The study of images, pictorial codes, and visual media as sign systems. This includes images in various forms, such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and pictorial advertisements. The field has been dominated by structuralist analysis which, unlike most textual analysis, treats texts (in any medium) as part of a system (see alsostructuralism). The linguistic model has involved the application of the commutation test, but, unlike verbal language (seearticulation), pictorial representation has proved irreducible to basic, recombinable units which are meaningless in themselves (seepictorial communication; visual communication; visual language). See alsorepresentational codes; semiotics; visual semiotics.
Subjects: Linguistics — Media Studies.