Abstract for ISFC-25, Cardiff 1998

Hypertextuality: Structure and Texture in Multimedia Web Design

J L Lemke

Prior research on text/discourse semantics has analyzed the ways in which multivariate structures realize semantic relationships between constituent-like text units (as in genres and rhetorical formations) and how textual cohesion is produced by chain-like univariate and covariate relationships (e.g. cohesive harmony, thematic texture). Since many of these semantic relationships can hold both intra-textually and inter-textually, I propose that we use these concepts to analyze the semantic organizing principles of hypertexts and hypermedia. In these media, "hyperlinks" between verbal-graphical text-units at many different scales realize semantic relationships that create coherent meaning-texts across many different object-texts and pose new problems for the analysis of textual meaning-in-context. In this paper I attempt to define and explore some of these issues by analyzing the virtual architectures of internet websites and some sample hypertexts.