Intersemioticity and Multimedia - Transition from Traditional to Electronic Texts
The article looks into such features of modern electronic texts as intersemioticity and multimedia nature. Studying these features is essentially a new stage in researching intertextual relations; hence the article first turns to non-electronic texts, presenting on their basis the theoretical grounds of the notions in question, and only then proceeds to electronic texts and trace the evolution of the traditional conception of text.
Intersemioticity is understood is the dynamic interaction of diverse semiotic systems. Singled out are certain manifestations of intersemioticity in traditional non-electronic texts: reference to a visual object, graphic rhyme, play with the font. Due to the interaction of different-type sign systems, the text as such is viewed as a non-self-sufficient and multidimensional entity.
Next the article turns to the graphic features of electronic texts, which tell on their general meaning or introduce certain connotative elements to it: the use of special symbols instead of letters and the intentional violation of spelling rules in order to demonstrate your identity.
Analysed afterwards are multimodal electronic texts, i.e. the entities resulting from the synthesis of diverse semiotic objects and joining text and media in one syntagm. The article looks into the interrelation of text and media, singling out their possible combinations: anchorage, illustration and relay. The logical and semantic relations between text and media fall into elaboration, extension and enhancement.
In order to distinguish the most common combinations of text and media, to explore the reasons why users combine them and to establish percentage ratios, the authors conducted a social and linguistic study, whose results are analysed in the article.
The study has amply shown that despite the considerable potential of multimedia in electronic communication and despite their seemingly greater appeal, the text (rather than an image or video) still conveys the greater part of the overall meaning and realizes the communicative task.
Media objects are resorted to when users wish to save their effort (to post a photo and not to type in a long description) or to create the effect of face-to-face communication. The effort-saving nature and real time simulation are the distinguishing and unique features of electronic communication.
The study has also confirmed that each semiotic system due to its structure imposes certain limitations on the set of meanings it can convey. An image cannot convey everything language can. The opposite is also true, however.