Nazarova Abstract: This paper is a re-examination of the application of linguistic semantic methodology both to language and literature. Evoking the "agony of semiotics" and a "crisis of theory" articulated by Blonsky (On Signs, 1991), the author attempts to rationalize the ontological approach by which semiotics is to be applied. This begins with a look at the "categorial characteristics" of signs, a questioning of what can qualify as a sign in linguo-semiotic theory. The author goes on to discuss the way signs, which must be strictly defined, are "signals" which, among other things, constitute indices of a cultural and esthetic nature. Finally, Nazarova moves on to literary semiotics as "linguopoetics," the world of "verbal art in the unity of written and oral forms" being its primary object of study.
Perron / Danesi Abstract: Semiotics, when confronted with the cognitive sciences and their fundamental incompleteness, offers methodological procedures which seem likely to contribute significantly to a renewed examination of the problems of cognition, in that the latter can be seen as being grounded in narrative structures, as its percepts are discursivized according to narrative models. If Greimas's work is reconfigured onto a tripartite cognitive trajectory, from experience to cognition, from this deep structure to a surface structure which figurativizes it, and from this figurativization to a discursivization, it becomes clear that the intermediate process plays an essential role in cognition. The "computer" model of cognition, in contrast, represents nothing more than an account of the surface-level processing of data, which fails to encompass an entire gamut of symbolic transactions such as those understood in tales. The model of the brain automaton, which dates back centuries, is in this sense a false metaphor, as it leads to strictly representational models of cognition. Without doubt, the experientialist cognitivist branch, despite its gray areas and its relative youth, is attempting to study how concepts are related to an encoding of experience. But it is still the narrative which offers more apt means of studying thought-processes. Greimassian semiotics, with its general tenets, can therefore be useful to the cognitive sciences -- narratology in fact defines the virtualities of the mind, since narratives convert experience into paradigmatic cogitation, and since mnemonic structuring is analogous to the archiving and scripting of stories. In particular, the greimassian approach allows the consideration of anthropomorphic experiential realities which hard-and-fast computationalists have hitherto been resigned to neglect. [Article in French].
Even-Zohar, whose "Polysystem Studies" are steadily gaining acceptance as a multi-faceted semiotic methodology, examines the socio- anthropological institutions, created by and through literature, that he says have shaped the Western concept of the "nation." These institutions, such as the literary canon, the scribe, and the "national language," which originate in the ancient Mesopotamian culture, are responsible for the creation of "socio- cultural cohesion" among groups which would not otherwise have defined a collective identity together, and for instilling "readiness" or "proneness" as a social method of enforcing order and prescribed behavior patterns. One such example, "amply repeated throughout history," is a readiness to go to war for the national cause, despite "being prone to die." Even-Zohar traces these and other similar literary semiotic constructions through various civilizations including Ancient Greece, where, as a socio-semiotic "set of operations," they ultimately develop into a "European model" for nation-building. His study makes its way to modern times, examining the creation of nation-states in Germany and Italy, and suggests that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this European model has been imported by other cultures whose national ambitions require such constructions. His study concludes with an original look at Esperanto, the artificial language, and the socio-semiotic causes of its success.
Hébert Abstract: A great deal of conceptual and lexical confusion clouds the use of "referent" and "reference." Rather than arguing for a particular interpretation, the author instead here presents a "theory of the various theories" in terms of the characteristics they respectively attribute to different aspects of the referent. A given theory represents a characteristic viewpoint, by focussing, whether explicitly or implicitly, on certain possible aspects, as well as on selected traits of a given aspect. First Hébert presents the theories' basically common characteristics -- then those which are optional and peculiar to each. The final basis of comparison between theories of the referent is furnished by the tetradic "hyper-sign" (signifier, meaning, concept, referent), developed through a synthesis of the major models of the sign (monadic, dyadic and triadic). From these comparisons the author develops a formal typology of referential processes, from the simplest (dyadic: signifier to referent) to the most elaborate. [Article in French]
Fisette Abstract: Considering the referent necessarily implies approaching the central question of semiotic inquiry, which is the definition of the sign. Indeed, the author observes that the most nearly perfect definiton of the sign, in his opinion that of Saussure, is based on the exclusion of the referent. Fisette orients his thinking around a comparison between the binary and ternary models of the sign. From a Saussurian perspective, he contrasts the three pronominal persons ("I - You - He"). The "He," evoking the tertiary, the so-called "non-person," conjures the modality of "presence versus absence" which generates symbolism. A classical tale by Andersen serves as an illustration of this analysis. Finally, Fisette applies these analyses to the definition of the sign. The necessary addition of the third term, marking both the ambiguity of the absence-presence and the capacity of the sign to encompass the symbolic, brings about a redefinition of the sign itself, in which the triadic definition of Peirce seems to impose itself as an alternative to the restrictive binary view of Ferdinand de Saussure. [Article in French]
Portelance Abstract: The question of naming, the act of reference par excellence, is approached here from the point of view of the workings of nominal components in specialized sublanguages. Nomination is of course treated here as a referential procedure, but it is seen especially as a method for linguistic breakdown of reality into parcels, as an operation which creates meaning in terms of two complementary planes, the world and its linguistic representation. Portelance demonstrates, through their organization into categorial series, and through the relational dynamics between and within series, that composite enunciations, both in nomenclature and in discursive situations, resist any tendency toward becoming definitively fixed expressions, seemingly because the supple nature of semantic relationships prevents it. The author presents the hypothesis that this obstacle to stability in the signifier-sense relationship -- the fact that linguistic usage renders monosememic fossilization impossible -- constitutes a cognitive strategy allowing for the need to adapt linguistic usage to experience. Naming is a form of play which consists, through an interaction between experience and language, of an endlessly renewing production of meaning. [Article in French]
Bourque Abstract: For all theoretical intents, when a reader is presented with a text, an exchange is brought about: a word for a meaning, another word for an image, words for ideas. In this way, taken in a broad sense, reference is that function by which a textual component comes to mean something other than itself; something that it presents and denotes. This function of reference in the mind is currenty considered, and debated, with a slant which says it cannot cease to evolve on the grounds of semantic representation and of analogic definition. Nevertheless, it does occur, going beyond the first analogy -- according to which meanings come to represent through exchanges -- that words become the object of a rebirth taking place elsewhere. In its subject matter, fiction develops its reference by playing it against new or unexpected parameters. Meaning is certainly produced from this, but also, as such, gains recognizability. Borrowing sometimes by means of anaphor, other times through cataphor, a referential process by which a textual component comes to refer to something of itself, fiction forces the text to employ other means of denotation and presentation. In practice, the article aims at explaining the means by which certain texts come singularly to found the basis of their own referential processes. [Article in French]
Sorin Abstract: In a story, semiotic legibility describes the juncture where the generative and interpretative processes are integrated. It can be broken down into several components which, in the reader's mind, constitute models of operation allowing him or her to arrive at a global interpretation. Among these components the character, as a discursive actor, plays an essential role. One of these is that of the reference character, whose point of view frames meaning as determined by his culture. Consequently, the reference character supports the intelligibility of the text, which flows both from the contrast between his view and the norm, and from that between the ideal reader and the actual reader, in other words, between the wherewithal necessary for an understanding of the text and the competence of the general readership. The process of reading cannot, therefore, be understood completely without first undertaking a pertinent study of these contrasts. The actual reader thus becomes the operator of textual organization through which the text becomes readable, and in so doing, takes on meaning. [Article in French]
Dubois Abstract: From the point of view of the referent, an ambiguous concept even to Jakobson, this paper raises the question of the validity of a semiotics which exclusively focusses on the immanent. Indeed for Jakobson, the misunderstanding stems right from the beginning: his model was always taken to be "universal," whereas strictly speaking, it is simply a literary one. The consequences of this error are considerable, because in the former understanding, the very world-as-referent is considered as though merely contextual, which is reasonable in the case of literary analysis where, in the end, only the "poetics" and "meanings" matter. This results in the near-impossibility of speaking about the world -- which seems in no sense to be a politically neutral position. An imaginary aporia? Perhaps. But it seems necessary then to be able to explain why even the "referential construct" of Payant apparently seems to raise no one's suspicions about this "natural" approach to semiotics -- more immanent than referential. Which may one day lead back to Karl Bühler and his Sprachtheorie. [Article in French]
Roy Abstract: Examining the analytical approaches of semiotics and phenomenology, in which thought itself constitutes one boundary of each -- the limit to the former, and the beginnings of the latter -- the author undertakes a study of the movement, rather than the moment, of the referent. She questions the supposed coincidence of the world with language and employs, to attack the problem, the theoretical motifs implied by the terms, or rather the themes, of re-effectuation, world and tale. She proposes, in keeping with these lines of questioning, an examination of the referent in terms of the hypothesis that it is always in fact co-referential (communicational and ontological) and duplexed (echoed by the mimesis, the tale). From this point of view, the study of the "photo-cinematographic image" she undertakes acts as a sort of test. Indeed, while the photo-cinematographic image perpetually shows its own form of representation and is inscribed in the "suite of images" called upon by the tale and in which it operates referentially, the tale recreates an image of the world, a mimesis. [Article in French]
Boulanger Abstract: A photograph portrays not an image of the real but another reality, one which is quintessentially photographic. Despite its being impregnated with the real, any photographic image is a simulacrum, and therefore properly unreal. In the dimension of sheer imitation of the referent lies its purely iconic aspect. Art critic and theoretician René Payant defines the icon as an autonomous mental sign which serves to reformulate the question of realism in photography by emphasizing the effects of sense. For this study, the works of two contemporary photographic artists have been selected, because they portray a movement of signs -- to borrow Payant's own expression -- a movement which unfolds from the photograph reflecting upon itself, in the creation of an image presented as a complex code involving the subject of the image, the mark of the artist, the situations and the objects transmuted into signs and the effects of the work. The photographic unreal thus furnishes a veritable viewing situation, imparting a desire to see. [Article in French]
In early 1997 in Paris the celebrated French theatre professor Anne Übersfeld kindly agreed to collaborate with the Editors on this third issue of AS/SA devoted to the semiotics of theatre. Mme Übersfeld wrote this short editorial piece to introduce the issue's articles, which she helped select. The Editors are grateful for her kind assistance and for the excellent contributions of the authors.
