Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings

PealkiriSemiotics and structuralism : readings from the Soviet Union / edited with an introduction by Henryk Baran ; [translated by William Mandel ... et al.]
IlmunudWhite Plains (N.Y.) : International Arts and Sciences Press, c1976
ViideBaran, Henryk (ed.) 1976. Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. Translated by William Mandel, Henryk Baran, and A. J. Hollander. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press.

Although the results of Soviet semioticians' inquiries have appeared in a host of diverse (and often almost inaccessible) publications, the special series Works on Semiotics [Trudy po znakovym sistemam, abbreviated TZS], part of the Tartu University's Transactions, has served as the principal organ of the Moscow-Tartu group. Many of the articles in these diverse and intellectually vital volumes were first delivered as papers at a celebrated Tartu institution, the so-called summer schools on semiotics in Kääriku. Held in 1964, 1966, 1968, and 1970, with Moscow, Leningrad, and Tartu scholars participating, these informal and open sessions served as the setting for examining methods, hypotheses, and research results and helped foster both the originality and the cohesiveness of Soviet structuralism. (xii)
Having now been to Kääriku during the Autumn School on Semiotics, I find it pertinent to record the original dates here. Sadly, the last one to my knowledge occurred the same year this book was published.
Other artistic sign systems: Painting has been the principal nonverbal sign system to be studied. In approaching it Soviet semioticians ahve concerned themselves with establishing its specific language, i.e., with determining the set of devices used systematically to generate and transmit meaning. Of major importance have been (1) the appearance of an unpublished article by the polymath scientist Rev. P. Florenskii (1882-1943); (2) the publication of L. Zhegin's monograph (1970) on medieval painting; (3) Uspenskii's semiotic analysis of painting (especially medieval icons). (xiv-xv)
This does not surprise me. But I should keep Florenskii in mind as he was the one who wrote about the pneumatosphere (cf. Ivanov 2008: 228).
Culture theory: The study of the semiotics of culture is closely related with the previously discussed areas of research; from a braod theoretical point of view it encompasses all of them. Soviet semioticians, especially Lotman and Uspenskii, have made this field uniquely their own. Viewing culture as a plurality of mutually interacting and mutually supportive sign systems (Uspenskii et al. 1973), they have attempted to typologize different cultures. (xv
Interacting and supporting. These notions sounds weird as I have read about semiotics of culture more in Estonian. But this is always the case with translations: one time one word is used, another time another. That is, in Estonian, for example, sometimes heterogeensus is used where earlier there was eritüübilisus. I have to keep in mind that I'm reading translations from different eras by different translators and don't have the originals to consult as I don't read Russian.
References [from the Introduction] in English:
Lotman, Iu. M. 1976b. Theater and theatricality in the order of early nineteenth century culture. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 33–63.
In hit article "The Folk Theater of the Czechs and Slovaks" [Narodnyi teatr checkov i slovakov], Botagyrev wrote: "One of the principal and basic theatrical characteristics od any theatrical performance is reaincarnaction: the actor exchanges his personal appearance, costume, voice, and even psychological character traits for the appearance, costume, voice, and character of the person he portrays in the play." It is not only the actor who undergoes reincarnation: the whole world, when it becomes a theatrical world, reorganizes itself according to the laws of theatrical space, entering which, things become the signs of things. (Lotman 1976b: 33)
This reincarnation I have met in Veltruský's (1981) account on "The Prague School Theory of Theater": the actor becomes a double sign, lives a double life on the theater. It is interesting that Bogatyrev notes appearance and voice, but not body languae. I presume that beside the fact that body language was not spoken about in the 1930s as much, he subsumes these "kinesic" factors in the "psychological character traits". It may even be deduced that in the 1930s people still viewed body language as something "personal", as a "psychological" inclination.
Despite the similarity, in a number of cases, of the structure of the text of works of classicism and neoclassicism, immanent examination of them decisively changes the pragmatics of the text, the attitude of the audience toward it, and the formula of correlation to extratextual reality. (Lotman 1976b: 37)
Lotman is here describing the relationship of art and life; or more broadly, the relationship between the artistic text and everyday behaviour.
