Multimodality and rhetoric: strategies in advertising

by: Valentina Di Fabio, PhD at University of Bologna

The aim of my research is to create a real interaction between rhetoric and the teaching discourse, namely to develop new and effective strategies to teach the main rhetorical structures.

I chose to focus on rhetoric because of the recent interest in this field from different disciplines: linguistics, psychology and psycholinguistics, philosophy, cognitive science and cognitive linguistics. The scholars in these disciplines have stressed the deep relation between the way we organize our argumentation trough rhetoric strategies and the way we organize our knowledge.

The ability to structure knowledge and to integrate new information within old schemas is central in the theory of learning. A correct and effective teaching of rhetoric is doubly necessary: firstly, to improve the linguistic ability of students; secondly, to improve the general skills related to learning and understanding.

The studies about non verbal and pictorial rhetoric provide a methodology to apply rhetorical analyses to material sych as as advertising, comics, and films. Advertising especially appears to make much use of verbal, pictorial and multimodal rhetorical strategies.

My purpose is to demonstrate how useful it can be to use advertising to teach metaphor and other important rhetoric figures, such as metonymy and synecdoche, because of the specific characteristics of the genre (explicitness in intention, attractiveness of the form) and the complexity in the construction of the message.

I will discuss three commercials to show how and why metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche are used in advertising and how the meaning arises from the relationship between verbal and image features.


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One Response to Multimodality and rhetoric: strategies in advertising

  1. lolita liong aure says:

    thank you so much. Only in this article I learned the relationship of rhetorics and advertisement

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