Division of Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University, Helgonabacken 12, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
SEMIOSIS IN HISTORY. THE EMERGENCE OF ALTER-CULTURE
Following upon Merlin Donald’s claim that human specificity emerges in history, and not exclusively in evolutionary time, it will be suggested that the diversified means of producing semiosis created by human beings account for the spread of empathy and altruism not only beyond the kin group, but to humankind in general. This amounts to treating other cultures as different from us, but still able to enter into communication with us (as an Alter), as opposed to treating these cultures as being part of nature, and thus only susceptible to being communicated about (as an Alius). Starting out from the theory of bio-cultural evolution defended by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd, as well as from the multi-level selection theory of Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson, we try to lay bare the way in which semiotic structures play a role for transforming cultural evolution, contrary to biological evolution, into human history. We inquiry into what makes the existence of Alter-culture possible, if, as Sober and Wilson have claimed, armed with game theory, an altruistic society (an Ego-culture in our terms), is only possible in opposition to another group in relation to which group egoism rules (that is, in our terms, an Alius-culture). We will follow Michael Tomasello in arguing for the primacy of games of cooperation, rather than competition, while adding an historical dimension, which serves to explain how such cooperation can be extended beyond the primary group (our Ego-culture). However, we will insist on the importance of multiple semiotic resources for the boot-strapping of empathy and altruism, as well as on the genesis of this process in cultural encounters, as reflected in the spirit of the Enlightenment.
Keywords: Cognition, semiotics, empathy, altruism, bio-cultural coevolution.
Shekoufeh Mohammadi Shirmahaleh
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Coyoacan, CDMX, Mexico.
PEIRCEAN METAPHOR REEXAMINED: CREATION, FUNCTION AND INTERPRETATION
The Peircean iconic metaphor takes the concept of metaphor beyond linguistic and literary metaphors and does not even limit it to the “conventional metaphor” of Lakoff and Johnson’s cognitive theory. Given Peirce’s short and somewhat ambiguous definition of the metaphorical icon, a closer study of this category of icons is necessary for a better understanding of a concept that surpasses in many respects the earlier definitions of metaphor. It is also necessary to observe metaphors from the perspective of their creator: a perspective that is not usually adopted in other theories of metaphor, since much of the debates consider only the structure of the metaphor and its function with a focus on its interpretation, and do not discuss how the creator of the metaphor reaches or creates a metaphor. The present article aims at filling the mentioned blanks.
Keywords: Charles Sanders Peirce, iconic metaphor, final interpretation, iconicity.
Modern Languages Department, State University of New York at Cortland, USA Old Main Building, Room 227-B NY 13045, Cortland, USA.
SEMIOTIC DETERMINANTS IN EPISODE-BUILDING: BEYOND AUTONOETIC CONSCIOUSNESS
This account examines how episodes are constructed and measured, and how Peirce’s Index informs and even hastens the advancement of this process—from binding spatial features, to the awareness of participant roles and temporal sequencing. It provides semiotic rationale for how episodes develop from static single pictures (dependent on verbatim memory) to events whose frames reflect a deictic and sequential character—superseding the consciousness inherent in autonoesis. Empirical evidence will trace children’s event memory—first iconic and static, and later characteristic of increasingly more complex interpretants which specify directional and logical relations, and memory sources. The signs which promote episodic thought are indexical in nature, given their largely relational character. They incorporate deictic projections of the self in diverse orientations, entering into different participant slots inherent to the event. Notice of the latter entails the influence of index to apprehend the spatial, participatory, and temporal directionality within and across event frames. This progression requires a rudimentary consciousness of aspectual features (telicity, dynamicity), as well as an appreciation for the events’ purposes/goals. Anticipating how, where, and when events conclude is critical to realizing the event’s purpose/goal, since, according to Bauer 2006: 384, it constitutes the basis upon which episodes are constructed.
Keywords: Episode-building, episodic memory, indexical signs, autonoetic consciousness.
Jens Allwood, Elisabeth Ahlsén Jens Allwood
SCCIIL Interdisciplinary Center, Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg, Forskningsgången 6, Hus Patricia, Lindholmen, 412 96 Göteborg, Sweden.