Meanwhile, the barrier between art and the everyday behavior of the viewers was broken in the early years of the nineteenth century. The theater invaded life and actively reshaped people's everyday behavior. The monologue penetrated the letter, the diary, and everyday speech. What yesterday would have seemed pompous and ludicrous, because it was ascribed solely to the realm of theatrical space, becomes the norm in everyday speech and behavior. People of the Revolution conduct themselves in life as on the stage. When Gilbert Romm, sentenced to the guillotine, stabs himself and, tearing the dagger from the wound, hands it to a friend, he repeats the feat of antique heroism known to the people of his era from numerous depictions in the theater, poetry, and the fine arts. Art becomes the model life imitates. (Lotman 1976b: 37-38)
Thus we have the opposition between what goes on on the stage and what goes on off the stage and the two interpenetrating each other; or here rather univocally, the stage penetrates the off-stage: it invades it and reshapes the off-stage conduct; thus making everyday life theatrical and poetic. By comparison I would say this is today happening between the world of the internet and the world of everyday life.
Examples of how people at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries built their personal behavior, everyday speech, and in the final analysis, their destiny around literary and theatrical examples are quite numerous. Anyone who has studied the history of everyday texts of that period knows how sharply their style changes as they approximate the norms developed in the purely literary realm.
Let us present only one example, taken from the previously cited memoirs of Sergei Glinka and interesting because of its dual encoding: The norm of antique heroism, drawn from literary texts, become the model toward which is oriented the real behavior of people drawn into practical, mundane situations of Russian life in the 1790s. But this behavior is presented to us in a verbal version. The narrator could have interpreted the content of the story from different points of view: He could have spoken about his hero as a bearer of old-fashioned virtue (in antithesis to the "fops" and fashionable cynics), as an eccentric or even madman, or in some other way. But he chooses the "antique" key, harmonizing the viewpoing of the narrator with the position of the person being discussed. (Lotman 1976b: 38)
We are confronted here with the problem of how the history of everyday texts models the personal behavior of real people. It is important here that behaviour is presented as a verbal version, necessarily demanding a "key", a viewpoint.
S. Glinka's interpretation of Kul'nev's conduct is of further interest because other contemporaries "decoded" his acts in an entirely different key, seeing in them, for example, "eccentricities" like those of Suvorov. (Lotman 1976b: 39)
The "key" is used as an "explanatory device", a code that will enable to "decode" deviant behaviour in a rational way - instead of seeing odd behaviour as simply "eccentric", it can be interpreted as the reenactment of literary or theatrical characters and lives.
In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte K. Marx wrote about the social causes of the "antique masquerade." However, "Roman pomp" (Belinskii) was part of a wider movement, the center of which was literary romanticism and which transformed artistic texts into programs for real behavior: Pushkin's Silvio imitated not ancient heroes but characters in Byron and Marlinskii; but the principle of imitating literature remained. It is interesting that the heroes of Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, or Dostoevsky, i.e., of texts that themselves imitate life, did not evoke imitation by readers. (Lotman 1976b: 40)
This almost hooks up with the topic of the "behavioural sphere", that is, the question of programs or tactics of behaviour. Here the essence is that artistic text can model (create isomorphism in) real-life behaviour. This even seems to hold true outside of the "artistic" sphere as the reason why lately young people, instead of singing the (local) traditional songs of mardisandid, go trick-or-treat'ing - American movies have modelled their behaviour and made them consider "Halloween" to be a universal custom (falsely, I believe, as I personally did not have any candy prepared and was unknowledgeable about the holiday occurring at the time).
For the everyday behavior of the Russian gentleman at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries also characteristic are a fixing of a type of behavior to a specific "stage area" and a gravitation toward the "entr'acte" - a break during which the semioticity of behavior is reduced to a minimum. In order to evaluate these properties fully, it is necessary to recall the beahior of the "nihilist" of the 1860s, whose ideal was "truth to self," contancy in one's life image and everyday conduct, adherence to identical norms within the family and in public, in "historical" and personal life. The requirement of "sicnerity" presumed abandonment of emphatically semiotic systems of behavior and, at the same time, eliminated the need for breaks in which "to be oneself." (Lotman 1976b: 45)
This passage has baffled me before, e.g. "the zero semioticity of behaviour" seems like an impossiblity, but only from the nonverbalist perspective. From a theatrical (or semiotics of the theater) point of view it simply means not playing any other roles than the natural ones necessary in family and public life.
