By Thomas A. Sebeok
255 paper again ebook on Semiotic Inquiry.
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Extra resources for American Signatures: Semiotic Inquiry and Method (Oklahoma Project for Discourse and Theory)
Mead (who, alas, died in 1931, eight years before I began my studies at the University of Chicago), the course of semiotics in the United States is now beginning to edge into my life span's ken: among Percy's modern sources, beside my teacher Morris, I had known Cassirer (18741945), Maritain (18821973), and Langer (18951985). S. semioticians" by co-optation only, and this in a double sense: both Cassirer and Maritain were born and worked mostly elsewhere; and semiotics was the central, long-term preoccupation of neither.
Eco justly notes that "there are certain poets or novelists who have investigated the life of signs or sign-behaviour more lucidly < previous page page_41 next page > < previous page page_42 next page > Page 42 than many theorists did," and aptly alludes to Proust (Eco 1983:81). From the American side, I would adduce here, first and foremost, the case of our eminent author of half a dozen outstanding novelsmore reminiscent, some think, of Camus than of ProustWalker Percy (b. 1916). Percy began to publish essays on semiotic themes in 1954 and has continued to pay serious attention to such issues ever since; fifteen of his philosophical essays, including "Semiotic and a Theory of Knowledge," were collected in The Message in the Bottle (1981: chap.
Consideration of just one example of each kind of outcome may be enlightening. The field called in some quarters "kinesics" illustrates, the outcome when linguistic categories are arbitrarily foisted onto areas of human behavior where they have little or no appositeness. g. when < previous page page_37 next page > < previous page page_38 next page > Page 38 a smile vs. a frown alters the interpretation of a SENTENCE)" (Crystal 1980:200; the term is alluded to in passing, under the lemma "Nonverbal Communication," in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics [EDS; Kendon 1986: vol.