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1. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
From the editors
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2. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Marcel Danesi Opposition theory and the interconnectedness of language, culture, and cognition
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The theory of opposition has always been viewed as the founding principle of structuralism within contemporary linguistics and semiotics. As an analytical technique, it has remained a staple within these disciplines, where it continues to be used as a means for identifying meaningful cues in the physical form ofsigns. However, as a theory of conceptual structure it was largely abandoned under the weight of post-structuralism starting in the 1960s — the exception tothis counter trend being the work of the Tartu School of semiotics. This essay revisits opposition theory not only as a viable theory for understanding conceptual structure, but also as a powerful technique for establishing the interconnectedness of language, culture, and cognition.
3. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Marcel Danesi Теория оппозиций и соотносимость языка, культуры и восприятия. Резюме
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4. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Marcel Danesi Opositsiooniteooria ja keele, kultuuri ning taju seotus. Kokkuvõte
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5. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Patrizia Calefato Language in social reproduction: Sociolinguistics and sociosemiotics
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This paper focuses on the semiotic foundations of sociolinguistics. Starting from the definition of “sociolinguistics” given by the philosopher Adam Schaff, the paper examines in particular the notion of “critical sociolinguistics” as theorized by the Italian semiotician Ferruccio Rossi-Landi. The basis of the social dimension of language are to be found in what Rossi-Landi calls “social reproduction” which regards both verbal and non-verbal signs. Saussure’s notionof langue can be considered in this way, with reference not only to his Course of General Linguistics, but also to his Harvard Manuscripts.The paper goes on trying also to understand Roland Barthes’s provocative definition of semiology as a part of linguistics (and not vice-versa) as well asdeveloping the notion of communication-production in this perspective. Some articles of Roman Jakobson of the sixties allow us to reflect in a manner which wenow call “socio-semiotic” on the processes of transformation of the “organic” signs into signs of a new type, which articulate the relationship between organicand instrumental. In this sense, socio-linguistics is intended as being sociosemiotics, without prejudice to the fact that the reference area must be human,since semiotics also has the prerogative of referring to the world of non-human vital signs.Socio-linguistics as socio-semiotics assumes the role of a “frontier” science, in the dual sense that it is not only on the border between science of language andthe anthropological and social sciences, but also that it can be constructed in a movement of continual “crossing frontiers” and of “contamination” betweenlanguages and disciplinary environments.
6. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Patrizia Calefato Язык в процессе социальной репродукции: социолингвистика и социосемиотика. Резюме
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7. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Patrizia Calefato Keel sotsiaalses taastootmises: sotsiolingvistika ja sotsiosemiootika. Kokkuvõte
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8. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Umberto Eco On the ontology of fictional characters: A semiotic approach
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Why are we deeply moved by the misfortune of Anna Karenina if we are fully aware that she is simply a fictional character who does not exist in our world?But what does it mean that fictional characters do not exist? The present article is concerned with the ontology of fictional characters. The author concludes thatsuccessful fictional characters become paramount examples of the ‘real’ human condition because they live in an incomplete world what we have cognitive access to but cannot influence in any way and where no deeds can be undone. Unlike all the other semiotic objects, which are culturally subject to revisions, and perhaps only similar to mathematical entities, the fictual characters will never change and will remain the actors of what they did once and forever
9. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Umberto Eco Об онтологии литературных героев: семиотический подход. Резюме
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10. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Umberto Eco Kirjanduslike kangelaste ontoloogiast: semiootiline lähenemine. Kokkuvõte
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11. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Between fiction and reality: Transforming the semiotic object
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The contrast between real and fictional characters in our thinking needs further elaboration. In this commentary on Eco’s look at the ontology of the semiotic object, I suggest that human semiotic construction entails constant modulation of the relationship between the states of the real and fictional characters in irreversible time. Literary characters are examples of crystallized fictions which function as semiotic anchors in the fluid construction — by the readers — of their understandings of the world. Literary characters are thus fictions that are real in their functions — while the actual reality of meaningmaking consists of ever new fictions of fluid (transitory) nature. Eco’s ontological look at the contrast of the semiotic object with perceptual objects (Gegenstände) in Alexius Meinong’s theorizing needs to be complemented by the semiotic subject. Cultural mythologies of human societies set the stage for such invention and maintenance of such dynamic unity of fictionally real and realistically fictional characters.
12. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Между фикцией и реальностью: трансформация семиотического объекта. Резюме
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13. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Valjamõeldise ja reaalsuse vahel: semiootilise objekti muutumine. Kokkuvõte
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14. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Irene Portis-Winner Facing emergences: Past traces and new directions in American anthropology (Why American anthropology needs semiotics of culture)
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This article considers what happened to American anthropology, which was initiated by the scientist Franz Boas, who commanded all fields of anthropology,physical, biological, and cultural. Boas was a brave field worker who explored Eskimo land, and inspired two famous students, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, to cross borders in new kinds of studies. After this florescence, there was a general return to linear descriptive positivism, superficial comparisons of quantitative cultural traits, and false evolutionary schemes, which did not introduce us to the personalities and inner worlds of the tribal peoples studied. The 1953 study by the philosopher David Bidney was a revelation. Bidney enunciated and clarified all my doubts about the paths of anthropology and his work became to some extent a model for a narration of the story of American anthropology. In many ways he envisaged a semiotics of culture formulated by Lotman. I try to illustrate the fallacies listed by Bidney and how they have been partially overcome in some later anthropological studies which have focused on symbolism, artistry, and subjective qualities of the people studied. I then try to give an overview of the school started by Lotman that spans all human behavior, that demonstrates the complexity of meaning and communication, in vast areas of knowledge, from art, literature, science, and philosophy, that abjured strict relativism and closed systems and has become an inspiration for those who want anthropology to encompass the self and the other, and Bahtin’s double meaning. This paper was inspired by Bidney as a call to explore widely all possible worlds, not to abandon science and reality but to explore deeper inner interrelations and how the aesthetic may be indeed be paramount in the complexities of communication.
15. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Irene Portis-Winner Тропы прошлого и новые дороги в американской антропологии (или зачем антропологии нужна семиотика культуры). Резюме
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16. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Silmitsi eriolukordadega: minevikurajad ja uued suunad ameerika antropoloogias (ehk miks ameerika antropoloogial on vaja kultuurisemiootikat). Kokkuvõte
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17. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Barbara Sonnenhauser Parentheticals and the dialogicity of signs
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The term ‘parenthetical’ is applied to an almost unlimited range of linguistic phenomena, which share but one common feature, namely their being used parenthetically. Parenthetic use is mostly described in terms of embedding an expression into some host sentence. Actually, however, it is anything but clearwhat it means for an expression to be used parenthetically, from both a syntactic and a semantic point of view.Given that in most, if not all, cases the alleged host sentence can be considered syntactically and semantically complete in itself, it needs to be asked what kind ofinformation the parenthetical contributes to the overall structure. Another issue to be addressed concerns the nature of the relation between parenthetical and host (explanation, question, etc.) and the question what is it that holds them together.Trying to figure out the basic function of parentheticals, the present paper proposes a semiotic analysis of parenthetically used expressions. This semioticanalysis is not intended to replace linguistic approaches1, but is meant to elaborate on why parentheticals are so hard to capture linguistically. Taking a dynamicconception of signs and sign processes (in the sense of Peirce, Voloshinov and Bahtin) as starting point, parentheticals are argued to render explicit the inherentdialogicity of signs and utterances. This inherent dialogicity is hardly ever taken into consideration in linguistic analyses, which take the two-dimensional linearityof language as granted.
18. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Barbara Sonnenhauser Вставные конструкции и диалогичность знаков. Резюме
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19. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Barbara Sonnenhauser Kiillaused ja märkide dialoogilisus. Kokkuvõte
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20. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 1/2
Dinda L. Gorlée A sketch of Peirce’s Firstness and its significance to art
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This essay treats the growth and development of Charles S. Peirce’s three categories, particularly studying the qualities of Peirce’s Firstness, a basic formula of “airy-nothingness” (CP: 6.455) serving as fragment to Secondness and Thirdness. The categories of feeling, willing, and knowing are not separate entities but work in interaction within the three interpretants. Interpretants are triadomaniac elements through the adopted, revised, or changed habits of belief. In works of art, the first glance of Firstness arouses the spontaneous responses of musement, expressing emotions without the struggle and resistance of factual Secondness, and not yet involving logical Thirdness. The essential qualities of a loose or vague word, color, or sound give the fugitive meanings in Firstness. The flavor, brush, timbre, color, point, line, tone or touch of the First qualities of an aesthetic object is too small a base to build the logic of aesthetic judgment. The genesis art is explained by Peirce’s undegeneracy growing into group and individual interpretants and building into the passages and whole forms of double and single forms of degeneracy. The survey of the flash of Firstness is exemplified in a variety of artworks in language, music, sculpture, painting, and film. This analysis is a preliminary aid to further studies of primary Firstness in the arts.