Moreover, unlike the peasant's life, in which individual behavior changed in accordance with the calendar and the cycle of farm work, as a result of which the type of behavior did not depend on individual choice and character consequently became nakedly social and lost individuality, the life-style of the gentry presumed the constant opportunity to choose a type of behavior. At the same time, while the peasant physically lacked the opportunity to practice "nonpeasant" behavior, for a gentleman, "nongentry" beahvior was ruled out by the norms of honor, custom, government discipline, and class habits. (Lotman 1976b: 46)
Curiously enough here is a behavioural analogue of Basil Bernstein's restricted and elaborated codes: while the peasant lacks the opportunity to encode his behaviour in any other manner the gentry has a repertoire of elaborated codes from which to choose freely.
Only war, which unchained the initiative of hundreds of junior officers, taught them to regard themselves not just as blind implementers of another's will but also as men in whose hands the fate of their homeland and the lives of thousands of people had been placed. Participation in the Patriotic War and activation of civic self-awareness merged enterprise in battle with political desire for liberty. [...]
A parade was exactly the opposite: it rigorously regimented the behavior of each person, transforming him into a silent cog in the conduct of the individual. Moreover, the initiative was transferred to the center, to the person of the commander of the parade. Starting with Paul, this was the emperor. Timothy von Bock wrote: "Why does the emperor so passionately love parades? Why is the very man whom we knew during military service as an ill-starred diplomat transformed in peacetime into an ardent soldier who casts everything aside the moment he hears the roll of the drums? It is because parade is the triumph of the nonentity, and every warrior before whom he had to drop his gaze on a day of battle becomes a mannequin in a parade, while the emperor seems the divinity who alone thinks and commands." (Lotman 1976b: 49)
Neat dissection of the role of the commander in contrasting situations: the parade and the battle.
It is necessary to pay attention to yet another aspect of the question: the course of daily life and its literary reflection provide an individual with different degrees of freedom of self-expression. A man freezes into everyday existence like one of Dante's sinners in the ice of Caina. He loses freedom of movement and ceases to be the creator of his own behavior. The men of the eighteenth century already lives in considerable measure under the sign of custom. The supraindividual course of everyday life automatically predetermined the behavior of the individual. And although adventurism, which in the eighteenth century gained unprecedented sway, provided the most active men of the age an outlet beyond the limits of the routine everyday life, it was, on the other hand, a fundamentally unique path and, on the other hand, openly and demonstratively amoral: it was the course of personal affirmation of life through preservation of its bases. The hero of picaresque novel did not destroy the life around him. All his energy and his skill in breaking out of the social yoke were directed merely at fitting into that very yoke, but in the most advantageous and plesant way for him. His activity objectively did not destroy, but affirmed, the general order of life. (Lotman 1976b: 56)
I think this is very similar to what supposedly happened to the "rebels" of the 1960s: the grew up and conformed, affirming the corporate structure they seemingly rebelled against, only to find more lucrative positions in the given social order. Also, the remark about how "anarchist girls desire for men in suits" tacitly assumes that the uniform suit culture must on the one hand be rebelled against, and at the same time affirmed.

Uspenskii, B. A. 1976. Historia sub Specie Semioticae. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 64-75.
In a semiotic perspective the historical process may be conceived of as a process of communication in which a constant influx of new information determines one or another response reaction on the part of the social addressee (the socium). Serving as a code in this case is some "language" (taken, of course, not in the narrow linguistic but in the broad semiotic sense) that determines the perception of various facts - either real or potentially possible - in the corresponding historical-cultural context. Thus events are ascribed meaning: the text of events is read by the socium. One might then say that in its elementary phase the historical process appears as a process of the generation of new "phases" in some "language" and their reading b the social addressee (socium). (Uspenskii 1976: 64)
With such a broad conception it is very easy to convert this diachronic approach to a synchronic one and conceive of the social situation as a text to be read semiotically.
