Perusal of verbal text through the lens of illustration

Viktoriya J. Shkurko, Leyla A. Mardieva, Tatyana Yu. Shchuklina, Maria B. Voroshilova


The article reveals the influence of Pre-existing (precedent) visual phenomena presented in newspaper article illustrations upon the consciousness of readers. The analysis of the research material is based on the theory of manipulation and neuro-semantic programming. The authors emphasize the specificity of precedent phenomena:  semantic two-planarity of precedent phenomena, i.e. the availability of two semantic layers (literal and connotative) in their content; high pragmatic charge of precedent phenomena stipulated by the fact that they represent a concentration of cultural landmarks, ethnic and social stereotypes.

The authors prove that precedent visual phenomenon appears to be a trigger activating the devices for a journalistic article perception being pre-arranged by the sender. The process of visual precedent phenomenon interpretation takes place in three stages. At the first stage of flipping through the newspaper in search of material for reading precedent visual phenomenon attracts the reader, activates his memory mechanisms, triggers associative forms of thinking and emotional experience of the visible. The next step is to establish semantic links between a precedent image presented in an illustration and strong positions of the verbal text (title, subtitle, lead) where the process of probabilistic forecasting takes place – a reader decides whether to read further the main text of the article or not. The last stage is the stage of acquaintance with the main verbal journalistic text of the newspaper where the interplay of verbal and visual information is promoted and their final merging takes place. Due to the verbal text the connotative meanings translated by the precedent visual text are updated. The whole message is interpreted in the key specified by the sender. Thus, necessary information is embedded into the reader's consciousness and thanks toits figurativeness, associative connections and emotionalintension will be fixed in his memory for a long time.


Pre-existing visual images, implicit messages, multimodal texts, mass-media, neuro-semantic programming

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