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Title: Appraising in visual narratives: a multimodal discourse analysis of Jimmy Liao’s picturebook stories
Authors: Shi, Yongming
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2020
Abstract: This thesis is concerned with the evaluative meanings, namely the meaning-making mechanism through which writers or speakers encode their positive or negative attitudes or feelings towards entities, happenings and state-of-affairs construed in their texts (Martin & White, 2005), in picturebook stories. Evaluative meanings constitute a critical component for stories, and they are largely explored in the stories narrated in language, such as Martin and Rose (2008). However, comparable investigations of the role of evaluation in visual narratives, such as picturebooks, are relatively few. More specifically, while picturebooks have been considered as a significant educational tool for socializing children into high-valued realms of literacy and literature and social values, the evaluative aspects of picturebooks have been insufficiently explored. The challenge arising from this task is that, whereas knowledge about how language construe evaluative meanings is well developed and accessible to literacy educators, knowledge about the ways in which images in picturebooks construe evaluative meanings is much less explored. Against this background, the current study aims to further expand the understandings of the visual meaning-making mechanism in relation to the evaluative aspects of the picturebook stories. In particular, the focus of the current investigation is the construal of the emotions of story characters in picturebook images. The primary data of the current study consist of the visuals in the two of Jimmy Liao's picturebooks, namely Turn Left, Turn Right (Liao, 1999), and The Starry Starry Night (Liao, 2009). Moreover, one Chinese children's picturebook story Granny Couldn't Fall Asleep (Liao & Zhu, 2014) is also included as supplementary data to test the applicability of the analytical tools developed in the current research. This thesis makes significant contribution in two aspects. Firstly, the analytical tools developed in this study for describing evaluative meanings in picturebooks contribute to the field of Systemic Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis (SF-MDA), by expanding the analytical tools for describing visual evaluative meanings in relation to story characters in picturebooks. Particularly, through the analytical tools proposed in the current research, we can examine not only the evaluative meanings within individual image, but also their diffusion across images, which has not been systematically discussed in previous SF-MDA studies on picturebook stories. Secondly, the findings of the current investigation contribute to the development of multiliteracy education, by expanding the knowledge about evaluative meanings construed in picturebook images. Furthermore, the current investigation also provide a strong basis for conducting educational studies investigating how teachers and young readers engage with the evaluative meaning-making aspects of the picturebooks, such as the interplay of visual symbolic qualities and lexical metaphor, identified in the current investigation.
Subjects: Discourse analysis
Caricatures and cartoons -- Taiwan
Comic books, strips, etc -- Taiwan
Chinese wit and humor, Pictorial -- Taiwan
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xvii, 455 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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