Pavis Abstract: This article, which constitutes the first chapter of Pavis' new book to appear in English later in 1997, provides an account of the major approaches to the theory of the theatre in use today, as well as an historic overview of their origins. Beginning with the Dramaturgy first described in Germany by Lessing and in France by Diderot, the author traces the development of these descriptive analyses to the early twentieth century. With the dawn of this century's semiological approaches, Pavis draws an important distinction between this new tendancy, which he terms "reconstruction analysis," and those which preceded it, "reporting analysis." He then examines the contributions of Saussure in linguistics to the early theatre theory of Artaud and Barthes. From this stage he traces the rise and crisis of theatre semiotics to the present, where despite fruitful modes of approach (Übersfeld, Pavis, and others) there is considerable difficulty relating to the crisis of semiotics itself. In the context of this difficulty, the author examines deconstructionism and "desemiotics" among flawed attempts to overcome the lack of theoretical adequacy. He then relates the latter to the very nature of the methodology, examining narratological and spatio-temporal approaches as inherently limited due to their focus on the surface structures at the expense of anthropomorphic deep structures such as those proposed in the most modern, anthropological approaches to the subject.
Smith Abstract: Marivaux excelled in psychologically realistic comedy whose rigorous verisimilitude often 'forces' unwilling characters to declare their love. In Les fausses confidences, he employs a series of plots enclosed one within the other to compel the characters to play rôles, thereby permitting them to speak words that they would not otherwise employ. Assertions made within the framed action have ironic meanings when they cross the threshold, but once the characters themselves have spoken the words, albeit ironically, they are prepared to accept their non-ironic meaning when the pretences of the framing actions are gradually stripped away. Moreover, as the entire play is "only theatre", the audience is taken in as well, condoning not only the cruel method employed to procure it, but also the precipitous mismatch itself of the wealthy widow Araminte with her new business manager. This article describes the functioning of this process by analysing the effects of the structuring of the discourse on its meaning. [Article in French]
Jean-Pierre Sarrazac, then director of the theatre department at the University of Paris III, kindly agreed to an interview in Paris in early 1997. This article is an edited transcript of that interview. In it we invited Sarrazac to discuss his views on modern theatre and current theory. This scholar, who is a playwright and former student of Roland Barthes, explains his view of theatre as a citizen's forum for politicised discourse in which society's ills are examined in the "blinding brightness" of the stage's lighting. He describes how his view of theatre semiosis involves a movement of sense from the author and director to the audience, rather than from the text to the stage, as other scholars such as Übersfeld see it. For Sarrazac, the text is merely one of the forms the theatric act takes on during performance, albeit a privileged and primary one; his interest lies chiefly in the way in which the meaning is born of the forms of theatre, and the manner in which the lyrical, poetic and political aspects of the stage representation overflow into one another. Sarrazac explains how he sees the theatre not as the deciphering of an "enigma" which is the "Sphinx of the text" in Vitez' terms, but rather the "bringing to fruition" of the enigma as an unsolved problem whose exposition is the purpose of the theatre. For Sarrazac, this art form is primarily a means for asking the "question of the Other," a question which, he says, "we need extremely badly." [Interview in French]
Abstract: In this study Moindrot, once a student of Übersfeld (her thesis director), examines the language of opera as a key to a new understanding to the theory of the language of theatre itself. This approach is based on the following idea: the text of the opera is not only performed, but doubly so: in its theatrical nature as well as in its subordination to musical forms -- melody, harmony, recitative, rythm. Language in opera is of a complete and ostentatious artificiality, contrivance, theatricality. This inherent and highly exposed "performance-essence" is precisely what Moindrot focusses upon in her novel approach. The author achieves a highly original analysis of the pragmatics of theatre through the questions of figure, multiplicity of voice, context of enunciation and other factors which, as she points out, are extremely visible in opera. Her approach is therefore semiological and pragmatic, like that of her own teacher, yet she is able to add something new to the field. The reader will, incidentally, find her article a natural lead-in to AS/SA's next issue, devoted to the Semiotics of Music. [Article in French]
Book Review: This book, whose title means "The Mask Shattered," is Roger Bensky's latest study. In it Bensky, of Washington D.C.'s Georgetown University, describes a new paradigm for the understanding of theatre based on a reworking of the Dionysus myth. Like Durand, whose view of semiotics focusses on the very images acculturation paints in the mind, rather than the traditional axiomatisation of abstract structural transactions constructed by researchers, Bensky realises that within the very myth of the god of theatre lies a cluster of clear and powerful mythical images which explain, in viscerally immediate terms, the very form of the medium. Developing this "mythographical approach" in a manner reminiscent of Dilthey's and Heiddegger's treatments of poetry and the ontology of mind, Bensky examines twentieth-century French theatre in terms of Dionysus as Mask. In a fascinating manner, this approach seizes directly the ontological question of identity (the mask of the character rather than that of the actor, which is merely a metaphor for the former) and alterity (the question raised in Heiddegger's treatment of the Dasein -- a void, a need, a search for the sense of one's own existence) as portrayed so directly by the theatre. The work contains a number of short scenographical and dramaturgical studies based on the common mythical paradigm, as well as an unpublished interview with Eugene Ionesco.
Tarasti Abstract: Anglo-american musicology is at the moment quite obviously embracing a semiotic approach. The fact that so many scholars are now writing about the Otherness in music, differences and how they emerge, and the construction of social reality, as well as about the implicit meanings hidden in musical institutions, about body as a social and ideological product, gendering etc. is, after all, a consequence not only of the assumption of post-structuralist, sociologist, post-modern and feminist premises but of one aspect without which none of these approaches would have been possible. This phenomenon could be termed the emancipation of the sign.
Hatten Abstract: In 1808 Beethoven was sketching ideas for an opera based on a Macbeth libretto by Heinrich von Collin, and entries for the abandoned opera project are found interspersed with ideas for the slow movement of the trio. If a semiotic approach to musical meaning depended on such programmatic suggestions, the author might well have chosen the slow movement for a demonstration of semiotic method. But it is to the decidedly less gloomy first movement that he wishes to direct the reader's attention, specifically to the opening theme complex. In this article Hatten attempts to demonstrate how we can come to a deeper understanding of the expressive meaning of this opening by pursuing evidence from a variety of perspectives, and that this process, both hermeneutic and structuralist, will help us understand not only what, but how the music means. He also demonstrates the breadth of a semiotic approach properly conceived -- not as an alternative to other forms of analysis, but as a means of interpreting the kinds of evidence that they provide, and perhaps finding other kinds of evidence they might overlook.
Spitzer Abstract: Leonard B. Meyer's Emotion and Meaning in Music (1956) cast a powerful influence on the analysis of musical style. Meyer argued that musical meaning is emergent from the arousal, inhibition and confirmation of expectations created by stylistic patterns. Just as Gombrich's study marked the first mainstream assimilation of the psychology of visual perception into iconography (Gombrich cites scientists such as J.J. Gibson), Meyer's work formed the first comprehensive engagement between music analysis and the perceptual principles of the Gestalt school. Emotion and Meaning in Music signalled the start of a long and illustrious project, of which the rigorous Explaining Music (1973) and the monumental Style and Music (1989) have so far proved to be the pinnacles. Despite their shared concerns, the analogy between Gombrich and Meyer is not synchronous. Art and Illusion turned out to be Gombrich's magnum opus, and the critic has failed to build a serious theoretical method upon the work's many apercus. By contrast, Meyer's best work lay in the future. Explaining Music, together with a handful of major articles such as "Grammatical Simplicity and Relational Richness" (1975), and "Exploiting Limits" (1980), revealed a much greater gift for systematic theorising. It is the author's contention, however, that the affinity between the two thinkers has become closer over the years; that Meyer's theory, which originally focused on issues of meaning, has now turned its spotlight onto issues of representation.
Monelle Abstract: Benedetto Croce placed the faculty of imagination alongside that of reason, proposing that the latter was concerned with the general and thus with the true, the former with the individual and the beautiful. Somehow, artistic creation has seemed to philosophers a matter of the particular rather than the universal, and consequently the unique character of artworks and styles has been seen as a mark of excellence. This stress survives in the theories of recent authorities. A proponent of contemporary textual theory, Michael Riffaterre, confirms that "the text is always one of a kind, unique. And it seems to me that this uniqueness is the simplest definition of literariness that we can find... This uniqueness is what we call style" (Riffaterre: 1983, 2; his emphasis). However, the identification of uniqueness as "literariness" is rather different from finding the artwork itself unique. Of course, every artwork is unique in the ordinary sense; uniqueness is a property of contingency, and every contingent phenomenon must in some way be unique. Literary analysis, like music analysis, is largely concerned with fixities, generalities, universal signs and codes. This is obvious in the case of a medium made up of words, but music, too, is composed of general and pre-existent material, of syntactic commonplaces -- progressions, cadences, scalic and triadic formulae -- and most music approaches its meaning through topical references.
