We should be very cautious in attributing affordances to a particular mode or assessmblage of modes.
First of all, there is widespread acceptance that a communication event will be shaped by cultural, political and economic factors, meaning that no two acts of communication are the same. Within this, the way in which meaning will be read or interpreted will be heavily influenced by the cultural background and interests of the receiver within a particular environment. As such how can we quantify the extent to which a particular affordance will be realised on a particular occassion? Or to apply this directly to the subject of my own research, how can we accurately assume whether the affordances that might be associated with the way in which ideas have been proposed within a particular multimodal artefact, will have the effect we expect. Put simply, when the process of communication is fluid and uncertain, can the student designing a multimodal artefact anticipate how it will be interpreted with any certainty?
And this assumes that there is a simple, reliable and generically applicable model for proposing the affordances attributable to different modes. If we accept the idea of affordances at all, ////// suggestion that one of the affordances [section here about the affordance of speech or text. But what happens when this text is mediated [a bit here about how the text could be mediated through a different tech]. This is a vital question considering the ever range of digital communication tools (citation) and the fact that new modes being created all the time as result (citation). The rapidly evolving nature of the enviroment prompts a need for a constantly updated list of how affordances might be realised by particular technologies and new combinations of modes. If we accept that we are living in a rapidly evolving digitised society then any list that proposes the affordances of a particular media or modes will be out of date soon after they committed to the page (or screen, or canvas or airwaves).
The apparent certainty surrounding the existence of communicational affordances is contested by some within the literature. Similarly, the seemingly straightforward task of determining the affordances to be derived through the communication of ideas through a particular has been challenged.