MULTIMODAL DISCOURSE: IMAGE-TEXT RELATIONS OF POLITICAL CARTOONSA research submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements inDiscourse Analysis (EDL 240)JEZELLE JEAN B. SOQUITA College of Education Central Mindanao University Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon 2018AbstractPolitical cartoons are used to communicate as part of people’s daily expression. The implication can be seen anywhere like in arts and writings that make it multimodal. One of the modes it studies is the image and its relation to a text. In this study, images like in an editorial cartoon were analyzed through semiotic theories.
The recognition of Multimodal identifies the modes being used like the verbal and non-verbal semiotic potential of an editorial to convey a message or tell a story. The purpose of this research is to analyze the semiotic meanings of the political cartoons and identify the image-text relationship and verbal and visual semiotic potentials together to convey a message of political cartoons that convey a socially symbolic reality to the readers. This research was done qualitatively with a descriptive method of interpreting the non-linguistic and linguistic elements of the data that were taken from local and national publications.
The semiotic theory of Saussure was used as the framework of the content analysis in coming up with the result supported by the Classification of image-text relationship. The result showed that the image-text relationship differs on how common or complicated the images are. The local publication’s image-text relationship were shown to have additive relationship while the caricatures from a national publication being studied has a more complicated way of expressing the data. Even though there is a level of complexity in the expression of the two publications, it still concludes that both publications have shown that the integration of the image and text make their own equal or unequal contribution to the overall meaning of the editorial cartoons. Keywords: image-text relation, Political Cartoons: caricature, Multimodal, semiotic theoryChapter One IntroductionIn the study of images, text and other modes of communication make up the multimodal theory which looks at many different modes that people use to communicate with each other and an expression of oneself. This theory is relevant as an increase in technology tools, and associated access to multimedia composing software that has led to people being able to easily use many modes in art, music, dance, writing and every-day interactions with each other (Kress,2009).Editorial as a form of writing is an opinion of the editor which does not mean a merely opinion of the writer, rather the management and entire view of the writers and of the newspaper (GEAP, 2007). Constituently, caricature of the editorial is a visual representation that shows the idea or issue. A dramatic and more expressive photograph can be more effective for expressing opinion than a written editorial, but running a good combination of the caricature and the caption is not easy. Editorial as the very first page of the school publication has to be perfectly crafted. Admittedly, coming up with a good image for a written editorial without personal attack is not easy. For the author to be able to come up with a very good visual element with the appropriate linguistic element, editorial cartoonists should run normally confined caricatures of the serious problems, dangers, and tough issues in the society. This is a fun way of delivering deep thoughts but it is difficult to determine whether one has understood the hidden message or not. It needs proper background knowledge and analytical skills because some cartoons are quite easy to comprehend but some are complex too.Studying multimodal has been widely recognized anywhere. Like the analysis of Image-text Relations in Picture Books’ was studied in which the image-text relations are expounded and the analysis of the logical relations between the visual and verbal elements in picture books is also given in terms of elaboration, extension, enhancement and projection(Wu, 2014). Another study was done to analyze a current issue with the use semiotic analysis of political cartoons that are published during the general election campaign 2013 in Pakistan. It studies how the cartoons were used as communicative tools on internet and print media to produce meaning and political themes. The cartons were used to persuade voters through print and electronic media. The result of the study showed how cartoons were used with symbolism, exaggeration, analogy, and irony and labeling to highlight any specific move (Shaikh et.al, 2010). Studying multimodality of political cartoons has been an interesting act of appreciating of how the message was conveyed to the readers and how they are confined to carry it to show the serious problems and tough issues in the society. Thus, this study aims to identify the modes present in different caricatures of editorial publications, analyze the semiotic linguistic and non-linguistic meanings the editorial cartoons through Ferdinand de Saussure’s concept of the signs and analyze the image “text relationship of verbal and visual semiotic potentials of the school publication together to tell a story.Chapter Two Literature ReviewMultimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA)Multimodality, a term borrowed from Kress’s study of modes refers to the combination of