chapter  4
25 Pages

A social-semiotic theory of multimodality

Multimodality names both a field of work and a domain to be theorized. Anyone working multimodally needs to be clear what theoretical frame they are using; and make that position explicit. Social-semiotic theory is interested in meaning, in all its forms. Meaning arises in social environments and in social interactions. That makes the social into the source, the origin and the generator of meaning. In the theory here, ‘the social’ is generative of meaning, of semiotic processes and forms, hence the theory is a social-semiotic one.