Comunicação multimodal: o caso da abordagem sócio-semiótica às narrativas transmediáticas

Translated title of the contribution: Multimodal communication - a sociosemiotic approach to transmedia narratives

Luísa Magalhães*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



This work focuses on multimodal communication and a transmediatic approach to narratives (storytelling cf. Jenkins 2006). Although anchored in the traditional semiotic narrative mentioned above, it is situated, more specifically, in the field of socio-semiotics (cf. Kress and Van Leewven 1996; 2010), looking at the modes and means of expression and reception of messages. Methodology: This qualitative research followed three methodological steps. First, exposition of the theoretical path, then identification of the relevant bibliography in cognitive linguistics and, finally, the use of theconcept of convergence applied to multimodal communication, from the previously indicated approach on conceptual metaphor as a cognitive process of semiotic relevance. These theoretical assumptions were applied in the analysis of different representations of the Harry Potter phenomenon, in its diverse and convergent material occurrences. Analysis: The analysis performed confirms that narrative processes as transmedia texts can create a comprehensive fictional environment, open to multiple contexts of interpretation and reformulation, being able to mobilize mechanisms of convergent meaning and sequential narratives that work on multi-platforms of frequent access to a wide audience (Jenkins 2006). Starting from the concept of form introduced by3 Kress and Van Leewen (1996), a proposal of a socio-semiotic character is presented, focusing on multimodal communication (cf. Kress 2010). It intersects with the theory of conceptual metaphor introduced by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), thereby creating structures of convergence between various media of access to each narrative object (Jenkins 2006). Discussion: Explores the narrative universe of a product using transmediatic mechanisms, highlighting a question of cognitive experience, more than use, since it creates commitments and interpretative challenges that are necessary to both authors and audiences (Scolari 2009). This approach is illustrated with the example of the narratives created around the character of Harry Potter (Rowling 1997-2007), in which case it is part of a series of books and analog games, which, in turn, are at the origin of an extensive media production, digital games and online platforms with active participation of fan communities of the character. Conclusion: Research demonstrates the relevance of this proposal, underlining the multimodal and, at the same time, transmediality of the current forms of creation and access to narrative texts. The series can be considered a significant example of transmedia narratives in the sense of Jenkins (2006), since it promotes a whole set of modalities and possibilities of representation in a variety of formats.
Translated title of the contributionMultimodal communication - a sociosemiotic approach to transmedia narratives
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)22-36
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive mechanisms
  • Multimodal communication
  • Semiotics
  • Socio-semiotics
  • Transmedia narrative


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