaning, and semiotic practices.

Keywords: PowerPoint; semiotic technology; semiotic practice; software; slideshows; slideshow presentations

About the article

Sumin Zhao

Sumin Zhao is Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her current project investigates preschool children's interactions with mobile technologies in home-settings by combining multimodal discourse analysis with other research methodologies. She publishes in the research areas of digital literacies, systemic functional linguistic theory, and multimodal discourse analysis. Her latest book (co-edited with Emilia Djonov), Critical Multimodal Studies of Popular Discourse, has just been published by Routledge.

Emilia Djonov

Emilia Djonov is Lecturer in multiliteracies at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Australia, and an honorary postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she is researching the interaction between PowerPoint's design and use in higher education and corporate settings. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of (critical) multimodal and hypermedia discourse analysis, visual communication, social semiotics, systemic functional theory, and multiliteracies.

Theo van Leeuwen

Theo van Leeuwen is Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark. He has published widely on critical discourse analysis, multimodality, and visual semiotics. His books include Reading Images (with Gunther Kress) and Discourse and Practice. He is a founding editor of the journal Visual Communication.


Published Online: 2014-04-29

Published in Print: 2014-05-01


Citation Information: Text & Talk, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0005.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[2]
Maarten Van Mechelen, Jan Derboven, Ann Laenen, Bert Willems, David Geerts, and Vero Vanden Abeele
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 2017, Volume 97, Page 116
[3]
Gunhild Kvåle
Journal of Language and Politics, 2016, Volume 15, Number 3, Page 259

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in