Constructing negative emotions in cinematic discourse: a cognitive-pragmatic perspective

Keywords: cinematic discourse, cognitive-pragmatic analysis, construct, meaning, multimodality, multisemiosis, negative emotion, semiotic resource


This article reveals cognitive-pragmatic properties of constructing negative emotions in English feature cinematic discourse. This research is underpinned by semiotic theories, linguistic theory of emotions, discourse studies, cognitive linguistics, the theories of conceptual integration and joint attention, which stipulate an integrative approach to the multisemiosis of negative emotive meanings by verbal, non-verbal, and cinematographic semiotic resources. This research stressess the polycoded and multimodal nature of cinematic discourse, where a combination of visual and acoustic modes changes dynamically in the film time and space. Adopting an interactional-dynamic perspective on emotive meaning making in film, I claim that negative emotions in cinematic discourse are emergent multimodal dynamic constructs resulting from the online interaction of verbal, non-verbal, and cinematic resources, which takes place at primary and secondary stages of film making. The primary semiosis of negative emotive meaning occurs in the screenplay, which is an integral part of cinematic discourse and presents a film cognitive model. The secondary semiosis takes place in the film diegesis through a combination of verbal, non-verbal and cinematographic means specific for a particular negative emotion. In feature cinematic discourse, I distinguish eight combination patterns of multimodal semiotic resources depending on a set of criteria: quantitative vs qualitative or synchronous vs sequential configuration patters. The collective author’s intention and film genres influence the choice of cinematic techniques and their configuration patterns.


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How to Cite
Krysanova, T. (2019). Constructing negative emotions in cinematic discourse: a cognitive-pragmatic perspective. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (19), 55-77.