The identical objective fact, constituting a real event text; can be interpreted differently in different "languages": in the language of the corresponding socium and in some other "language" pertaining to a different space or time (this can be determined, for example, by a different articulation of events, i.e., by unequal segmentations of a text as well as by a difference in establishment of the cause-and-effect relationships between the corresponding segments). In particular, what is significant from the standpoint of a given period and a given cultural area may have no significance at all in the system of ideas of another cultural-historical area, and vice versa. Furthermore, it is necessary to bear in mind that it is precisely the system of ideas of the socium that acts as the social addressee which determined the direct mechanism of unfolding of events, i.e., of the historical process as such. (Uspenskii 1976: 65)
Thus, even history is a matter of interpretation. If history is a text, then there may appear different ways of segmentating this text (viewing history from different points of view may result in different "epochs") and different ways of explaining the relations between "objectively real" events.
The facts presented could be greatly multiplied, but they already provide the basis for certian conclusions. From a certain point of view, peter's behavior appears not as a cultural revolution but as antitext, minus-behavior within the bounds of the same culture. In any case, that was how his contemporaries could regard it, and this fact is fundamentally important. In other words, Peter's behaviopr, paradoxical as it might seem, for the most part did not go outside the bounds of traditional ideas and norms. It fit entirely within these limits, but with a minus sign. Accordingly, in the "language" of the period Peter's actions could not be perceived in any other way. In the eyes of contemporaries Peter seemed to proclaim publicly that he was Anti-Christ. (Uspenskii 1976: 72)
This made me wonder what could be today's anti-behaviour. Or even more, what could be outside of it? With such cultural interspersion of cultural influences, can anything anymore be termed anti- or "outside"? For this to happen there is a need for some form of hierarchy or a coherent system, which I think we are very much lacking today (unless one belongs to a minority such as christians are in Estonia).
But, of course, Peter knew this "language" and consequently could anticipate the effects of his actions. One possible explanation of his behavior would be to recognize that Peter consciously ignored his natiev "language" as incorrect, regarding the imported "language" of Western European culture as the only correct one. In his very attitude toward "language" - which was nearly irrational - Peter still remained a loyal son of his culture: the adoption of a "correct" language and abandonment of an "incorrect" one prove subjectively to be a more important factor than the possible consequences of the corresponding deeds. From this explanation it follows that Peter consciously created texts in another language from that in which they were read (by the socium): This can be traced, generally speaking, even in the narrowly linguistic sense (see above, for example, about the expression "father of the fatherland," which is used as translation of the Latin pater patriae, despite the fact that in Russian texts this expression has a different meaning. Certain other facts presented above can be treated in the same way). (Uspenskii 1976: 72)
Thus what Uspenskij calls "language" may simply be designated "culture" and Peter's behavior explained as texts addressed to local culture expressed in a foreign cultural codes (different meanings for even linguistic expressions).

Meletinskii, E. M. 1976. Primitive sources of verbal art. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 87-152.
In the process of work the hand was becoming perfected; it could now give utilitarian-purposeful shape to natural materials, and subsequently could use the object it had made in an equally purposeful manner. "Intellectual" use of the hand (and eye) sharpened the abilities that made articulate speech and human thinking possible. The shape of the tools made was becoming a plastic realization of human thought, idea, and design, and corresponded to the emerging aesthetic taste. A sense of proportions and symmetry was being generated both through man's observation of animals, plants, and himself and through the technique and thythm of work activities. Even prior to the creation of the first bone sculptures and cave "canvases," the manufacture of implements of labor more elegant and refined than was necessary to satisfy daily needs indicated the apperance of an aesthetic sense. (Meletinskii 1976a: 88)
I suspect here the discourse on hand has something to do with Frederick Engels's essay, "The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man," discussed in (Scarry 1985: 252-253). In any case, presumably the aesthetic sense has a lot to do with somatic abilities (e.g. to dance is to be human).
Dance - the living plastic art - is not only one of the most ancient forms of art but one that attained a high level of perfection precisely in the primitive period.
While in the most ancient visual art there was an interweaving of expressive, figurative depiction with ornamental motifs, in the dance the dynamic reproduction of scenes of the hunt, labor processes, and some aspects of daily life were inevitably subordinated to strict rhythm; and the rhythm of the movements was from time immemorial supported by sound rhythm. Primitive music is virtually inseparable from dance, and was for a long time subordinate to it. For the most part, musical instruments beat time, and even in singing the rhythmic element was markedly dominant over the melodic. The rhythmic principle, the development of which was promoted by work practices, was itself an important factor in organizing work and ordering psychophysical energy and in syncrhonizing various structures of the nervous system. Moreover, rhythm, by breaking up into its elements the flow of visual, sound, and motor perception, and by identifying the individual "frames" in it, promotes the creation of artistic images. (Meletinskii 1976a: 89-90)
Firstly it is interesting that dance is "the living plastic art", as the notion of "plastic art" is somewhat ambiguous to a non-Soviet person. Presumably "plasticity" is here equivalent with "movement", perhaps? Secondly, it is also interesting that the word chosen to represent reproduction via dance is "dynamic", as it is exactly in the dance-notation discourse that we find the notion of the "dynamosphere". And lastly, "motor perception" seems to be equivalent with kinaesthetics, although I do think this could just as well be "informational semiosis" in the sense of "motor communication".