Grabocz Abstract: This article aims to present the results of a simple experiment the author conducted on a certain type of symphonic movement in Mozart. The movements constitute a corpus, a macrotext, which will permit us to connect his younger works and those written in Paris and Mannheim with one of his last such compositions, the one we call the "Prague" symphony. This research examines those works written between 1771 (when Mozart was 15) until the 1777-1778 period (when in his early thirties). The author's method, according to a stylistic terminology, is intended both as a deductive and inductive study. It begins with an analysis of the second movement of the Prague sympony, chosen as an exceptional work by virtue of its highly dramatic organization, and in terms of the way in which it heralds, along with the three last symphonies (K. 543, 550 and 551), the appearance of a nearly romantic style, like that of young Beethoven. [Article in French]
Pekkila Abstract: What is essential in television commercials with advertising music is the music's meanings. The music of commercials does not spring from nowhere; it can be seen as a reflection of the music surrounding members of a culture in their everyday life. Here, "real" musical genres or pastiches are often transferred into commercials to communicate certain social meanings. A typical example, described by Walser (1993, 15), is the borrowing of the heavy guitar sound of the 1980's by the mainstream pop music industry to evoke intensity and power (for instance Robert Palmer's "Simply irresistible"). According to Walser, it was soon transferred into commercials bearing the same semantic connotations. For instance, heavy guitar was used in a jingle ("Be all that you can be") in a U.S. Army recruitment ad, where military service was described as an exiting and youth- oriented adventure. Thus advertising music may very often make use of the social and cultural meanings of heavy metal music, as a rhetorical means of strengthening its message. If advertising music borrows cultural meanings, this may also work the other way around. Among this article's findings is that observation that advertising music is a cultural mirror reflecting the social meanings of different music.
Brunner Abstract: In response to the line of investigation raised by an issue devoted to individual stylistic traits in music, the author first proposes an examination of the fourth piece of the Pli selon pli cycle by Pierre Boulez. Focussing on this movement, Brunner interprets the particular traits of the composer's workmanship, not with a view to abolish traditional musical meaning, supposedly having become particular, but in terms of a communicational dynamic involving, within the very framework of our conventions, a meaning that can be considered to be extended beyond that originally attributed to traditional European music. As a comparison, Brunner then briefly examines the fourth piece of the Seven Haï-kaï composed by Olivier Messiaen. His finding: it is not so much the fact that the music has been touched by something external to it that should draw our attention, but rather the way in which it distances itself from that which is happening within it. Thus the key notion of style which Brunner aims to explain do not fall within strictly systematic or semiotic veins, but instead arise from within the musical dynamics of the work itself.
Teobaldelli Abstract: In this article Teobaldelli cogently explains Apel's (possibly Dilthey-inspired) transcendental-empirical approach to language and representation, a serious attempt at giving social-science methodology, including that of semiotics, a more meaningful and coherent philosophical and epistemological foundation. Teobaldelli illustrates Apel's admonition against viewing traditional logic, i.e. the logic of material states of affairs, as the sole framework within which to define truth and structure. The author then exposes what he believes to be certain weaknesses in Apel's thought.
Averianova exploits Dumézil's earlier anthropological theoretical work, in which human society's primary needs are defined as the administration of religion, defence, and food production. In this sense the anthropomorphic basis of social structure, a series of conceptual identities or functions, may be examined in mythological context to observe and axiomatize the structure and behaviour of the social roles of the priest, the warrior and the cultivator. Averianova examines the function of the "priest" in ancient Sanskrit mythology, in order to further the applicability of this body of theory.
Ronen takes on the challenging subject of incommensurability, the state arising from a lack of common reference between two or more theories. She convincingly demonstrates that the very concept of incommensurability can only arise and be given meaning if theories are fundamentally held to some adequation with the states of affairs they represent, a measuring-up Ronen simply but aptly terms "realism". The paper's main thrust is arriving at criteria for the evaluation of incommensurability, and therefore of reality-adequation, in artistic representation.
Rastier Abstract: The loosely qualified conception of the semiotic process developed by traditional cognitivism, which is defined as a symbolic paradigm, should be identified and superseded. First, cognitive sciences will be considered from a semiotic vantage point. How can the "spontaneist" approach of the semiotic by cognitive research be specified? Then the problem of interpretation as a determinant factor in the comprehension of semiotic formations will be expanded upon. What can semiotics (as a discipline) add to that debate? We will in particular be led to replace the logico-grammatical questioning of the sign by the hermeneutic and rhetorical issue of the text. Finally a dissenting view of language, not to be found among the assumptions of either semiotics or cognitive science, will be outlined. That lays the groundwork for further inquiry into the role played by semiotic mediations in human cognitive acts.
Phillips et al. Abstract: A semiotic model is constructed to detect duplication of text strings in a database, with particular emphasis on cable traffic. A word stack approach is implemented, and the numbers of elements in each word stack (i.e., the number of words in the two text strings) are compared to determine if the lengths (measured in numbers of words) are identical. If so, words from two strings (stacks) are compared on a word-by-word basis to identify differences between the two strings. The word stack discards spaces between words, so it is an attractive option to use in conjunction with optical character recognition (OCR) software, which frequently inserts extraneous spaces between words. Implications to other text processing applications are discussed.
Ferraz Abstract: This article proposes a renewed theoretical perspective in its approach to the perception of the sound-object that constitutes music. The author claims that at the juncture of music theory and its object, one must first seek a particular pertinence, either from the point of view of compositional thinking and technique, or from that of the way in which the materials and matter of composition are approached.
Thanasoulas Abstract: It is often the case that the teaching-learning paradigm may not meet participants' expectations, and translates into an unrewarding experience, which has far-reaching pedagogical implications. The present study will focus on teachers' and learners' roles, while providing a description of the current "state of the art," as regards the difficulties and problems encountered. In other words, an attempt will be made to trace some of the intrinsic factors that, either positively or negatively, affect teaching and learning habits, with a view to fostering a holistic approach to education and forging constructive, interpersonal relationships in the classroom which can facilitate the educational process. Moreover, some of the extrinsic problems relating to infrastructure, classroom environment and equipment, etc. will be discussed, as they too play an important role in the teaching-learning situation, whether this is viewed as a process or a product.
Wheatley Abstract: In this paper the author employs Hoey's method of textual analysis, along with other pragmatic tools, to develop a methodology capable of analyzing the structure of television soap opera from the point of view of a corpus of one episode of the BBC's EastEnders. In the article the author discovers that characteristics of Soap discourse, dialogue, plot development and style that can be discerned and understood through this technique.
In this seminal article Sebeok posits a methodological and ontological perspective in which the life science, which he defines as encompassing all scientific disciplines having business with the interactions of living organisms, is the framing principle in which semiotics may find its most complete and fulfilling pertinence. The article masterfully develops the principles according to which this apparent marriage of not-so-distant methods may be seen to bear fruit in the form of new methodological insights.
Danesi Abstract: A principle is proposed for treatment of the cognitive "circuit" traced between meanings connected to each other both in thought and speech. Here the aim is to present an initial analysis of how "meaning flow" in discourse is shaped by a syntagmatic chain of signifieds and, thus, to propose the notion that discourse unfolds primarily through a "circuitry" of connotative meanings through which interlocutors "navigate mentally." This principle, therefore, contradicts classical theories of meaning based on the principle that denotation is the primary form of meaning-encoding.
Sharankova Abstract: The development of legal theory routinely encounters aporia as a consequence of eventualities that quite naturally precede theoretic axiomatization. This article explores how semiotics, armed with Peircian concepts, can provide a methodology for rendering an account of the way in which "humanitarian thought" is employed in the evolution of paradigms in legal theory, and the manner in which the specific study of this hitherto manifest process may provide the basis for future developments in juridical philosophy.
Deledalle Abstract: This article revisits a conversation with the late Claude Gandelman on the subject of two problematic aspects of "metastability." First, it is a fact that metastable structures, by virtue of their reversibility, pose the problem of ostensional interpretation. Next, it becomes apparent that the metastable condition can be perceived in several ways. The duck-rabbit, as an emblem of reversibility, illustrates that one is most often driven to accept the binary position of Wittgenstein. And yet, the author shares with Gandelman the position that metastability is not a dialectical structure. Rather, we might best base our examination on Gestalt philosophy, such as the work of Koehler, and conclude that both reversible states are inherent within the percept of the object.
Tobin Abstract: This paper presents a sign-oriented semantic analysis that explains the semantic distinction between the forms till versus until that traditionally have been considered to be synonyms or a full form versus its abbreviation. This semantic distinction is based on the opposition between the concepts of process versus result and between two alternative perceptions of time: chronos which indicates the "passing of time" or "waiting time": i.e. duration versus kairos which indicates "a point in time filled with a significance, charged with a meaning derived from its relation to the end." The data have been taken from spoken and written discourse and texts reflecting various styles and registers.
