Signs - An Introduction to Semiotics

Thomas A. Sebeok - Signs - An Introduction to Semiotics. University of Toronto Press, 2001. 201 lk

Marcel Danesi eessõnaga. Sisaldab peatükki nimega "Nonverbal communication". Sebeok mõtleb selle all üldisemalt igasugust mitteverbaalset suhtlemist ja seostab seda biosemiootikaga. Raamat on kergesti loetav ja mõnusalt kokkuvõtlik; kasutasin selleks, et valmistuda aine Sissejuhatus Semiootikasse eksamiks (sain päris mitmele kordamisküsimusele siit selge vastuse). Kindlasti loen seda teost järgnevate aastate jooksul veel korduvalt (kuna see on lihtne ja sobib kordamiseks hästi), praegu aga toon välja selle, et Ventsel sai tõenäoliselt just siit mõiste "ekstraverbaalne retoorika" ja just sel teemal toon välja mõned tsitaadid:

In essence, Sebeok argues that nonverbal signing is more fundamental to survival, both phylogenetically and ontogenetically, than is verbal signing.

A large portion of bodily communication among humans also unfolds largely in the form of unwitting signals. It has been shown, for example, that men are sexually attracted to women with large pupils, which signal unconsciously a strong and sexually tinged interest as well as making females look younger.
Humans are capable as well of deploying witting signals for some intentional purpose - e.g., nodding, winking, glancing, looking, nudging, kicking, head tilting. (Sebeok 2001[1994]: 10)

The word language is sometimes used in common parlance in an inappropriate way to designate a certain nonverbal communicative device. Such may be confusing in this context where, if at all 'language' should be used only in a technical sense, in reference to humans. Metaphorical uses such as 'body language,', 'the language of flowers,' 'the language of bees,' 'ape language,' or the like, are to be avoided. (Sebeok 2001[1994]: 12)

...linguistic problems are 'first and foremost semiological,' and the 'need will be felt to consider them as semiological phenomena and to explain them in terms of the laws of semiology' (Saussure 1967: 16-17), another has to be juxtaposed, namely, that linguistics, in Saussure's view, was to serve as the model for semiology (or semiotics). This formula, by the way, turned out to have been thoroughly mistaken, and fatally misleading for research endeavors, for instance, in such adjacent areas as 'kinesics.' (Sebeok 2001[1994]: 64)

A sweeping study of signs and systems of signs, whether verbal or nonverbal, demands both synchronic approaches (structural as well as functional) and an application of diachronic perspectives (developmental or ontogenetic, and evolutionary or phylogenetic). As to the ontogeny of semiosis in our species, it is perfectly clear that manifold non-verbal sign systems are 'wired into' the behaviour or every normal neonate; this initial semiosic endowment enables children to survive and both aquire and compose a working knowledfe of their world (Umwelt) before they acquire verbal signs.
(Sebeok 2001[1994]: 135)


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