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Verbo-Visual Pun in Memetic Warfare Against Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine

Maryna Bielova ; G.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University; University of Birmingham

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 1.727 Kb

str. 99-116

preuzimanja: 149



With humor, which has long been known as a coping mechanism in extreme crises, punning memes, armed with words and images, have become weapons of ‘mass disruption’ influencing the hearts and minds of a target audience. This invites the examination of how memes detailing Russian-Ukrainian war employ verbo-visual puns as a strategic tool of information warfare to counter president Putin’s military aggression and misleading political messaging. This article1 proposes an interdisciplinary template for the analysis of puns drawing on multimodal social semiotics, cognitive linguistics, critical discourse analysis and crisis communication analysis. The data sampled for this research comprises 87 memes about Russian-Ukrainian war that employ verbo-visual puns with 6 cases described in this paper. The article proposes a taxonomy, in which verbo-visual puns can be classified in accordance with mechanisms that are used to classify wordplay (homonymy, polysemy, and paronymy). Evidence is thus provided to show that this typology is applicable to the taxonomy of multimodal signs as well. The results of this research reveal cognitive and semiotic triggers of puns as well as their potential to serve as a tool generating public reaction to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and reaching the intended goals of crisis communication.

Ključne riječi

Russian-Ukrainian war; pun; meme; multimodality; crisis communication; affordance

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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