Baranov A.N., Parshin P.B. Towards the Metalanguage for Describing Text Vizualizations


Anatoliy N. Baranov

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Head of Department of Experimental Lexicography, V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Volkhonka St., 18/2, 119019 Moscow, Russia

Professor, Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Staraya Basmannaya St., 21/4, 105066 Moscow, Russia

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Pavel B. Parshin

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Leading Researcher, Center for Global Problems, Institute of International Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Interior of Russia

Prosp. Vernadskogo, 76, 119454 Moscow, Russia

Associate Professor of Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, Moscow State Linguistic University

Ostozhenka St., 38, 119034 Moscow, Russia

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Abstract. The paper deals with supposedly basic categories of metagraphemics, a study of various means of visual transformation of a text using resources of variability of broadly understood alphabetic writing signs, as well as possibilities of semantic interpretation of pictorial components of a text, such as pictures in the proper sense, figures, diagrams, schemes, etc. Similar, but not identical resources are available for other systems of writing; they call for special investigation and are not discussed here. Within metagraphemics, we suggest distinguishing, at least, the following phenomena (and, respectively, subsections of metagraphemics as a discipline): substantial metagraphemics, i.e. the study of material substance of a text; chromographemics (variability of colors of graphemes within a text); supragraphemics (variability of typefaces and fonts, as well as other graphic modifications within them); topographemics (spatial models of configuration of graphemes on plane or in space); syngraphemics (variability of punctuation); cinemographemics (animation of a visual text); iconic graphemics (a specific type of creolization of a text presupposing installing configuration of graphemes in a picture or transformation of graphemic configuration into a picture). There is no fundamental difference between the metagraphemics and the creolization of the text (introduction of the image or its elements into the text). This allows us to use a single categorical apparatus of linguistic and cognitive semantics to describe the phenomena under discussion. At the same time, multimodal communication involves interpretation through various metalanguages that are not reducible to a single categorical apparatus. We study the peculiarities of semantic interpretation of metagraphemic phenomena, analyze several examples of iconic supragraphemics, iconic topographemics with the elements of creolization and swastika expertise.

Key words: visual semiotics, metagraphemics, metalanguage, text visualization, image semantics, linguistic expertise.

Citation. Baranov A.N., Parshin P.B. Towards the Metalanguage for Describing Text Vizualizations. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2018, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 6-15. (in Russian). DOI:

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