different kinds of modes, visual, audio, written, oral, and spatial in human communication. The analysis of texts would need the construction of the meanings by the help visual images combined with the text. They are identified through the semiotic tools like: layout, color, writing, image, and font that contribute to the meaning in the text. The modes play their specic part in which writing tells, image shows, color frames and highlights layout and font are used in part for reasons of compositional and arrangements(Kress, 2009). Just like studying editorial cartoons, print advertisement uses a combination of words, illustrations, font to send a message, and this mixing shows multimodality. In conveying the messages, these different integrated modes act interactively with the viewers.One of the crucial matter in studying MMDA is the recognition of the semiotic work which identifies whose works are involved, and what modes are used. Semiotic Theory In this study semiotic analysis was used in the analysis of the image-text relationship. Understanding the Terms Sign, Signified and Signifier by Ferdinand de Saussure is an important part of the study, especially the one he calls the concept’ or meaning’ which refers to the mental impression or association of the thing’ he named, signified.’ The idea of what Google’ is, for example, is signified. The part he calls the sound-image’ or the mental linguistic sign’ given to the thing’, he named the signifier’. The signifier is the sound Google’s logo creates in our minds. As Saussure explains, the connection between all signifiers’ which are sound images’ or linguistic signs’ and what they are signifying, their signified object or concept is arbitrary but they are both inseparably one ( Lanir, 2012). Caricatures in EditorialCaricature in editorial parodies the individual, and allusion, which creates the situation or context into which the individual is placed. Caricature as a Western discipline goes back to Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic explorations to better understand the concept of ideal beauty. Specifically, cartoon is a weapon in the cartoonist’s hands, who can hit whatever he feels like followed by freedom of speech (Morris, 1992). In editorial, finding the right combination of caricature and the caption is not easy. There is a need to combine them both to tell a good story and convey the editorial writers’ opinion. In order to create a good editorial, it is important to select a photograph from the news event and persons pictured are the actors in the editorial caricature (Pangilinan, 1988). The purpose of such cartoons is to inform, persuade, advertise, issue rules and regulations. These cartoons reflect the popular culture. They provide an insight into the social trends and account for how particular events make particular shared meanings for a specific social group (McLuhan, 1964). The success of cartoon is in the accurate or inaccurate usage of verbal and visual ideas. Analyzing the signs is not easy without studying the common symbols in political cartoons or caricature especially in conveying the message to the audience. Being objective in the analysis will give a good interpretation of the political Cartoons. In getting the meaning of the editorial caricature, editorial symbols and specific tools like in the table given below have been used to make analysis and points clear. Semiotics was used in this study to denote the study of signs. It is the researcher’s belief that they are synonymous terms. Saussure is credited with coining the term semiology’ and Peirce used the term semiotics’ although both expressions are found across the literature.In a related study of Multimodal which is entitled A Multimodal Analysis of Image-text Relations in Picture Books’, image-text relations are expounded and the analysis of the logical relations between the visual and verbal elements in picture books is also given in terms of elaboration, extension, enhancement and projection. The study found out that both words and images make their own relatively autonomous contribution to the overall semantic, aesthetic and emotional effect of the picture book. In a semantic perspective, image-text relations of picture books are analyzed in terms of elaboration, extension, enhancement and projection (Wu, 2014). In connection to the study, the editorial cartoons being analyzed through identifying the signifiers and its signified meaning help the analysis in the image-text relationship and will also be measured as to how McCloud classified the image and text in terms of their equal or unequal contributions to the meaning making. Another study was done to analyze a current issue with the use semiotic analysis of political cartoons that are published during the general election campaign 2013 in Pakistan. It studies how the cartoons were used as communicative tools on internet and print media to produce meaning and political themes. The cartons were used to persuade voters through print and electronic media. The result of the study showed how cartoons were used with symbolism, exaggeration, analogy, and irony and labeling to highlight any specific move. They can be found on Facebook and twitter with various political cartoon posts and are used in story-telling (Shaikh et.al, 2010). This study relates how strong the use of Political cartoons are in conveying the messages knowing that these are just monochromes which uses a mode of white and black colors.