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This article revisits the concept of vectors, which, in Kress and van Leeuwen’s Reading Images (2006), plays a crucial role in distinguishing between ‘narrative’, action-oriented processes and ‘conceptual’, state-oriented processes. The use of this concept in image analysis has usually focused on the most salient vectors, and this works well, but many images contain a plethora of vectors, which makes their structure quite different from the linguistic transitivity structures with which Kress and van Leeuwen have compared ‘narrative’ images. It can also be asked whether facial expression vectors should be taken into account in discussing ‘reactions’, which Kress and van Leeuwen link only to eyeline vectors. Finally, the question can be raised as to whether actions are always realized by vectors. Drawing on a re-reading of Rudolf Arnheim’s account of vectors, these issues are outlined, their consequences discussed, and ways forward suggested.
Translated title of the contributionVektorer
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew studies in multimodality : Conceptual and methodological elaborations
EditorsOgnyan Seizov, Janina Wildfeuer
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781350026520
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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