Author: Zhang, Peijia
Title: Public health education through posters in two world cities : a multimodal corpus-based analysis
Advisors: Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. (ENGL)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Health education
Modality (Linguistics)
Department: Department of English
Pages: xiii, 287 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: In this thesis, I will attempt to create multimodal understanding of public health posters used in two global cities - New York City and Hong Kong. In contrast to prior research that is either the case study that has focused on so few public health posters which is quite difficult to unravel the representative patterns of such data and is a threat to the analysis's validity, or the exclusively qualitative or quantitative exploration of a pool of data, I draw upon both qualitative and quantitative research methods to conduct a more holistic study. The thesis examines both linguistic and non-linguistic resources that a total of 60 selected public health posters make use of in the construction of health-related messages for public health education from three different vantage points of below, roundabout and above. In the first, following Hallidayan systemic-functional semiotics, I investigate the semiotic labour performed by each of the individual semiotic systems (i.e. language and image) on the pages of the sampled public health posters. I analyse experiential meaning and interpersonal meaning that the different semiotic resources make. In the second area of investigation, I annotate the content, layout structure, and rhetorical organisation of each of the poster pages and build an XML-based multimodal corpus CPHP. The annotated corpus provides me with a reliable empirical basis to analyse the various semiotic resources for realising logico-semantic relations as tactic patterns, to explore the possible effect of matching/mismatching hierarchical rhetorical and layout organisations. Subsequently, these two areas are complemented by a further contextual analysis, which as a whole explores how the public health posters educate the general public in the City of New York and Hong Kong. This study will contribute to a more refined understanding of public health education through posters in world cities, and it will also add to our understanding of the relationship not only between language and images but also between rhetorical organisations and layout structures. The outcomes of this study will also be used to help improve the information design of public health education materials and propose web-based annotation tools applied to enhancing the multimodal corpus building in the future.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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