As with lyrical poetry, it, in Veselovskii's opinion, arose from the emotional cries of the ancient chorus and shortened formulas of varied content as an expression of "collective emotion," of "group subjectivism"; and it emerged from ritual syncretism, primarily from the spring ritual games. He links the final emergence of the lyric to an individualization of poetic consciousness greater than in the epic. Veselovskii traces drama to folk ritual that had succeeded in adopting the form of a developed cult. He sees poetic creation as collective in the literal sense, i.e., as choral, in its genesis. The poet is descended from the singer and ultimately from the leader of the ritual chorus. (Meletinskii 1976a: 94)
This makes awfully lot of sense, although it's not empirical. It's almost like the development of blues music (and subsequently all of the modern genres that stem from it) out of slave work songs.
The significance of mythology is very great in the development of various aspects of the arts and in the very genersis of artistic-imagined thinking; but it goes without saying that mythological narration had particular importance for the formation of verbal and, above all, narrative art. Susanne Langer was not quite right in saying that myth has no language and meter and can be "drawn," "danced," and so on - that it has an equal relationship to all the arts (Langer, 1953). Thanks to the properties of visual art, drawing, even on a distinctly mythological theme, is somewhat freer in the concrete-pictorial resolution of this theme and even in the selection of impressions of actual reality in the quality of material, the model. The same aplies to dance-pantomime, and so forth. (Meletinskii 1976a: 102)
This is a sure sign that the members of the Tartu-Moscow school, or at least this specific writer, was familiar with Susanne Langer's work. In piecing together the fragments of bygone science it's very revealing to know who has read whom.
Consequently, there appear structural differences between the primitive-syncretic tale and the classical fairy tale. The structure of the archaic, mythological folktale acts as a type of metastructure with respect to the magical folktale as such. In the archaic folktale the chain of acquisitions and losses may consist of an indeterminate number of links, while a positive, happy ending (acquisition), although found more often than an unhappy ending (loss), is not obligatory. All links are more or less equivalent. In the classical magic fairy tale there emerges rigorous hierarchical structure of two, or more often three, tests of the hero. The first trial (preliminary - verification of behavior, knowledge of rules), leading to acquiring the miraculous instrument, is a step toward the basic and concluding principat feat - the elimination of a calamity - lack. A third stage often consists of a supplemental test for identification (it explains who performed the feat, and it is followed by the disgracing of competitors and imposters). The obligatory happy ending includes, as a rule, marriage to the princess and receipt of half the kingdom. (Meletinskii 1976a: 144)
This structure is so schematic that it could just as well apply to the acquisition of a bachelor's degree. In the first year, your behavior is verified, made sure you know the rules: to attend the lectures and seminars, to write papers (even if they're garbage), to remember to acquire sufficient study-points, etc. In the second year a calamity is created - you must write a seminar paper; without this you cannot pass on. In the third year a supplementary (similar) calamity is fostered in the form of a final thesis or a final exam. Here the "who performs the feat" becomes a matter of defending the thesis, acquiring an review of your work, and standing up to accusations of poor workmanship, etc. With the happy ending including to be ranked among the "bachelors" and receiving a degree.

Meletenskii, E. M. 1976b. A structural-typological analysis of Paleo-Asiatic mythology. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 153-183.
The trickster coexists among the Indians of the Northwest - Raven and Mink; the former is gluttonous, the latter is lustful. Among the Paleo-Asiatics there is Raven alone, and therefore his greed can be transmitted simultaneously at both these levels and be expressed in both the food and the erotic codes. (Meletinskii 1976b: 162)
Even in the myths of Indians of the Northwest and among the Paleo-Asiatics the main categories are those which according to sociobiologists supposedly describe the interests of all living organisms: surival (food, glottuny) and reprudiction (sex, lust).
