Mass media language needs to be addressed as “it is that code, that universal sign system that helps to shape the world landscape in the individual and mass consciousness”. The endeavors to visualize media content have become a characteristic feature of modern time, resulting in the increased impact of mass media on public and individual consciousness. The modern era is viewed as a new information civilization, featuring a single information medium, information environment; information activities; new products and services; new values and beliefs about the quality of life; new ideas about space and time, etc. Various semiotic systems are employed to generate a polycode media text. This is precisely a core difference between a media text and a text in its common linguistic sense, in which the text is defined as a sequence of sign units braced by a semantic tie, mostly characterized by integrity and coherence. The paper proposes to study the polycode media text through traditional linguistic analysis, as well as semiotic analysis that considers any artifact, cultural phenomenon as a text being an integral system of ordered and interdependent signs and symbols to ensure accumulation, organization and transmission of cultural experience. There are some texts in which all types of information are mixed, for example, in advertising. Modern media text is a carrier of integral meaning and integral function. Besides this, it represents a certain structure, i.e. a systemically ordered whole designed to influence the feelings and emotions of recipients, developing the world landscape in their consciousness.
To define the phenomenon of polycode text the scientific literature today uses the following synonyms, namely: “syncretic”, “creolized”, “polycode”, “polymodal”, “intermedial’, “isoverbal/ isoverb”, “video verbal”, “heterogeneous”, “contaminated”, “hybrid”, “iconotext”, “iconic”, “verbal-iconic”, which are presented in the publications by E.E. Anisimova (1992), A.A. Bernatskaya (2003), N.S. Valgina (2004), M.B. Voroshilova (2006), S.V. Guskova (2016), V.E. Chernyavskaya (2018), etc.
Mass media language needs to be addressed as “it is that code, that universal sign system that helps to shape the world landscape in the individual and mass consciousness” (Dobrosklonskaya, 2008). The endeavors to visualize media content have become a characteristic feature of modern time, resulting in the increased impact of mass media on public and individual consciousness. According to experts, in the future, a quantitative component of visual information vs textual information will increase. This is due to the fact that the modern era is viewed as a new information civilization, featuring a single information medium, information environment; information activities; new products and services; new values and beliefs about the quality of life; new ideas about space and time, etc. “The activity referred to as “journalism” has now changed so much that all the old concepts like “function”, “subject”, “method”, “content”, “form”, “genre”, etc. cease to be relevant and exhaustive when they try to display the situation in the digital media environment and in professional activity that is rapidly becoming convergent” (Dzyaloshinskiy, Dzyaloshinskaya, 2014).
Thus, the interest of linguistics in texts created through the interaction of linguistic, auditory and visual semiotic signs is “a consequence and reflection of polycode human communication at the present point in time” (Chernyavskaya, 2018).
Various semiotic systems are called upon to generate a polycode media text. This is a core difference between a media text and a text in its common linguistic sense, in which the text is defined as a “sequence of sign units braced by a semantic tie, mostly characterized by integrity and coherence” (Nikolaeva, 2008). “These units are deemed to have a verbal character”, while “the concept of media text goes beyond the sign system of the verbal level” (Dobrosklonskaya, 2008).
Non-verbal elements are subject to some pragmatic, genre-content and structural features of various groups of media texts.
Purpose of the Study
Since the very existence of polycode texts is determined by the development of digital environment and they are becoming increasingly diverse every day, the paper will offer a methodology for their analysis.
The paper proposes to address the polycode media text through traditional linguistic analysis, as well as semiotic analysis that considers any artifact, cultural phenomenon as a text being an integral system of consistent and interdependent signs and symbols to ensure accumulation, organization and transmission of cultural experience.
Starting to deal with the polycode media text, you should:
- define the type of media (print, radio, TV, Internet, advertising);
- define the genre of a media text falling within a specific institutional type of mass media;
- define the type of information inherent in a media text: cognitive, operational, emotional and aesthetic.
Cognitive contains objective information about the external world and features three parameters: a) objectivity, b) abstractness and c) density. Objectivity at the verbal level is expressed by neutral vocabulary, general scientific terms, direct word order, and equal synonymous variants. At the non-verbal level, objectivity is delivered through news, reportage and documentary photo and television journalism. Abstractness at the verbal level is expressed through full-composition sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences, participial phrases, infinitive groups, an abundance of nouns, formal means of text cohesion, plentiful abstract vocabulary. At the non-verbal level, it is realized through paralinguistic means (phonation means: volume level, pause; kinetic means: facial expressions, gestures; means of proxemics, etc.), as well as through paragraph means (font, location on a strip, text segmentation, line length, spaces, typographic marks, numbers, punctuation marks, etc.).
Density (compressiveness) of information is expressed in a tendency to reduce the linear (horizontal) and vertical length of the language code while formatting the text. Compressive means at the verbal level are lexical – abbreviation, syntactic – dash, colon. At the non-verbal level – elements of a digital code, symbols, formulas; iconic means – diagrams, graphs, drawings, photos, etc.
Operational information is an inducement to perform certain actions. The linguistic means of designing this type of information are forms of the verbal imperative, modal verbs, forms of subjunctive verbs, adverbs of circumstance, neutral vocabulary and neutral word order, simple short full-length sentences. At the non-verbal level, operational information is conveyed through such types of images as a poster, an emoticon, a photo, a collage, etc.
Emotional information serves to convey emotions (feelings) in the process of communication. An attribute of emotional information is its subjectivity. It is expressed using a wide variety of verbal means, such as verbs in various forms, modality of possibility, doubt, conjecture, active voice for the predicate, various word order, ellipsis, parceling, mononuclear sentences, popular speech, substandard vocabulary, jargon, professionalism, high-style vocabulary, temporisms, trendy words, interjections, phraseological units, precedent texts, etc. (Zheltukhina et al. , 2017).
Another sign of emotional information is its concreteness, which is rendered in the specific time-bound content, predominance of vocabulary with abstract seme located in the periphery, abundance of semantically complete verbs. At the non-verbal level, paragraph means, color, iconic components of various genres are used (photo, caricature, collage, comic strip, illustration, etc.). They are geared to express emotions in the most diverse way, while influencing recipients’ consciousness.
Aesthetic information, having all the signs of emotional information, conveys to the addressee a sense of beauty arising from the style, those feelings that arise in the addressee while perceiving verbal art, when the text is an object of information rather than a means of transmitting it. At the verbal level, these are sound writing, language play, polysemy, a combination of meaning and form, rhyme, word order, etc. At the non-verbal level, it is realized with the help of signs of other semiotic systems (music, architecture, painting, etc.):
- permeate the marked interaction of semiotically heterogeneous components in such types of polycode text as printed media text, radio or television broadcast, documentary, multimedia story, art, industrial multimedia exhibition, etc.
- state the authorss intention, presented in the media text (to report something, to impress one’s viewpoint on the parties, establish contact, or all of this together);
- identify a galore of means to influence the recipient, as well as strategies and tactics used by the addressee in the polycode media text of this genre and format;
- elicit the system of intentional hidden meanings, deliberately created by the addressee through the possibility of the sentence to generate additional meaning due to various structural features and/or combinability of sentences, symbolism of signs, etc.
It is important that there are some texts in which all types of information are mixed, for example, in advertising. Modern media text is a carrier of integral meaning and integral function. Besides this, it represents a certain structure, i.e. a systemically ordered whole designed to influence the feelings and emotions of recipients, developing the world landscape in their consciousness.
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17 May 2021
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Volskaya, N. N. (2021). Polycode Media Text: Research Methodology. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2879-2882). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.382