Creativity and Multimodality

Analytical Framework for Creativity in Multimodal Texts (AFCMT)


  • Locky Law The University of Hong Kong



creativity, pattern, multimodality, digital art, logo, song, social media


Creativity studies have been expanding into multimodality in recent years, particularly in the field of computational creativity (Elgammal and Saleh, 2015) and cognitive science (Gardner, 2008). Comparatively, linguistics is far behind in productivity in this area. A key linguistic contribution by Carter (2004) theorizes creativity in everyday common talk into two main categories: pattern-reforming and patternforming. This paper extends Carter’s (2004) hypothesis on linguistic creativity to multimodal texts. Inspired by the concept of ‘given’ and ‘new’ from Halliday’s (1967) information status, a new framework for creativity analysis is proposed and discussed in detail using scenes from TV drama House M.D., movie Casablanca (1942), sitcom Blackadder the Third (1987), digital arts such as logos of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Tesla Inc., Hotel ICON, fractal art from the novel Jurassic Park (1990) as well as viral MTV of Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen – PPAP Song (2016). This paper also discusses the importance of a base unit of creativity to both the creator and the target. Special attention is placed on endo-referenced and exoreferenced creativity, and their relationship with the implicitness and explicitness of the formula of creativity construction.

Author Biography

  • Locky Law, The University of Hong Kong

    Locky Law is a Senior Research Assistant and part-time Assistant Lecturer at the Centre for Applied English Studies, the University of Hong Kong. He holds a PhD in linguistics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His areas of research interests are creativity, multimodality, telecinematic discourse, Systemic Functional Linguistics, English for Academic and Specific Purposes, and computer-assisted language learning and teaching.


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How to Cite

Law, L. (2020). Creativity and Multimodality: Analytical Framework for Creativity in Multimodal Texts (AFCMT). Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 14(1-2), 36-69.