DIMENSIONS OF CONTEXT. CLASSIFYING APPROACHES TO THE CONTEXT OF COMMUNICATION
This paper analyzes the concept of context with a special focus on the context of communication. We suggest two ways of classifying approaches to the context of communication: (i) classifying approaches based on a number of relevant dimensions for analyzing context in social activities, (ii) classifying approaches, based on the dimensions of Peirce’s semiotics. We also discuss the use of collected corpora of language, especially multimodal corpora of spoken interaction, as an aid in studying context. Finally, building on the two ways of classifying approaches to the context of communication, we present our own proposal for how to analyze the main relevant contextual dimensions influencing human interaction and communication
Keywords: Context, approaches to context, dimensions of context, syntactic context, semantic context, pragmatic context, semiotics, representamen, object, interpretant, relevant contexts.
Paul A. Wilson, Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk
Paul A. Wilson — University of Łódz Institute of English Studies Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics, Pomorska 171/173, 90-236 Łódź, Poland.
Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk — State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, Department of Research in Language, Literature, and Translation, Przyjaźni 1, 62-510 Konin.
COGNITIVE STRUCTURE AND CONCEPTUAL CLUSTERS OF EMOTION TERMS
The major underlying principle of the present paper is that, in opposition to the viewpoint of emotions as discrete entities, emotions are represented as clusters in conceptual space. The graded structure and fuzzy boundaries inherent in the prototype-periphery nature of these clusters dictate that the meaning of a specific emotion is governed by both inter- and intra-cluster relationships and their interactions. In addition to these relationships and interactions the paper examines both external and internal affects to compare and contrast the FEAR, COMPASSION, LOVE/JOY, and PRIDE clusters in British English and Polish. The three specific methods employed to analyze these are the GRID instrument, an online emotions sorting task, and a corpus-based cognitive linguistic methodology.
Keywords: emotions, conceptual clusters, British English, Polish, fear, compassion, love/joy, pride, GRID, online emotions sorting task, corpus methodology.
Elżbieta Magdalena Wąsik
Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of English, Department of Older Germanic Languages, Collegium Heliodori Święcicki, ul. Grunwaldzka 6, 60-780 Poznań, Poland.
EXPOSING THE DIALOGICAL NATURE OF THE LINGUISTIC SELF IN INTERPERSONAL AND INTERSUBJECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE PURPOSES OF LANGUAGE-AND-CONSCIOUSNESS-RELATED COMMUNICATION STUDIES
This paper aims at elaborating the concept of linguistic self with regard to its twofold existence modes, namely as a physical person and as a mental subject, being shaped by external and internal dialogs in interpersonal and intersubjective communication. These dialogical encounters, constantly changing the reality of everyday life, are based, on the one hand, on the observable multitextuality of narratives, and on the other, on the multi-voicedness of opinions. As such, it lays emphasis on the need for a holistic approach to human beings as a psychosomatic unity, taking part in cognition with their minds and bodies, and developing itself both in-and-with the physical and logical domains of their surrounding ecosystems. In view of the private and public character of the self, the author postulates to consider in future studies the achievements of personal and social constructivism.
Keywords: cognition, consciousness, intersubjectivity, language, the dialogical self.
Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław, Department of Linguistic Semiotics and Communicology, ul. Sienkiewicza 32, 50-335 Wrocław.
EPISTEMOLOGY AS A SEMIOTIC CARTOGRAPHY OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AND COGNITION
The subject matter of this article constitutes the semiotic mapping of human of knowledge which results from cognition. Departing from the presentation of human subjects as world-model-builders, it places epistemology among the sciences of science and the sciences of man. As such the understanding of epistemology is referred either to a static state of knowledge or to a dynamic acquisition of knowledge by cognizing subjects. The point of arrival, in the conclusive part of a this article, constitutes the substantiation of the two understandings of epistemology, specified, firstly, as a set of investigative perspectives, which the subject of science has at his/her disposal as a knower on the metascientific level, or, secondly, as a psychophysiological endowment of a cognizing subject who possesses the ability of learning and/or knowing a certain kind of information about cognized reality.
Keywords: cartography of ideas, epistemology, knowledge, cognition, semiotics.