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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Visual Linguistics: its Theory and Operations

Vol. 22 No. 3   12/1992    


Visual Linguistics: its Theory and Operations 


Shun-chiu Yao 









Key words



    The four fundamental concepts of visual linguistics are (1) that human communications, auditive or visual, are subject to some cognito-perceptive constraints; (2) that linguistic creations, lexical or syntactic, are motivated. Though the motivating factors of a majority of cases might have been lost in the course of the language history, to insist that language systems and linguistic signs are arbitrary by nature will only constitute a handicap in present-day linguistic research; (3) that it is more convincing and attractive to consider that there is an overall cognitive faculty which enables human being to understand their environment, to communicate among themselves by means of semiotic representation in different modalities-estuarial, graphic or vocal; (4) following the statement in (3), that it is imperative to have a theoretical framework capable of handling information obtained from different kinds of communicational activities, and to render these normally unrelated data pertinent at a higher level of explanation. 

    The present article is an illustration of how these working concepts are put into practice in analyzing and interpreting an array of data drawn from oral and gesture languages, archaic Chinese ideo-pictographs, ancient Chinese paintings as well as kinetic behavior. These are domains of expression which traditionally might not be considered pertinent.



Author: Shun-chiu Yao
Genre: Article
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