Michel Abstract: "To incorporate death into life, in a sense to render it voluptuous: such is the endeavour of these builders of mirrors (those who, through artistic creation, become the lucid artisans of our revelations)" writes Michel Leiris in Miroir de la tauromachie. "[...]They can only arrive at this by fusing, in the alloy comprising the silver of their mirror [...] something forlorn, irrecovably wretched and incorrigibly tainted." The works of Jude Stéfan, it seems to the author, confirm this reflection. Jude Stéfan, poet of a "bewildering documented assassination" in writing (Cahier no.8 sur Jude Stéfan, published by Le temps qu'il fait, p.33); poet of voluptuous, despairing moments lived as death approches. Readers of this poetry of baroque destruction find themselves involved in a strange "running of the bulls," a literary corrida. [Article in French]
Zelechow Abstract: French film-maker Chantel Akerman, a Belgian-born daughter of Holocaust survivors, is part of a group of French Jewish thinkers and artists who have broken the silence over the Holocaust. The repression of French complicity in the Holocaust had been well served by formalist aesthetics, which provided a rationale for denying the referentiality of art and the possibility of remembering -- until Akerman, working from within formalism, transformed its assumptions so that its tropes might serve as referencing devices signifying the pain and suffering of Holocaust survivors and their children.
Sicher Abstract: Drawing on Claude Gandelman's groundbreaking work on the semiotics of reading pictures, this article attempts a new approach to Franz Kafka's short story "A Hunger Artist" by setting it in the context of the performance of hunger from Baudelaire to the present day. The text as a performance of hunger is thus freed from the prison of interpretation, but paradoxically demonstrates the impossibility of writing. The story thus emerges as a parable of its own reading when the hermeneutic codes are no longer legible.
Cyrano's nose, a bodily peninsula, is in fact an integral part of the character's personality, and forms with him an inseparable Ego and Id. Even had he been able to alter his face with plastic surgery, Cyrano would nevertheless continue to possess this nose, in his very mind. It is this Id, this Other, which impedes his desire, and prevents him from expressing and acting upon his love. In order better to understand this "Tragedy of the Nose" one must get under Cyrano's skin. The author does this through a form of semiotic analysis of the psychology of the character.
As literature on John Donne and the "Anthropomorphic Landscape Tradition" -- such as the seminal work of Claude Gandelman -- has not been readily available, this study summarizes his 1984 essay in Arcadia, then goes on to expand its significance for specific Donne texts. As opposed to Gandelman's view of "spontaneous reversals" between landscape and human body, the author argues for the simultaneous relevance of macrocosm and microcosm in Donne's poetic. The tensions between sexuality and the spirit, and between the individual and the community are reflected in the way in which the anthropomorphic map sheds light on well known passages from Donne's poetry and prose.
Mendelson Abstract: In light of Claude Gandelman's research on the rapport between the readable and the visible, this article comparatively examines the portrait of Mallarmé in Picasso's Ulysse et les sirènes and the poem "A la nue accablante tu" written by Mallarmé. In this poem, Mallarmé dislocates language articulation by superimposing a virtual plane of interpretation on its reading. This spatial representation model, in which words are employed in a deliberate ambiguity or multiplicity of sense, explains the relationship between the two works in question. Picasso's transpositions are seen in the reflections and inversions seen in the oil painting, whose effect is that the viewer sees one object at one moment, and another an instant later, such as Ulysses, a Faun, horns or sails. The eye is directed toward upwards, then downwards, and so on. In addition to observations confirming the relationship between the two works of art, we will also reflect upon Mallarmé's "white lines" and the threads of white paint in the Picasso painting.
Galloy Abstract: The role of material culture in reifying nationalist conceptions of the past is explored through a comparative analysis of the state-produced currencies of Mexico and Central America. This analysis shows that bank notes and coins are capable of transmitting powerful messages regarding national sovereignty and ethnic or class relations. Generally first appearing during periods of nation-building and the integration of indigenous peoples into cash economies, representations of the Indian past on currency have been used to reinforce distinctive, differentiating national identities while symbolically subordinating the native past to the Hispanic present. For nations with large indigenous populations, such as Guatemala and Mexico, Indian heroes and culture are clearly placed in the past, a past of the vanquished and ruined. For lower Central American countries, where class tends to overshadow ethnic relations, colonial and agrarian themes are more often represented, emphasizing ideologies of exploitive class relations.
Averianova Abstract: This article deals with the operations attributed to Georges Dumézil's "superior function" in his tripartite model of the development of cultural significance in social roles. Specifically, it analyzes the manifestation of this function in a text on Russian hagiography. Spatial distribution and its valorization by an axiology take centre stage in the quest for sainthood, which is articulated, according to the canonical narrative schema, by an interplay between various processes of becoming. The involvement of modal competencies, of proofs of valor, is decisive and determining in this quest. Together they permit the construction of an injunctive social contract founded upon a dichotomy between the magical and the religious dimensions of the subject's life. It is noteworthy that the quest's central "trial by fire" proceeds through the acquisition of knowledge originating with the diabolical antagonist; the "superior function" is an interplay, through various modal structures, of both an assimilation and a rebuke, which permits the return of the questing Subject through a newly-defined space. [Article in French]
Mazid Abstract: The paper provides an in-depth semiopragmalinguistic analysis of a single text: a contemporary Egyptian print caricature. The theoretical background of the analysis consists of brief introductory notes on caricature, an overview of basic semiotic notions and the incongruity theory, in addition to a description of the data. The analysis proper concentrates on the visual and verbal aspects of the text, modality cues, paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations and intertextual aspects therein. The decoding of the text, only one possible reading, reveals how it contributes to the 'symbolic annihilation of women' in contemporary media texts.
Bachand Abstract: The evolution of new media is governed by a logic of hybridization that alters sensory perception and introduces new aesthetic, semiotic and epistemological factors previously unseen in the cultural realm. Like its predecessors such as radio, television and motion pictures (from which it borrows certain aspects), multimedia also inherits characteristics, and part of its material, from our literary heritage. Multimedia therefore constructs its own new language from a convergence of various forms and distinct media, a process which takes inspiration from previous modes of communication while fashioning new paradigms of reading and writing. Thus the semiotic developments created by new interactive technologies call for a reconceptualization of the relationship between reader and text. [Article in French]
Baicchi Abstract: The author investigates perception through epistemological models of icons, and, in terms of indexicality. The theoretical framework of this article is framed around a Corpus of English and American poems. These are approached from the point of view of phonetic percepts as compared to the visual perception of such texts. Some novel insights are offered on anthropomorphic perception.
In this article Danish researcher Theleffsen examines Peirce's so-called triads, to present an epistemological approach to perception, especially in terms of the relationship between nature, humanity and culture. Here the author's aim is to develop an interpretative method in order to categorize the three trichotomies such that Qualisign, Sinsign and Legisign correspond to nature; Icon, Index and Symbol correspond to humankind; and Rheme, Dicent sign and Argument correspond to culture.
Valle Abstract: In this article, Italian researcher Andrea Valle explores the oft-neglected question of the semiotics of time. His approach broaches the realm of music, in particular touching upon the question of anthropomorphic syntheses of sound into conceptions of time. The innovative value of this article is that it posits, in a new manner, the senses as the epistemological basis on which time is perceived. [Article in French]
Thanasoulas Abstract: This article is a highly sensitive analysis of the evolution of the pragmatics of classroom language teaching, from traditional authoritative (and "unilateral") approaches to models in which the learner becomes a more active and equal "partner" in the communicative structures of learning environments. Greek writer amd philosopher Thanasoulas explores this recent phenomenon in terms of an epistemological consideration of the concept of autonomy, specifically how this is attributed to, and taken on by, the student. The study then passes from the theoretical to the applied, offering accounts of new methodologies which appear likely to allow the conceptually new teaching methods to be actually realized.
Beggar Abstract: For the researcher in media studies, such a context as this one offers first and foremost an opportunity to examine strategies for representing the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and to study more closely the elements constituting what might be termed a true political mythos around this leader. In this respect we must look at treatments of the subject in terms of his words and the memory of them. The corpus examined is constituted by Issue 39 of the French language Toronto weekly newspaper L'Express. Our task is to approach what editorialist Philippe Hamon calls "the ideological effect" and to consider this ideology through text and image: these two media provide us with a specific locus of points capable of revealing information on the normative apparatus that governs them. These locus points act as normative operators, places where facts meet ideals, and where one can distinguish the boundaries between the permitted and the prohibited, the real and the false, and so on. [Article in French]
Berthelin Abstract: The principles governing the construction of the electronic document and, by corollary, the different means of investing meaning in such a textual corpus, are as yet uncertain. The gamut of writing and reading possibilities opened up by the world of information technology remain at the current juncture largely unexpored and no redactional code has yet become standard. However, for reasons that are both technical and semiotical, electronic writing cannot remain free of the constraints of legislation and standardization. The current paper explores the possible emergence of such standards. [Article in French]
Piotrowski Abstract: With the hypertext, research could hardly proceed by means of the "received" forms of empirical experimentation -- those of the natural sciences. This situation is due to fact that hypertexts are not fully constituted objects, independent of their users; therefore, it is essential to identify both their structural and functional composition by means of manipulative procedures which, as is well known, and in their general principles, tend to produce observable effects (both quantitatively and qualitatively) by surveying the various changing parameters of the objects examined. [PDF not yet available, Article in French]
Trifonas Abstract: Some proponents of poststructural theorizing have conceived of "textuality" as the substantive equivalent of the author's productivity, a polyphony of (a)synchronic voices realized via intertextual processes of communication for the social exchange of thought surmising the tensions of knowledge, power, and desire. Others have cultivated a non-metaphysical conception of text/uality where meaning-making on the part of the reader is considered to be a generative movement embodying a semantic glide or elision of infinite, yet playful, regressions that negate objectivity and render the content of the written word undecidible in relation to a seemingly uncontrollable labyrinth tracing a network of possible interpretation. The picture-book genre offers an interesting case for illuminating the formal dimensions of textual structure and for exploring the meaning-expressive potential of the lexical and visual forms of signification characteristic of such cross-medial narrative texts.
