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Important Research Achievements
[2009] Image alignment in multimodal metaphor Image alignment in multimodal metaphor
  • Editor(s): Charles Forceville & Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, Multimodal metaphor, 2009, pp.197-212.

This chapter focuses on how image alignment as a design strategy figures in the construction of multimodal metaphors. Six editorial cartoons from The Christian Science Monitor are used as illustrative examples. Image alignment can take many forms. It can be linear, curvilinear, or exhibit a two-dimensional pattern. It works by making some constituent components of the alignment salient, surprising, evocative, or otherwise noticeable, or by making the shape of the overall alignment conspicuous and unexpected. Sometimes it is only implicitly involved in a design choice. How non-pictorial elements in a multimodal metaphor interact with the aligned pictorial components is explained by concrete examples. As to the conceptual basis for image alignment as a design strategy, a tentative thesis is put forward for future research: image alignment renders the abstract concept SIMILARITY visible on the basis of the experiential correlation that motivates the primary metaphor SIMILARITY IS ALIGNMENT.

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