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11. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Aleksei Turovski The semiotics of animal freedom: A zoologist's allempt to perceive the semiotic aim of H. Hediger
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The works, views and ideas of Heini Hediger (1908-1992), one of the most distinguished and influential zoologist of the 20th century, had and still have an enormous impact on contemporary understanding of animal behaviour. His views on territorial, social, etc. aspects of animal behaviour are based on semiotic concepts derived from Umwelt-theory (J. v. Uexküll) and combined with ideas from modern ethology. Hediger's special attention was devoted to the area of animal-man communications; he treated these problematic phenomena as a system of semiosis-processes, in a mainly holistic way. Hediger's approach inspires the author to propose a notion "the need for impression" to be used in zoosemiotic analyses.
12. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Kalevi Kull An introduction to phytosemiotics: Semiotic botany and vegetative sign systems
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Asking, whether plants have semiosis, the article gives a review of the works on phytosemiotics, referring to the tradition in botany that has seen plants as non-mechanic systems. This approach can use the concept of biological need as the primary holistic process in living systems. Demonstrating the similarity between the need and semiosis, it is concluded that sign is a meronomic entity. A distinction between five levels of sign systems is proposed: cellular, vegetative, animal, linguistic, and cultural. Vegetative sign systems are those which are responsible for the morphogenesis and differentiation within an organism, thus belonging to all multicellular organisms.
13. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Anti Randviir, Eero Tarasti, Vilmos Voigt Finno-Ugric semiotics: Cultores and metacultores
14. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Winfried Nöth Umberto Eco's semiotic threshold
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The "semiotic threshold" is U. Eco's metaphor of the borderline between the world of semiosis and the nonsemiotic world and hence also between semiotics and its neighboring disciplines. The paper examines Eco's threshold in comparison to the views of semiosis and semiotics of C. S. Peirce. While Eco follows the structuralist tradition, postulating the conventionality of signs as the main criterion of semiosis, Peirce has a much broader concept of semiosis, which is not restricted to phenomena of culture but includes many processes in nature. Whereas Eco arrives at the conclusion that biological processes, such as the ones within the immune system, cannot be included in the program of semiotic research, Peirce's broader defmition of semiosis has meanwhile become thefoundation of semiotic studies in biology and medicine and hence in biosemiotics and medical semiotics.
15. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
John Deely Semiotics as a postmodem recovery of the cultural unconscious
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This essay explores the terminology of semiotics with an eye to the historical layers of human experience and understanding that have gone into making the doctrine of signs possible as a contemporary intellectual movement. Using an essentially Heideggerian view of language as a heuristic hypothesis, the name semiotics is examined in light of the realization that only with Augustine's Latin signum was the possibility of a general doctrine of signs introduced, and that first among the later Latins was the idea of sign as a general mode of being specifically verifiable both in nature and in culture in establishing the texture of human experience vindicated according to an explanation of how such a general mode of being is possible. The contemporary resumption through Charles Peirceof the Latin line of vindication completed especially by Poinsot is explored along these same lines in terms of considerations of why the term semiotics has emerged as, so to speak, the logically proper name of the global interest in signs.
16. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Marcel Danesi A note on Vico and Lotman: Semiotics as a "science of the imagination"
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The Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico foreshadowed many of the ideas currently being entertained by the modem cognitive and human sciences. By emphasizing the role of the imagination in the production of meaning, Vico showed how truly ingenious the fIrst forms of representation were. His view that these forms were "poetic" is only now being given serious attention, as more and more linguists and psychologists come to realize the role of metaphor in the generation of abstract systems of representation. The Estonian semiotician Yuri Lotman espoused a basically similar view, highlighting the role of the poetic imagination in the generation of the textuality that holds cultures together in meaningful ways. A comparison of these two exceptional thinkers has never been entertained. This note aims to do exactly that. Specifically, it takes a first glimpse at the parallels of thought and method that inhere in the main works of these two ground-breaking thinkers. Such a comparison will establish a theoretical framework to make semiotics a true "science of the imagination". It will show that semiosis and representation are not tied to any innate neural mechanisms, but rather to a creative tendency in the human species to literally "invent itself'.
17. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Peeter Torop The intersemiotic space: Adrianopol in F. Dostoevsky's "Crime and punishment" St. Petersburg
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The intersemiotic space: Adrianopol in F. Dostoevsky's "Crime and punishment" St. Petersburg. The article focuses on the peculiarities of the intertextual space of culture and the means of its analysis. Level analysis, compositional analysis and chronotopical analysis are juxtaposed in the paper. Textual and intertextual chronotopical analyses are considered separately. Two aspects of textual processuality are juxtaposed: the history of text production and the role of the manuscript page structure as a reflection of the writer's style and mode of thinking (especially in the interserniotic relationship between picture, drawing andword); the history of text reception, its intersemiotic translation into different sign systems and its existence in culture in a scattered state. In this connection the notions of the individual and mental text are juxtaposed. As an example a page of F.Dostoevsky's notebook is taken, where an intricate combination of picture, calligraphy and text offers an interesting infonnation on the methods of formation of text conception.
18. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Michail Lotman Russian verse: Its metrics, versification systems, and prosody (Generative synopsis)
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Russian verse: Its metrics, versification systems, and prosody (Generative synopsis). In the article the general verse metre theory and its application to Russian verse is adressed, allowing us, thereby, to observe not the single details, but only the most general characteristics of verse. The treatment can be summarised in the five following points:1) the basis for the phenomenon of verse is its metrical code: the special feature of verse text is the presence of its metre (this feature is common to every verse type, to the most regular verse, as well as to vers libre);2) the nature of verse metre is extralinguistic, there is no metre within a language, the latter can only induce certain limitations in choosing a metre;3) metre is an abstract chain of translational symmetry, the elementary period of which is called verse foot (i.e. firstly, verse feet are contained in every versification system, incl. syllabic verse and free verse, and, secondly, verse feet can not be defined in terms of natural language, e.g., as the combination of short and long or accented and unaccented syllables).4) in verse text, metre appears through the medium of natural language: verse metre is coded in terms of natural language; the nature of its codification is detennined by the versification system. Hence, every verse metre can be realised in different versification systems, e.g. iambus can occur in syllabic-accentual, syllabic-quantitative, and some other versification systems;5) verse prosody is a consequence of the influence of verse metre on the prosodies of language; the range of transformation of a language system by verse metre extends from the unification of the strength of verse accents in accentual verse to such artificial formations as the origination of long syllables in languages which lack phonological quantity.
19. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Frederik Stjernfelt Mereology and semiotics
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This paper gives a fIrst overview over the role of mereology the theory of parts and wholes - in semiotics. The mereology of four major semioticians - Husserl, Jakobson, Hjelmslev, and Peirce is presented briefly and its role in the overall architecture of each of their theories is outlined - with Brentano tradition as reference. Finally, an evaluation of the strength and weaknesses of the four is undertaken, and some guidelines for further research is proposed.
20. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 28
Jaakko Hintikka Language as a "mirror of nature"
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How does language represent ("mirror") the world it can be used to talk about? Or does it? A negative answer is maintained by one of the main traditions in language theory that includes Frege, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Quine and Rorty. A test case is offered by the question whether the critical ''mirroring'' relations, especially the notion of truth, are themselves expressible in language. Tarski's negative thesis seemed to close the issue, but dramatic recent developments have decided the issue in favour of the expressibility of truth. At the same time, the "mirroring" relations are not natural ones, but constituted by rule-governed human activities a la Wittgenstein's language games. These relations are nevertheless objective, because they depend only on the rules of these "games", not on the idiosyncrasies of the players. It also turns out that the "truth games" for a language are the same as the language games that give it its meaning in the first place. Thus truth and meaning are intrinsically intertwined.