Louise Ravelli

Organization/s and intersemiosis: a plea for the old; a pitch for the new 

 While the various theoretical frameworks and approaches to the description and analysis of multimodal communication each offer their own insights, social semiotics offers a particular focus on social aspects of meaning which has proven to be highly productive. Social semiotic approaches themselves can vary, but they are largely underpinned by an understanding of meaning as being metafunctional, following Halliday’s linguistic model. This paper aims to push forwards, by going backwards a little, revisiting the metafunctions and how they mean in multimodal contexts. With a particular emphasis on the organizational (/textual) metafunction and spatial discourse analysis, I hope to show how an understanding of the metafunctions has been both brought forward and extended in new domains of multimodal communication research. At the same time, however, many gaps remain, and an incursion into the realm of organizations and organizational theory highlights the need for significant theoretical extensions, not least in the direction of intersemiosis.