Ayad Abstract: Considered by critics as a "peculiar" work, belonging to its own category within the novels of Duras, the story of "Moderato Cantabile," which is closely linked to the habitual themes explored by the novelist, distinguishes itself by "the techniques utilized and the particular research it reveals." A woman, a man, a child conceived by alcohol -- these are, on the face of it, the habitual ingredients of a Duras novel. However, the work attracts by means of its elegant composition around a narrow and linear tale where, right from the beginning, evidence of a crime news clip is shown opposite a virtual universe in which facts are created only by means of dialogue. [Article in French]
Martinez Abstract: It is certainly reasonable to assert that God is not representable, but this interdiction, in Moses and Aaron, affects the Law, which is to say, the foundation of the community, the vital rules of its daily existence. This is the incomprehensible scandal and the quest imposed in this lyrical story. The people is touched in its corporeality, in terms of that which makes up its body, in its internal and external syntax, its being in the place, its existence. A collective thus affected is the essence of the drama that Schoenberg portrays. [Article in French]
Bazie Abstract: The Sony Labou Tansi text reveals itself in triadic dimensions: corporeal, textual and universal. Thus his texts are meant as a sort of hiatus, a caesura in the too harmonious course of History about which we must argue; his is a writing which, being both reflexive and interpellative, positions itself in the privileged place of he who can demand History account for itself and who can require life to rise against unjust and absurd death. The author considers SLT's writings along the unavoidable lines of the body, which in this corpus is the locus of all action. The author concludes that there is an intrinsic link between life, which SLT thematises, and its perceptible manifestation, the body. [Article in French]
Mattix Abstract: The concept of "self" is a constructed entity by revealing the distance between the "Narcissus" constructed by the love-struck nymphs and the "Narcissus" constructed by Narcissus himself. This distance is furthermore accented by the ensuing despair and "narcissism" when the physical Narcissus falls in love with his reflection in the pool, seeing himself as the nymphs see him. The seer's prophecy also seems to argue, unlike the hegelian dialectic, that it is impossible to know oneself objectively. For if one were actually able to take leave of the self and inhabit the other (as Narcissus did), returning to the self again would be impossible because we would then only recognize our "self" as another. The dialectic would not come full circle and there would be no synthesis.
Averianova Abstract: The present article is devoted to the methodology of the study of repetitions in narration. According to George Duhamel, if the peculiar genius of French includes an aversion to the repetition of words, this is because it abhors the useless repetition of ideas. The author supposes that the repetition of elements in the structure of the medieval Russian epic, and in the courtly French romance, in effect exist to express different ideas. [Article in French]
Lombardo Abstract: The writings of Claude Lévi-Strauss assert that if we are to study mythical thought in a manner consistent with its own processes, we must first find it an opposition. But we certainly cannot go seeking an opposition to something that's nature is unclear to us as it is difficult to know what something is not when you do not know precisely what it is. So, what is a myth? This is a question with very many answers, very few of which seem satisfactory. This article is a survey of various approaches to answering this question.
Thanasoulas Abstract: There seems to exist an implicit assumption that, inasmuch as teaching and learning concern the transfer and assimilation of knowledge and skills by persons equipped to do so, the assessment process involves sampling the pool of knowledge, skill, and competence. This assumption is based on the further belief that if one can produce evidence of having mastered the assimilated knowledge and skill on demand, one not only knows but also can put these abilities to use whenever they are required. Nevertheless, this conception of knowledge and its assessment falls short of the mark, as it ignores the fact that the traditional assessment process is heavily dependent on the ability of the person being tested to recall and symbolically represent knowledge and to select iconic representations of skills.
Tchouaffé Abstract: This paper attempts to examine the transformation of a well-beloved American popular culture character, Kermit the Frog, into an advertising icon that differs from earlier incarnations as an educational figure addressed particularly to children of the African American community. It examines the "commodification" of the Sesame Street protagonist, or to be more precise, the co-opting and re-packaging of Kermit the Frog by the advertising industry, such that his partnership with the interests of market forces prejudices what made him famous in the first place: teaching mainstream English to disadvantaged children. The author contends that by representing commercially-biased opinions from interested parties in the marketplace, Kermit becomes a distraction of a sort that is in fact counter-productive to the original literacy project, insofar as it blurs distinctions between appearance and substance, and employs a non- literate, iconographical representation as its renewed message.
Balinesteanu Abstract: In this paper the author argues that one may regard Samuel Beckett's The Unnamable as an attempt to acquire meaning from a literary event which is rooted in, and stems from, a negotiation between two different realms, that of the inner being and that of outer contexts, which, although essentially opposed, must converge in order to produce that literary event. The Unnamable is thus the expression of an interaction between the two realms and it is, accordingly, metaphorically and metonymically ordered as discourse. This study will be concerned with how the inner being is made present in discourse through the discourse's metaphoric order and with how discourse reflects outer constraints in its metonymic order.
Gunay Abstract: In this study the author explores the characters both within and without the theatrical piece, by introducing the speakers from the novel that was written before the play, and which gives rise to its writing. In this sense, Gunay is attempting to find the answer to such questions as: "Who might be the speaker and listener in Siegfried et le Limousin and in Siegfried, from the beginning right up until the mise en scene of the play?"
Semetsky Abstract: The field of communication phenomena as part of the typology of cultures calls for the identification of specific semiotic systems representing their "languages". In this respect culture is seen as a set of texts described by collective memory (Lotman 1990). The expression in the title of this paper, memories of the future, seems however to be a contradiction in terms. To resolve the paradox, this paper will address a specific pictorial, that is, extra-linguistic, language expressed in the signs and symbols of Tarot. Tarot images survived through the ages and -- although their exact origins are debated -- appear to have been in existence, in their modern form, since the fourteenth century. This paper will first survey a number of the cultural "memory traces" left in history by the Hermetic tradition and revived during the Renaissance. Secondly, the we will present Tarot pictures as polysemic representations of the images of collective memory, organized into a semiotic system and constituting a pictorial "text" represented by the cards' layout.
Blumenfeld Abstract: As "Temple of the Nation," the French Panthéon is, first and foremost, the focal point of conflicting memories and identities. The monument's history not only tells the story of France's national divisions, but it also points to discrepancies between public and private identities of the 'great men' whose mortal remains it holds in its crypt. Thus, it is the entire drama of the individual's place in society which is staged in the Panthéon.
In this article Teobaldelli continues his investigation of cinema and special effects from the perspective of an "integrated" theory of communication. This implies an examination of the "direct use of reality" or physeos within filmic representation and its relationship with artifice and mimesis. This article attempts to reconcile the paradoxical function of special effects as artificial techniques with their utility in constructing a filmic experience whose impact on the viewer is that of a more fully real, vivid or authentic expression.
Martinez Abstract: This article in French is an investigation of the evolution of Athenian law through its representation in the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus. Orestes, son of Agamemnon, a hero of the Trojan war who was murdered upon his return from Troy, is banished from Athens and must, like Hamlet, seek closure of his desire to avenge his father's death. The article examines the Aeschylus' semiotisation of the history of the establishment of a renewed Athenian law through Orestes' trial and acquittal, and finds that this juridical renewal can be understood through a communication between the three elements of divine law, Athenian law and Orestes' trials.
Lee Abstract: Using a feminist stylistics, along with cognitive linguistics, text linguistics and schema theory, the author attempts an analysis of four of Plath's Ariel poems and links them with feminism and the cultural deixis of her time and the present. Lee shows that characteristics of the poet as a schizophrenic and as a feminist finds expression in Plath's final work, providing a "conflicting interface to Plath's gendered life."
Taha Abstract: The article seeks to deal with the very short story from the semiotic viewpoint of the genre theory. It distinctly concerns with the question "how can texts of a new and unique phenomenon of minimalist fiction be read and interpreted?" The answer to this complex question is initially provided in generic terminology. Thus the paper suggests the generic components of the very short story and, defines, classifies and divides them into three categories (brevity, approaching poetry, and strengthening of the reader's position), by which the reader can "successfully" proceed in an interesting and complicated process of reading and interpretation.
Wagner Abstract: This article in French investigates the relationships between meaning and form in juridical texts, particularly in English Common Law. In it the author examines the way in which the "planning" of legal texts aims both to render such texts more legible through the use of lexical indices relating content to the order of its treatment, and to provide the reader with cohesive markers for the text, which enable him or her to situate the parts within the whole through connective articulations and key words. The article concludes that the English legal text, while arcane, is a highly clear and efficient method of communication in which potential ambiguities are successfully avoided. [Article in French]
Foskett Abstract: This article is an epistemologically sensitive investigation of filmic representations of the human being from the perspective of cinema in a "posthuman" era. In a posthuman era, there is "the danger of flagrantly reproducing the humanist ideology through new forms, be they aesthetic, machinic or displaced in new environments." The author finds that new issues will need to be represented, but the strategy will continue to be the dismantling of Enlightenment subjectivity by "releasing the sign from its referent," and then "linking the semiotic to the material." Such representational attempts, according to the author, must therefore encompass feminist and material film strategies if they are to "create and maintain a necessary critical distance from emerging conceptions of biological subjectivity and autonomy/collectivity, and from conceptions of the posthuman itself."
