The aim of this book and its analysis is an explicit formulation and presentation of a film discourse framework that enables the comprehensive examination of multimodal meaning construction in filmic text. Here, the interaction of the modalities in the discourse is of central interest, since it is the interrelationships between the diffnerent semiotic resources that are decisive for the overall structure and coherence of a film and which therefore account for its meaning and interpretation as text. This meaning construction and attribution within the unfolding discourse is a process of abductive and defeasible reasoning to be described mainly in terms of inferences. The inferential strategies operating during the interpretation are then the main analytical focus which the following framework will develop. Within this account, the synthesis of research in discourse semantics will elucidate what is specifically required in modern discussions concerning film analysis: i.e., the combined examination of semiotic codes and inferences and their interdependencies. Tseng points out that

“codes should not be restricted to non-inferential mechanisms and inference should not be totally isolated from narrative-knowledge systematizable paradigmatically. Codes need to account for two things: inferential strategies and their relation to functions/purposes.”

(Tseng 2009: 37) It is exactly the last point which this research primarily addresses. In order to bridge the gap between a basic description of filmic devices on the one hand and the interpretational process of inferring the meaning potential of the filmic text on the other, the analytical framework presented here will examine these two different discourse strata (cf. Tseng 2009: 37) from two different levels: it will combine the formal description of the inference process with a functional analysis of the communicative purposes identifiable in the discourse.