Preliminary investigation into the construction of multimodal grammar


  • Zhang Delu Tongji University, Shanghai



dimension, level, multimodal grammar, semiotic system, type


The present article is intended to investigate the issues in the construction of multimodal grammars according to level, type and dimension of semiotic systems. It is found that, in terms of level, only three-level semiotic systems are appropriate for the construction of a multimodal grammar; in terms of type of semiotic systems, generally speaking, it is not necessary to construct a grammar for the semiotic systems of the iconic type and those of the indexical type; in terms of dimension of semiotic systems, those of different dimensions exhibit different grammatical patterns and systems, so it is necessary to construct a separate grammar for each semiotic system. The compositional devices: framing, information value and salience can be used to determine the units of grammar in a semiotic system. It is also found that the discourse from a two-level semiotic system can be a one item text, or a text of one recursive item, or of a series of items in a fixed pattern.

Author Biography

Zhang Delu, Tongji University, Shanghai

Professor Zhang Delu studied linguistics at the University of Sydney, Australia in February, 1982, under the supervision of Professor M. A. K. Halliday. He is now Professor of Linguistics at the School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.


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How to Cite

Delu, Z. (2015). Preliminary investigation into the construction of multimodal grammar. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 10(1), 1–11.