In this article Paul Privateer investigates the gradual merging, within the public imagination, of media per se and commercial branding in advertising and marketing. Their amalgamation means that advertising will become a dominant and privileged source of information and that ultimately product data will form and shape consciousness. In the end, the author warns, people will 'become products' because their identities will be derived from the semiotic lexicon of designer markets.
Willows Abstract: Interdisciplinary by design, ideas in Gestalt psychology (perception theory), tandems ideas with some of Saussure's work in aesthetics, specifically his parole and langue model. Gestalt describes too, the eye seeing incomplete images as complete, arranging patterns into representations, as well as, the brain's instant processing of images into ideas. Mahfouz's Miramar, Kanafani's Men in the Sun, and al-Rahman Munif's Endings, are works rife with characters reacting to such examples of this Semiotic-Gestalt pairing. Also under study are the novel's structuring devices that arrange the plot into patterns.
Thanasoulas Abstract: This article explores the failings of discourse used for teaching purposes as an idealized 'native speaker' in EFL teaching. Through an analysis of elliptical structures and conventions of correctness, Thanasoulas critiques the narrowness of rigid structures created by the didactic imagination, which fail to capture the authentic characteristics of verbal speech found in real native speakers. Natural speech is dramatically different from an "ideal coursebook dialogue," which not only fails to square with reality but also leads to misunderstandings as to the "mechanics" of genuine communication. Unless coursebooks expose learners to real language, it will be impossible to foster adequate communicative and sociolinguistic competence.
Creet Abstract: This article is based on the author's videotaped interviews with both Christian witnesses and Jewish survivors of the deportations from the Hungarian town of Székesfehérvár. It examines four testimonial moments, one textual and three audiovisual, each of which invoke a crucial memory embedded in a gesture, or the lack of one. "The gesture, whether it be sincere or insincere, is always inadequate in some sense, a gesture in the face of a larger inaction; and yet, in the face of larger indifference, one might also find great solace in it." Creet's examination of the gesture combines two meanings of the word: a movement expressive of thought or feeling and that of a small act of the body politic as well.
Botz-Bornstein Abstract: Here the author investigates Tarkovsky's aesthetic through a semiotic analysis of the concept of strangeness within the Russian's filmography. The article reflects upon the ways in which Andrei Tarkovsky represents "facts". For Tarkovsky this project involves questions about time and history in a way it does in few other contemporary artists. For Tarkovsky the approach of transforming facts into what is most commonly called "fiction" is based on sophisticated reflections upon the relationship between history and the present, and these reflections transcend, according to Botz, the playfulness of many classical "postmodern" approaches. Tarkovsky developed his ideas on time in cinema by overcoming the most important cinematic principle of modernity: the Formalist method of montage. Tarkovsky's expressions are at the same time incompatible with those of "postmodern"' attempts of overcoming modernity; and this is due to Tarkovsky's particular view on history, memory and imagination.
O'NEILL Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore existing semiotic techniques in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses in analysing interactive media systems. Three individual studies are compared using variations of product semiotics, visual semiotics and Eco's revised KF (Katz & Fodor) model. Taken individually each study does not provide a wholly satisfactory solution to the problems of evaluation. However, when considered together, the possibility of an integrated semiotic theory becomes an attractive proposition as an evaluation method. This paper suggests that older semiotic approaches, while useful, are not enough in themselves. In order to be useful to HCI (Human Computer Interaction), the relevant aspects of semiotic theory must be integrated with an understanding of interactive interpretation, in such a way, as to produce a semiotics of new interactive media that is capable of articulating its specific characteristics.
SELA-SHEFFY Abstract: This paper examines the dynamics of co-construction and contestation of a shared sense of Israeli identity performed through stories Israelis tell each other about how (other) Israelis behave abroad, and the discursive strategies individuals in this culture employ to mark their sense of involvement or detachment vis-à-vis this collective identity. My analysis is based on a sample of about 1700 talk-backs to 14 Internet news-items dealing with the bad reputation of Israeli tourists, mainly abroad (Y-net 2001-2003). These stories narrate events violating the norms of "civilized conduct" to support the speakers' or other respondents' arguments, or to dispute the latter. In contradistinction to the political-ideological issues of conflict (ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc.) that are taken to be at the heart of Israeli identity disputes, these stories express a "pursuit of culturedness," where good manners and "genuine culture" are presented as the assets on which the writers of the talk-backs tend to draw for gaining symbolic capital in their self-presentation and status claim.
BULUT Abstract: Visual communication does not include language codes; it leaves the visual message and the recipient alone. This paper focuses on the production of meaning from visual messages in advertising from a semiotic analysis perspective which can be examined through viewer responses to identify patterns of meaning construction. For this purpose, we have investigated one specific advertisement (the Coca cola light commercial which ran in Turkey during the second half of the year 2004) and asked a group of viewers to produce the meanings of the images in the commercial. The results yielded that the viewers noted more iconic message elements than symbolic or indexical ones; however, symbolic meaning seems to be more effective than iconic meaning.
NELIDE-MOUNIAPIN Abstract: Les hypertextes présents dans les cédéroms sont gérés de manière caractéristique. Ils permettent, par le lien qu'ils instaurent, de renvoyer d'une partie à une autre du discours. Ils manifestent ainsi les différentes possibilités de navigation dans le cadre de celui-ci. De plus, les hypertextes (F. Rastier,1994 : 170) mettent en évidence le découpage du discours. En effet, les différentes parties auxquelles ils se trouvent rattachés, manifestent un discours découpé et organisé selon un principe d'indexation. Tout comme un ouvrage « papier » dont le discours serait découpé en chapitre et comprendrait une table des matières, le discours véhiculé par les cédéroms peut comprendre un découpage par couleur et un système alphabétique équivalent. De plus, l'usage de l'hypertexte se retrouve dans d'autres supports. [Article in French]
Semetsky Abstract: This study may be seen as a sequel to Semetsky's earlier article entitled "Symbolism of the Tower as Abjection" (2000). The paper interpreted the symbolism inscribed in the imagery of "The Tower" card in a Tarot deck in terms of Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection. The year after, in 2001, it was another striking image that shook the real world: the events on September 11 and the collapse of the World Trade Center's 'Twin Towers.' The start of the 21st Century happened to be marked by the conflict and catastrophe that represent, as this paper will argue, the dynamics of abjection. The Age of Abjection is permeated with the confrontation with the Law of the Father where a symbolic child risks not only castration but also the destruction and loss of its whole being. The author here interprets the meaning of the Tower image at both textual (or rather pictorial, or semiotic) level and at the level of social reality. She suggests that, in accord with Kristeva's semanalysis, the destructive moment is in fact embedded within a generative constructive process, which represents at once symbolic and real construction of collective subjectivity within a double process of negation and identification.
Blumenfeld Abstract: In this article, the author re-examines the causes of the decline of rhetoric. Attributing its demise in critical theory, like Genette and Ricoeur, to tremendous popularity of tropology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the author questions the ideological, lexicological and philosophical lines of reasoning that have been advanced in order to justify rhetoric's apparent demise. He then re-frames the issue in a manner that allows for the possibility of a re-defining of what rhetoric ought to encompass, a science which in fact is far from diminished, when considered in this expanded light. "Perhaps that what rhetoric in fact does is to assert, or rather to persuade the reader that it asserts something about this relation between language and thought, and between language and referent. Rhetoric, thus, is above any dialectic which it creates by suggesting a distance or a proximity which, in any case, does not exist before the reader enters a relationship with the text. Rhetoric is this mask, sometimes polished like a mirror, with which we ourselves cover the text."
Aloni Abstract: This article deals with the semiotic relations between the English of Geoffrey Chaucer's text in "The Prioress's Tale" and the resonances of Hebrew inscribed in this text. It explores the way in which the anti-Jewish story of The Prioress's Tale told in English and described as taking place in a "strete ... open at eyther ende" functions as a means of occulting or hiding (a Hebrew verb whose root is [str] (a complex relation to Hebrew as origin unfolding through Hebrew sound patterns and names as interpreted in the Latin texts of Christian exegetes. The article argues that a number of dominant letter clusters in the tale, including "str" "ewe" and "rt" reveal intertextual resonances with the Hebrew Bible (most notable the story of Ruth and Naomi and the story of the transition from Egypt to Israel) and with Hebrew names, especially as transmitted to the Christian world through the work of St. Jerome. The article concludes that the mutilingual semiotics of Chaucer's text destabilize the conceptualization of Judaism and Christianity as stable beginning and end seemingly implied by the Tale's narrative surface, yielding a reconceptualization of Christianity's relation to Judaism as a relation of a potentially endless chain of maternal transference. This transference works by means of roots and routes that are at once linguistic and feminine, opening up theoretical questions concerning the intrication of maternality and the signifier.
