Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Kuvan ja tekstin välissä

Kuvateksti uutiskuvan ja lehtijutun elementtinä

Elina Heikkilä

Väitöskirja, toukokuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, suomen kielen ja kotimaisen kirjallisuuden laitos.

The study focuses on picture captions: their grammar and interplay with photographs and their position as semi-independent elements of the news stories. The research was conducted in the framework of critical discourse analysis, social semiotic visual theory and fennistic syntactical research. The data consist of 441 press photographs, 1,815 captions and a number of news items from Finnish dailies.

The generic structure potential of the caption includes the caption headline, the caption proper, i.e. the verbalization of the picture content, and the frame. In the data, 41 per cent of the captions have a headline, and 44 per cent contain a caption proper. Characteristic of the caption proper is omission of the finite verb and the use of the present tense, both of which have decreased in Finnish papers during the 20th century. The caption proper is typically a main clause, and both subordinate clauses and participal phrases occur mostly in the frame.

While comparing caption variants attached to the same pictures, the processes and their participants proved to be identified considerably identically, following the news agency captions. Instead, the reader?s interpretations of a picture could be directed by framing it in different ways. For example, the caption may focus on the only person depicted, deal with a whole group, or give an abstract account of the situation.

The caption is a paratext, a typographically marked, semi-independent element of a news story. Between the headline and the caption, four semantic relations have been identified. The caption may be a paraphrase of the headline, or a close-up illustrating an abstract headline with a concrete example. If the name of the person depicted is their only common factor, the relation between the caption and the headline is additive. A specifying caption will give more details than the headline.

The caption may complete, repeat, or summarize the body copy. Naturally, most captions completing the story verbalize the content of the picture. As the caption is often based on the story, it may even repeat the body copy verbatim. The summarizing function is probably becoming increasingly important, as most Finnish newspapers have abandoned the use of a separate standfirst.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 26.04.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki