The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images. (Google eBook)

Front Cover
A&C Black, Dec 5, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
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Drawings and sequential images are an integral part of human expression dating back at least as far as cave paintings, and in contemporary society appear most prominently in comics. Despite this fundamental part of human identity, little work has explored the comprehension and cognitive underpinnings of visual narratives until now.

This work presents a provocative theory: that drawings and sequential images are structured the same as language. Building on contemporary theories from linguistics and cognitive psychology, it argues that comics are written in a visual language of sequential images that combines with text. Like spoken and signed languages, visual narratives use a lexicon of systematic patterns stored in memory, strategies for combining these patterns into meaningful units, and a hierarchic grammar governing the combination of sequential images into coherent expressions. Filled with examples and illustrations, this book details each of these levels of structure, explains how cross-cultural differences arise in diverse visual languages of the world, and describes what the newest neuroscience research reveals about the brain s comprehension of visual narratives. From this emerges the foundation for a new line of research within the linguistic and cognitive sciences, raising intriguing questions about the connections between language and the diversity of humans expressive behaviours in the mind and brain.
  

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Contents

1 Introducing Visual Language
1
SECTION 1 Structur e of visual language
17
Visual Morphology
23
Panels and Constructions
51
Narrative Structure
65
Discourse and Film
87
Conclusion
88
5 Navigation of External Compositional Structure
91
Languages versus dialects
151
8 Japanese Visual Language
153
Influence in Japan and abroad
166
9 Central Australian Visual Language
173
Cultural role
174
Graphic structure
175
Lexicon and morphology
179
Narrative grammar
187

6 Cognition of Visual Language
107
Narrative grammar
110
Fluency
134
SECTION 2 Visual language across the world
137
Morphology
147
Narrative grammar
148
Culture meets structure
191
10 The Principle of Equivalence
195
Graphic references
201
References
203
Index
217
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Neil Cohn is an internationally recognized scholar for his research on the overlap of sequential images and language in cognition. He is the author of Early Writings on Visual Language and Meditations, and the illustrator of We the People (with Thom Hartmann), and A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning (by Ray Jackendoff). His work is online at www.visuallanguagelab.com.

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