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From the Metafunctions of Language to the Hyperfunctions. The New Multimodal Reality of Hypertext

María Ángela Celis Sánchez


Every act of communication stems from the existence of two individuals, who, at least, establish a relationship to share a particular type of information. That relationship will result in a communication model that, with the advent of information and communication technology, has undergone a remarkable change, so that the message is no longer linear or sequential to become a set of multiple relationships which affect the sender, recipient and message. Among the many changes that occur in this new communication model, one of which relates to the sociolinguistic springs that run through the relationship between sender and receiver. In this essay, we try to explain how these relationships work from a theoretical point of view, so that we can speculate a sort of model applicable to each enunciation. To do this we will start from the theoretical assumptions proposed by M.A.K. Halliday who, by combining autonomous linguistic sources with sociolinguistics, offered a theory of language known as “systemic functional”, being supported by the study of language as a system and by the functions arising from its use or metafunctions of the language, namely ideational metafunction, interpersonal metafunction and textual metafunction. In the telematic space, with the peculiarities that define hypertextual communication, the metafunctions became different from that described for oral and written environments. All of them will be hyperfunctions or multifunctions precisely because of the multimodal essence (text, image and sound) that houses them. We intend to theoretically bring the distances produced from the jump from the analogue environment to the digital environment, to propose a kind of specific theory for this new communicative space.


electronic discourse; hypertext; metafunctions; systemic functional linguistics

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2016-002-celi

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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