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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 30, Issue 1, 2002

Kalevi Kull
Pages 327-335

A sign is not alive — a text is

The article deals with the relationships between the concepts of life process and sign process, arguing against the simplified equation of these concepts. Assuming that organism (and its particular case — cell) is the carrier of what is called ‘life’, we attempt to find a correspondent notion in semiotics that can be equalled to the feature of being alive. A candidate for this is the textual process as a multiple sign action. Considering that biological texts are generally non-linguistic, the concept of biotext should be used instead of ‘text’ in biology.

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