Interpersonal Meanings in Children’s Storybooks

Document Type : Original Article


1 University Of Tabriz

2 Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran

3 English Department Faculty of Farsi Literature University of Tabriz Tabriz Iran


Semiotics as a broad field of study encompasses Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). SFL has paved the way for Multimodality which is the study of different sources of meaning. This study was conducted to analyze the visual sources of meaning in children’s storybooks on the basis of what Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) developed and called visual grammar. The chosen books for this study consisted of A, Apple Pie, Princess Rose and the Golden Bird, Tyrone the Horrible, and Terrible Tommy Tom Cat. The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate the interaction between the viewer and the represented participants. Accordingly, interactional meta-function was analyzed through interpreting the frequencies of each dimension of interactional meta-function in all pictures. It is supposed that there are differences in interactional meanings in storybooks in which the characters are animals and in storybooks in which the characters are human beings. The results of the present study prove the assumption of differences between the two types of storybooks. The viewer can enter into relation with represented participants in stories with human characters easier than the ones with animal characters. The findings may help teachers and syllabus designers. Specifically, teachers can choose the stories with human characters in order to make easy the process of involvement of the children with intended subject. They also can choose stories with animal characters in order to teach some strange concepts in which they do not want their students to be involved.