Edited by Jana Pelclová and Wei-lun Lu
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 79] 2018
► pp. 281–302
Chapter 12. Iconicity in independent noun phrases in print advertising
A multimodal perspective
This chapter studies the interplay of multimodal iconic signs that construct the meaning of independent noun phrases in advertisements promoting food products. The methodology consists in approaching the diagrammatic iconicity found in language through the perspective of Kress and van Leeuwen’s (1996, 2001) analytical framework of multimodal text and the perspective of typeface design and impression variables as described by Henderson, Giese and Cote (2004). The analysis reveals that independent noun phrases iconicize the process of production, the ingredients used, the variety of products, and gustatory perception. The language diagrammatic iconicity in the analyzed advertisements is achieved by a sequential ordering of modifiers that mirrors either chronological order or the order of importance, and by means of figurative language, lexical cohesion, and a lack of explicit syntactic relations. Both typographic and visual iconicity tend to objectify the semantic dimension of the diagrammatic iconicity. At the same time, the visual iconicity mirrors a close spatial relation between the consumer and the product.