Kolarova Abstract: Butor, a-t-il donné un coup de pinceau (ou de bâton), dirait-il à la manière de Jackson Pollock pour essayer de représenter en bref parcours et en mobilité perpétuelle, recherchée, (perpetuum mobile) ce que son esprit scriptural n'arrive pas à « survoler » d'emblée ? Tel un oiseau qui n'interrompt pas son cours (il se met soit même au-dessus de l'½uvre en « peignant » et plus spécialement il prend distance physique se positionncant juste au-dessus du déjà peint recréant la gestuelle de l'action painting du peintre américain auquel il dédie son livre, il est déjà difficile de parler de livre, qu'on n'arrive pas à lire mais à sentir, on se limiterait à ½uvre d'art. En lisant et en feuilletant l'½uvre on se sent perdu, on a besoin de connaissances géographiques et même si on en possède de telles, il est nécessaire d'avoir sous les yeux une surface plane pour imaginer et comparer à l'abstrait sémiotiquement l'écrit et, le parcours en avion que Butor avoue avoir pensé entreprendre en procédant à son ½uvre. C'est ce que révèle Pollock lui-même : à propos de « being in my picture ».
Guibert Abstract: In the endeavour consisting in applying linguistic methods to texts, an epistemological question is raised regarding the status of the results obtained, as well as the positioning of the results, which may be novel compared to those of other methods. If these texts belong to ancient manuscripts whose traces have been kept and recounted by various witnesses, and having been translated several times throughout history, the epistemological question becomes vastly more complex; and yet a question of epistemology remains unanswered as far as the treatment of these ancient texts is concerned; in addition there are the questions of the applied method, the presuppositions upon which the method rests, and so on. The author examines these questions in light of the analysis of biblical texts. [Article in French]
Kiritani Abstract: Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has been applied to culture since the late twentieth century. The aim of this paper is to contribute to such evolutionary approaches to culture by introducing the notion of information evolution. Based on Ruth Millikan's concepts of "local information" and of "direct proper function," this study attempts to clarify how the evolution of cultural entities is related to their informational characteristics. It finds that the very concept of local information in fact implies the concept of direct proper function. It is then shown that natural signs, including those in the cultural domain, have been selected for carrying information by a Darwinian-type selection mechanism.
Martinez-Sierra Abstract: In this paper, the author aims to reflect on certain relevant aspects of the role television plays in contemporary American society, such as the influence it can exert on the general public, and the question of who controls it. The main intent is to raise pertinent questions and elicit issues for debate, rather than to pursue a thorough analysis of the matter. To do so, the author applies a selection of notions from Pierre Bourdieu's model of reproduction of cultural and social power to a reflection on the role of television in American society today. A central aim is to test the hypothesis that television helps to reproduce the American economic, social, and political system. A particular sample of American television programming the popular cartoon sitcom The Simpsons is considered. The examination of this show, also using some concepts from Bourdieu's model, will lead to the conclusion that The Simpsons reproduces the system it critiques.
Clark Abstract: This article considers the proposition that language may be regarded as a mode, a form, a palpable reality of relations between people. It therefore raises an ontological problem in the definition and theory of social capital. Whereas numerous commentators have addressed questions of the aetiology, cultivation, distribution, and effects of social capital, there is as yet no satisfactory explanation of what it is as such. If there is a substantial phenomenon called social capital, then one of its manifest forms is language. The main proof is that language descriptively conforms to the defining characteristics of social capital, which this article addresses in detail.
Zyphur Abstract: This article attempts to redress the paucity of research addressing the psychology of money and valuation. Drawing on Saussure, Marx, and Simmel, the current work attempts to develop an understanding of money as a signifier of value, with both money and value conforming to semiotic rules of signification. Then, value is shown to occur as a function of the ordering of commodities for a particular individual, requiring an interrelation between commodified objects in order to understand any single commodity. Further, the process of commodification is shown occur in accord with Kant's discussion of the synthetic unity of apperception, such that the process of valuation may be understood as representing individual consciousness. Finally, we discuss our analysis of money and value.
Lindgren Abstract: When the Eminem music video 'Mosh' was released on the Internet shortly before the 2004 US election it was mass downloaded, and its strong political imagery quickly made it a pop culture phenomenon. One journalist actually called it 'the most important piece of mainstream dissent since the 60s'. In this article a deconstruction of this video is carried out, drawing on Roman Jakobson's semiotic theory of sign functions. The primary goal, however, is neither simply to discuss, nor to review the video 'Mosh' as a specific expression, nor is it to champion Jakobson's theory as the ultimate semiotic model. The aim is rather to illustrate the potential possessed by basic semiotic analysis when it comes to bringing the symbolic workings of a 'political' visual text to light and thereby critically investigating a case of construction and contestation of the social world in visual discourse.
Guibert Abstract: A further question that must be asked is whether some pre-comprehension or interpretation are involved in biblical text analysis. In fact, when studying discourse as result from the application of textual methods, or in the framework of translation, of text from a source-language into a focused language: a such interpretation should be clarified. Pre-comprehension of a text should have a role like a presupposition in the process of studying text, or regarding translation? In this case, how can we qualified this process? Which is the contribution of presupposition in translation or textual analysis, and why this contribution should argue to be avoid in textual analysis? That is the questions we can propose but not always answer yet in this article.
Berthin Abstract: Existing models of Rongorongo, so it would seem, are not adequate to enable translation of the corpus. We wrote this paper to develop a model for the script vocabulary, syntax and anthropoid glyph deconstruction which might be used as basis for further translation. Our next paper will show this. Incidental to the purpose of our authorship but valuable to the cause of scholarship, we further developed the current translations of the lunar calendar and addressed deficiencies associated with current models.
Fullwood Abstract: Although the efficacy of computer-mediated exchanges may be lessened by the paucity of nonverbal cues, emoticon use is said to improve the communication of socio-emotional information. The current study aimed to test this further by exposing participants to verbal information that was either supplemented by emoticons or not. Participants were then requested to rate their chat partner on a number of personality variables. Results indicated that emoticon users were generally perceived as being more outgoing and friendly than non-users, with men rating non-users as less outgoing. Furthermore, women in both conditions rated online chat partners as more emotionally stable. It was concluded that using emoticons helps to alleviate the constraints associated with cue restriction in CMC, and that sex differences may be a function of the perceived sex of the chat partner and subsequent motivations for the exchange. Further research should therefore consider the context and nature of online communications.
Bernardini Abstract: Swimming and diving are the complementary halves of an evolving American myth, two sports whose juxtaposition is both mutually illuminating and illustrative of contemporary American culture. A diver transforms the body into a symbol; all diving is an allegory of death and transcendence, as well as an attempt to enact the dream of a natural language. Swimming, by contrast, is anti-allegorical and absurd, a failed attempt at bodily transformation. Diving is a purely conventional construct that masquerades as nature; swimming is a physical activity that fails to adopt a set of conventions that would enable it to speak clearly. In terms of their place in American culture, swimming is the privileged term in the binary, since it is associated with the values of capitalism, while diving is denigrated as theater, as play. Although in this regard diving may appear as a disruptive or potentially revolutionary activity, it more likely inoculates (in Roland Barthes's sense of the term, whose Mythologies form the counterpoint for this discussion) American society against the possibility of radical transformation. Or, has capitalism evolved beyond the point that such a mythical inoculation is necessary?
HERNÁNDEZ ÁVILA Abstract: An analysis of the Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland is conducted in order to attempt to interpret a deeper immanent level of meaning than that conveyed at first sight on the level of the manifest, through a semiotic breakdown using the film analysis theoretical aproach proposed by Giannetti, and also employing the sign classification categories developed by Olivo (1985).
Golia Abstract: Many aspects of a national anniversary are associated with general social functions, which interpret data, but in parallel highlight issues requiring ethnographic and phenomenological approaches (McQuarrie & David, 1992). The issue of the relationship between history, society and education is discussed as a problem of relationships between education and historically determined ideology. Given that ideologies allow for semiotic formulations, the convergence of Marxist and semiotic analyses afford a methodological basis which enables the study of the relationship between the socio-historical conditions and the ceremonial aspects of national celebrations (Lagopoulos, 1986). The present paper aims at emphasizing the character of school celebrations, as ensued from the study of official national celebration agendas, which are prescribed and sent in circulars (channel) by the Greek Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of the Interior (sender) to the Local Authorities (receiver) and finally to Greek primary schools (receiver). The investigation of the circulars aims at identifying aspects of national celebrations and associating them with national memory in the context of pupils' national and education policy.
Fathulla Abstract: This paper responds to renewed interest in the centuries old question of what is a diagram. Existing status of our understanding of diagrams is seen as unsatisfactory and confusing particularly when responding to problems of accounting for the variety of diagrams, handling change in diagrams in a well formed way, and all of this in the context of semantically mixed diagrams. Existing frameworks (Peirce, Bertin, Engelhardt) for understanding diagrams are discussed and evaluated against these problems. These frameworks are then contrasted for similarities and differences with our proposal which is based on, SySpM, Symbolic and Spatial Mapping. Potential and contributions of the proposed framework are briefly mentioned.
Tanaka-Ishii Abstract: In this article the authors argue that an ontology based either upon 'being' or 'doing' will emerge, depending on which aspect of Peirce's triadic model of the sign is emphasized: the object or the interpretant. Their argument is based on an analysis of two types of ontology used in object-oriented computer programming: namely, the class and the abstract data type. Among their findings is the observation that the programming ontology is determined by the object-types defined, rather than the inverse.
