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theory of semiotics
1. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Floyd Merrell Toward a concept of pluralistic, inter-relational semiosis
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Brief consideration of (1) Peirce’s ‘logic of vagueness’, (2) his categories, and (3) the concepts of overdetermination and underdetermination, vagueness and generality, and inconsistency and incompleteness, along with (4) the abrogation of classical Aristotelian principles of logic, bear out the complexity of all relatively rich sign systems. Given this complexity, there is semiotic indeterminacy, which suggests sign limitations, and at the same time it promises semiotic freedom, giving rise to sign proliferation the yield of which is pluralistic, inter-relational semiosis. This proliferation of signs owes its perpetual flowing change in time to the inapplicability of classical logical principles, namely Non-Contradiction and Excluded-Middle, with respect to elements of vagueness and generality in all signs. Hempel’s ‘Inductivity Paradox’ and Goodman’s ‘New Riddle of Induction’ bear out the limitation and freedom of sign making and sign taking. A concrete cultural example, the Spaniards’ world including the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Aztecs world including their Goddess, Tonantzín, are given a Hempel-Goodman interpretation to reveal the ambiguous, vague, and complex nature of intercultural sign systems, further suggesting pluralism. In fact, when taking the ‘limitativetheorems’ of Gödel, Turing, and Chaitin into account, pluralism becomes undeniable, in view of the inconsistency-incompleteness of complex systems. A model for embracing and coping with pluralism suggests itself in the form of contextualized novelty seeking relativism. This form of pluralism takes overdetermination, largely characteristic of Peirce’s Firstness, and underdetermination largely characteristic of Peirce’s Thirdness, into its embrace to reveal a global context capable of elucidating local contexts the collection of which is considerably less than that global view. The entirety of this global context is impossible to encompass, given our inevitable finitude and fallibilism. Yet, we usually manage to cope with processual pluralism, within the play of semiosis.
2. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Floyd Merrell К вопросу о плюралистическом и интерреляционном понятии семиозиса. Резюме
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3. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Floyd Merrell Pluralistliku ja suhestusliku semioosi mõiste suunas. Kokkuvõte
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4. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Paul Bouissac Semiotics as the science of memory
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The notion of culture implies the relative stability of sets of algorithms that become entrenched in human brains as children become socialized, and, to a lesser extent, when immigrants become assimilated into a new society. The semiotics of culture has used the notion of signs and systems of signs to conceptualize this process, which takes for granted memory as a natural affordance of the brain without raising the question of how and why cultural signs impact behaviour in a durable manner. Indeed, under the influence of structuralism, the semiotics of culture has mostly achieved synchronic descriptions. Dynamic models have been proposed to account for the action of signs (e.g., semiosis, dialogism, dialectic) and their resulting cultural changes and cultural diversity. However, these models have remained remarkably abstract, and somewhat disconnected from the actual brain processes, which must be assumed to be involved in the emergence, maintenance, and transformations of cultures. Semiotic terminology has contributed to a systematic representation of cultural objects and processes but thephilosophical origin of its basic concepts has made it difficult to construct a productive interface with the cognitive neurosciences as they have developed and achieved notable advances in the understanding of memory over the last few decades. The purpose of this paper is to suggest that further advances in semiotics will require a shift from philosophical and linguistic notions toward biological and evolutionary models.
5. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Paul Bouissac Семиотика как наука о памяти. Резюме
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6. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas J. Bruneau Time, change, and sociocultural communication: A chronemic perspective
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The temporal orientations of any sociocultural grouping are major factors comprising its central identity. The manner in which the past (memories), the present (perception), and the future (anticipation/expectation) are commonly articulated also concern cultural identity. The identity of a cultural group is altered by developmental changes in time keeping and related objective, scientific temporalities.Three modes of temporality, objective, narrative, and transcendental, congruent with different kinds of brain processes, are common throughout our planet. Objective temporality tends to alter and replace traditional narrative and transcendental (spiritual) time, timing, and tempos. Objective temporality is concerned with what is transitory, modern and “progressive”. Objective time is not a traditional form of cultural time; it is a derived Westernized scientific imposition, rather than any cultural formation. This essay develops a new conception of how semiosis occurs. All information is essentially rhythmic, transduced through sensory systems as signals in a space-time domain, but deposited for use into a spectral thermodynamic domain in the human cortex.A “chronemic” perspective, (temporality as it is based in semiotic processes related to human communication) is assumed throughout. Such a perspective appears to be somewhat novel in both communication and semiotic studies.
7. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas J. Bruneau Время, изменение и социокультурная коммуникация: хронемический подход. Резюме
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8. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas J. Bruneau Aeg, muutus ja sotsiokultuuriline kommunikatsioon: kroneemiline lähenemine. Kokkuvõte
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9. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Semiotic autoregulation: Dynamic sign hierarchies constraining the stream of consciousness
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For all human sciences, understanding of how the mind works requires a new theory that starts from the assumption of potential infinite variability of human symbolic forms. These forms are socially constructed by the person who moves through an endless variety of unique encounters with the world. A theory of symbolic forms needs to capture the essence of hyperdynamic, irreversible nature of the stream of consciousness and activity. The human mind is regulated through a dynamic hierarchy of semiotic mechanisms of increasingly generalized kind, which involves mutual constraining between levels of the hierarchy. It is demonstrated that semiotic mediation leads to a triplet of personal-cultural constructions — a new symbolic form, a metasymbolic form, and a regulatory signal to stop or enable the construction of further semiotic hierarchy. In everyday terms — human beings produce new problems, together with new efforts at solving them, and make decisions when to stop producing the former two. Hence, semiotic mediation guarantees both flexibility and inflexibility of the human psychological system, through the processes of abstracting generalization and contextualizing specification. Context specificity of psychological phenomena is an indication of general mechanisms that generate variability. Scientific investigation of human psychological complexity is necessarily oriented to the study of variability within the individual person’s psychological time-space.
10. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Семиотическая саморегуляция: как динамические иерархии знаков организуют течение сознания. Резюме
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11. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jaan Valsiner Semiootiline eneseregulatsioon: kuidas dünaamilised märgihierarhiad piiravad teadvusekulgu. Kokkuvõte
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semiotics of culture
12. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Anti Randviir On spatiality in Tartu–Moscow cultural semiotics: The semiotic subject
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The article views the development of the Tartu–Moscow semiotic school from the analysis of texts to the study of spatial entities (semiosphere being most well known of them). It comes to light that ‘culture’ and ‘space’ have been such notions in Tartu–Moscow School to which, for instance, the ‘semiosphere’ does not add much. There are studied possibilities to join Uexküll’s and Lotman’s basic concepts (as certain grounds of Estonian semiotics) with Tartu–Moscow School’s treatment of culture and space through the notion of ‘semiotic subject’. Such an approach allows to see transdisciplinarity, which has come to issue only during the last decade, already in the first conceptions of Tartu–Moscow School where transdisciplinarity revealed itself in the symbiotic use of ‘culture’ and ‘space’.
13. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Anti Randviir О пространственности в семиотике культуры Тартуско-Московской школы: семиотический субъект. Резюме
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14. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Anti Randviir Ruumilisusest Tartu–Moskva kultuurisemiootikas: Semiootiline subjekt. Kokkuvõte
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15. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jelena Grigorjeva Space-Time: A mythological geometry
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In the article the fundamental graphic models that are used by the cultural consciousness to bring about the abstract spheres of thought are analyzed. The problem of inter-semiotic, i.e. emblematic, interpretation of the categories of space and time is also considered. The models of the cross and pyramid are analyzed from the point of view of their ideological (transcending) function and of the mechanism of emblematizing the abstract notions of time and space. This approach helps understanding the general laws of cultural mentality and the process of emblematizing any meaning for the structuring and fixation purposes.
16. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jelena Grigorjeva Пространство-время: мифологическая геометрия. Резюме
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17. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Jelena Grigorjeva Ruum-aeg: Mütoloogiline geomeetria. Kokkuvõte
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sociosemiotics
18. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
David Herman Ethnolinguistic identity and social cognition: Language prejudice as hermeneutic pathology
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Analysts studying the nexus between language and ethnic identity have characterized ethnolinguistic ideologies as the deep structure of overt language practices. By contrast, this exploratory analysis argues for the advantages of shifting from a multi-level to a single-level explanatory model, consisting of interpretive frames and data (= aspects of sociocommunicative behavior) interpreted by way of those frames. The single-level model affords, arguably, a more unified treatment of people’s everyday inferences about ethnolinguistic identity, on the one hand, and research paradigms for studying language as an ethnosemiotic resource, on the other hand. Yet the “singletiered” model does not void socioideological considerations. Instead, it assumes that a continuum stretches between (1) entrenched language prejudices, (2) efforts to use language theory to question or dislodge such prejudices, and (3) the moment-by-moment hypotheses and inferences in terms of which humans make sense of their conspecifics’ linguistic behavior, along with other ethnosemiotic cues.
19. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
David Herman Etnolingvistika ja sotsiaalne taju: Keeleline eelarvamus kui hermeneutiline patoloogia. Kokkuvõte
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20. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1/2
Janice Deledalle-Rhodes The relevance of C. S. Peirce for socio-semiotics
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Neither Peirce’s thought in general nor his semeiotic in particular would appear to be concerned with ‘society’ as it is generally conceived today. Moreover, Peirce rarely mentions ‘society’, preferring the term ‘community’, which his readers have often interpreted restrictively.There are two essential points to be borne in mind. In the first place, the epithet ‘social’ refers here not to the object of thought, but to its production, its mode of action and its transmission and conservation. In the second place, the term ‘community’ is not restricted to the scientific community, as is sometimes supposed. On the contrary, it refers to the ideal form of a society, which he calls ‘the unlimited community’, i. e. a group of people striving towards a common goal.Furthermore, Peirce’s semeiotic has been put in doubt as capable of providing a model for communication, the basis of social, dialogic, thought and action. The aim of the present article is to show that semeiotic, funded as it is on Peirce’s three categories, which define and delimit the ways in which man perceives and represents the phenomena, can provide a comprehensive model for the analysis of all types of communication in all social contexts.Finally, in this domain, as in others, Peirce was a forerunner, with the result that his thought has often been misunderstood or forgotten. In addition, he was pre-eminently a philosopher, thus his work has been neglected in other disciplines. The elaboration of other triadic systems, such as, notably, that of Rossi-Landi, shows that the tendency of semiotics in general is to move away from the former static, dyadic model towards that involving a triadic process. This trend, with which Peircean theory is in harmony, has been sharply accentuated in recent years, but often lacks a philosophical justification for its assumptions, which Peirce provides.