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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the relation between rhetoric and semiotics, with particular reference to Paris school structuralist semiotics and Sydney school social semiotics. The Paris school, following the lead of Roland Barthes, engaged extensively with rhetoric, focusing mostly on figuration (elocutio), and applying it to visual communication. The Sydney school made less explicit reference to rhetoric, but its genre theory can be interpreted as a modern theory of dispositio. It also engaged with elocutio through the concept of grammatical metaphor, but without the emphasis on rhetorical figures as signifiers of ideology that had characterized Barthes’s work. The chapter attempts to make the rhetorical aspect of social semiotics a little more explicit, looking in particular at the theory of genre as a theory of arrangement (dispositio).

Keywords: rhetoric, semiotics, social semiotics, elocutio, dispositio, figuration, genre, ideology, grammatical metaphor

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