Kolarova Abstract: In this study of the interartistic phenomenon the author chronologically follows the development of the definitions related to this notion, and while arranging them, takes into account their significance for the germination of this interartistic vision, connected to the emblematic personality of Julia Kristeva, and whose chief definition is intertextuality. She also refers to the works of Gerard Genette and examine the definition of transtextuality introduced by him, which he terms as literature of second degree and which by content is closer to the concept of interartistic phenomenon. Intertextuality correlates to a very wide stream of philosophical thought during the entire Twentieth Century, as a prelude dating from ancient times.
Dupuy Abstract: Numerous studies and analyses have treated the phenomenon of intertextuality in the works of Jules Verne. Fewer, however, have approached the subject from a point of view that is appropriately rich for the Vernian exegesis: the analysis of the illustrations and other images, particularly those present in the Voyages Extraordinaires. Here we are no longer dealing with simple intertextuality, but rather, with an intersemioticity or even an intrasemioticity, when the references denote aspects of the work itself.
Blumenfeld Abstract: In this paper, the author considers the relations between literature and sculpture, and in particular the similarities and differences in the conveyance of a meaning or emotion through the two media. He suggests that despite differences in conception as well as in medium, the artistic image can be conveyed to the reader or to the viewer through what can be analysed as rhetorical forms. In other words, while paying attention to the considerable differences in the conception of the artistic act from Dante to Rodin, he attempts to analyse both text and sculpture in terms of the construction of an image, conceived of as the impression made on the reader/viewer by the interaction of rhetorical figures. Two different levels are explored: thematic (the construction of ambiguity through an incomplete narrative), and technical, through the study of ekphrasis (the illusion of visual movement in both literature and sculpture through the use of rhetorical constraints on the reader/viewer).
In this article Mohammed Thawabteh examines the functions of Arabic cultural references within the scope of the hermeneutic circle of the translator. These functions are investigated through a corpus consisting in a translation of The Square Moon: Supernatural Tales by Ghada As-Samman. An English translation of As-Samman's work is analysed in terms of Steiner's four-move model, revealing a continuum in which each complements the others in the reconstruction of translated meaning. The moves are finally evaluated vis-à-vis equivalence theory and translation strategies. The analysis shows
that realising the functions of Arabic cultural references in translation depends on the translator's hermeneutic circle. Keywords: Hermeneutic circle, equivalence, translation strategy, cultural reference.
HAASE Abstract: Two persons communicating may use the same word, but even so, they might mean different things. Social groups sometimes use a word with one or more meanings differently employed compared to contemporary norms or historical meanings. This study is divided into two parts, a 'text type analysis' and a 'contents text analysis,' regarding the topical rhetoric in the text corpus of New York Times (text internal study). The contrasting analysis discusses the findings compared to a contemporary set of definitions as well as the historical understanding of rhetorical concepts. This article argues also that the U.S. First Amendment category of 'free speech' is dissimilar to the term 'rhetoric' as employed in the mass media. Here the media manifest a rudimentary 'watchdog' position when using the term with a negative connotation, switching from a descriptive text type 'hard news') to an argumentative text type. This simplified media language constitutes a break with the traditional (and more complex) system of rhetorical theory, even though the text type analysis shows that the correlation between rhetoric and journalistic text types corresponds with the classical understanding of rhetoric and its categories of speech.
DUBROCA GALIN Abstract: This article seeks to broaden the notion of phraseology in the specialized domain of sales, and at the same time to redefine it in the following manner: the habitual formulations that one hears and sees in writing on a given subject, namely those which respond to what is desired of such locutions, to that which it is wished that others will say of them and that which one wishes to be understood. Phraseology being closely related to the routine of the speaking subject, both on the plane of expression and that of understanding, it is without doubt that which is constantly utilized for commmercial purposes. [Article in French]
SCHUÖNFELDT-AULTMAN Abstract: This study attempts to evaluate as a whole Time's February 12, 2001 cover story on "AIDS in Africa," using Roland Barthes' (1957/1999) Myth Today. It seeks to provide a clear understanding of the operating semiological systems of myth that function in this text. Following Barthes' diagram in his historic essay, this cover story is analyzed via reference to photos, standout text, and an advertisement existing within the cover story. Ultimately, the functioning myth appears to be one promoting black/African inferiority, helplessness, and dependence on supposed superior, capable, and caring whites/West/United States. The myth distorts that the West/whites/United States have intentionally neglected and disadvantaged blacks/Africa(ns), have stolen its resources/wealth, really do not care, and consequently, will not and thus, cannot help. Key terms: Barthes, myth, sign, signified, signifier, distortion, ideology, AIDS, whiteness, Africans, Time.
AL-MOMANI Abstract: This study investigates how signs inserted in texts are sometimes lost in the process of interpretation. It focuses on the decoding strategies Arab students at university level use in interpreting the meanings in their English reading texts and the impact of their cultural rooted thinking on their choices of interpretation. A short narrative English text in which gender role stereotypes are encoded was chosen. The text was first analyzed semiotically within Hall's (1974) framework of encoding and decoding embracing the three factors of sender, message and receiver. Then the text was given as a reading task to 100 Jordanian English major students, freshmen and sophomores at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). Their responses were analyzed and interpreted quantitatively and qualitatively. Three strategies of decoding were identified: the dominant code, the negotiated strategies, and oppositional strategies. The study showed that the majority of the students opted for the negotiated and oppositional strategies in interpreting the signs related to gender issues. It also showed that their rooted gendered thinking played a crucial role in their interpretation of the embedded message and lead to loss of the intended message.
KERAMYDA Abstract: This study provides an approach to an analytical framework for cultural studies of ideological representations in visual mass media. Our aim is to explore the use of gendered codes, dominant ideologies and stereotypes in children's toy advertisements and in order to do so we also try to propose/produce an inter-scientific analysis model for the purposes of children's TV advertisements. We also apply the semiotic model on the specific advertisement of the baby doll - Baby Amore and we detect a gendered and family code, which emphasises the role of motherhood. [Article in English]
KJELLMER Abstract: Changes in speakers' states of mind are often reflected in their facial expressions or bodily movements. The relation between a physical expression and the state of mind that goes with it is often firmly established and conventionalised. Writers can make use of such correlations and indicate without having to describe them what emotions and sensations their characters experience by referring to their physical actions. The paper is concerned with unintentional and perhaps unconscious communicative manifestations and discusses the degree to which they have become conventionalised. A list of bodily expressions and their corresponding states of mind is drawn up, and illustrative material is supplied by two large language corpora. [Article in English]
TAHA Abstract: The basic assumption is that a literary title, like the body of the text, includes various historical, cultural, biographical, literary, and stylistic signs. It may be termed the collection point or the melting pot of different types of raw materials. It processes, improves, and reproduces these raw materials in a certain dosage, which the author tries to adjust to the needs of both text and reader. Accordingly, I am referring to the relationship between the title and these factors as "mutual incorporation" or intertextuality, based on the three categories of reference: the title as a system of external reference,
the title as a system of self-reference, and the title as a system of internal reference. [Article in English]
ZAGKOS Abstract: Money is the foundation of any national economy, but also the mark of national sovereignty, reflecting the state which issues it. Its symbolic role is one of its essential characteristics, and the name of the currency its salient feature. Policymakers recognize that currencies can act as important carriers of nationalist imagery, particularly if its supply is monopolized. Money would indeed seem a perfect locus on which a state can construct an ‘ordinary nationalism’ that is all the more powerful for being part of the seemingly unremarkable fabric of daily life. In this paper, using a semiotic methodology, we shall analyse the symbols of the state produced banknotes of Albania, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, in an attempt to read the underlying meanings of
the symbolisms selected by each state, in the geographical area of Balkans that is synonymous with nationalism, since the foundation of the modern nation-states on the region. [Article in English]
IBO Abstract: A reflection about threshold, limits and quantification in an excerpt from Théophraste’s Caractères opens up new perspectives for their understanding. In fact, the corpus deals with judgments passed on « Un vilain homme » by three actors. The perceptive activity is linked to the deployment of simulacra, which exist thanks to thresholds and limits. Thus quantification expresses one of their modes of functioning, which is the object of our investigation. As a result, the perceptive activity of the protagonists shows a binary opposition beautiful/ugly, which reinforces the pertinence of the problematic of monstrosity on several points. First of all, the functioning of thresholds and limits is linked to aspectuality, modalities, intensity and extensivity. Second, thresholds and limits overlap at times and are erased at other times. Finally, these passionate configurations created by inherent simulacrum of monstrosity are revealed by moralization, limits and thresholds of discrimination and relativity. KEYWORDS : Moralization; observer ; quantification ; simulacrum ; tensive exponent ; threshold ; value. [Article in French]
REYNOLDS Abstract: “Shock” websites, which confront their viewers with unexpected and unpleasant material, came into existence in the early history of the World Wide Web. The content of these websites—usually pictures or animations grotesquely depicting sexual or violent scenes—is often complemented by coding that frustrates users’ ability to navigate away from the pages. The increasing cultural visibility of shock sites such as Goatse and 2girls1cup invites investigation of their signifying processes. While the material depicted is semantically shocking, the form of these websites administers a syntactic shock in the form of a sudden loss of volition, disrupting an Internet user’s assumptions about the organization of information on the Web and preying on expectations about the Internet’s navigability. Keywords: shock websites, Internet syntax, initial experience, transitivization. [Article in English]