Thus quests for food are replaced by searches for a wife as "the giver of food"; and quests for a wife, bny quests for "the giver of a wife." Here the food code changes not into the erotic but into the familial-clan (social), and the very transformations constitute a process of metonymization, inasmuch as the wife or relative provide the food and in-laws provide the wife. True, the normal situation is inverted in all this from the very beginning, in the sense that Raven is changed from a giver of food to his wife and her kin and strives to become a receiver. (Meletinskii 1976b: 164)
Here the need for survival and reproduction are neatly combined into a series of acquisitions, a form of narrative.
The tale of how Raven's elder daughters or niece reject a groom "who does not offer hope," or who frightens them, while the youngest daughter accepts him and benefits by this (II, 16; IK, 55, 58). (Meletinskii 1976b: 165)
Yet again, sociobiologists or evolutionary psychologists have taken good note of this tendency. That is, in It's Not You, It's Biology the statement that "Among all hierarchical primates, females are attracted to ambitious males." (Quirk 2006: 27) seems to holds true even for "primitive" myths. It starts to seem that these myths reveal - in a raw and uninhibited manner - that which is essentially common to all men.
This final difference is not syntagmatic (not rigorously narrative), although it is reflected in the composition of the mythological tale. (Meletinskii 1976b: 167)
I want to borrow this wording and use it in my bachelor's thesis. Like: descriptions of nonverbal behaviour may not be very important for the narrative, but they are in at least a minimal sense constitutive of it and can be seen as reflecting the composition of dystopic fiction. I'll have to figure out my own terms, but the wording - the apologetic but perceptive manner - seems worth emulating.

Toporov, V. N. 1976b. Toward the origin of certain poetic symbols: the Paleolithic Period. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 184-225.
In the present article (if we are to speak of the most necessary refinements and limitation) the term "poetic symbols" means those initial elements (linguistic, painting, plastic, ritual, etc.) that in the presence of the oppositions poetic (aesthetically marked) and nonpoetic (umarked by signs), even if the formation of these initial elements and named oppositions is separated in time, might have served as representatives of the first terms in these two oppositions. With this approach it is possible to avoid the principal danger threatening those interested in the question of the original poetic (in the broad meaning of the term) forms, that is, the danger of speaking about art when it was not yet an independent sign system but only one of the variants of the level of expression for considerably broader concepts of universal character. Moreover, it would be a mistake to begin the history of art with that late epoch in which it becomes a self-sufficient whole. From this it follows that, when studying the earliest period in the development of art (or poetry), it would be appropriate to employ the very word "art" in a limited sense, bearing in mind that Paleolithic rock painting, sculptured figures, or ornaments are related to art to the same degree as an incantation, ritual act, funeral rite, the gathering of bone remains, or meditation. Therefore, with respect to the most ancient period it is more correct to speak of "markedness" than of "the poetic," "artistic," "aesthetic," and so forth.
The word "origin" (of poetic symbols) in the title of the article should be understood as identification of a text or class of texts (in the semiotic meaning of the word) in which there might have appeared elements later interpreted as poetic symbols identification of the place (determined by formal means) of these elements in texts.
Consequently, the task resolves to reconstruction of texts and their internal structure, in particular links of which future poetic symbols could have appeared. It is important to emphasize that the texts being reconstructed do not absolutely have to be brought to verbal form, although there is no doubt that each of these texts could be translated into verbal form. In reconstruction it is sufficient to establish certain basic, semantic (in the supralinguistic meaning) units of text realizable both in linguistic and in nonlinguistic forms and the rules for combining them. A text regarded in this way should possess certain properties that appeat independent of the level of expression. These include, first of all, a common semantic set and certain rules of organization of the text, which the user of the text is able to recognize from the given fragment. Reference is to [sic] rhythm or "correct" repetition of elements, which assumes the ability to achieve identification of them and knowledge of a number of syntactic (distributive) structures. The reproduction of these structures and the repetition of elements under the conditions of the mythopoetic consciousness were meant both to bare and emphasize the very structure of its elements and, conseqeuntly, to affirm the discrete (as linked to culture), its triumph over the continuous (as a reflection of the chaotic principles of nature). Under these conditions repetition in texts could not but be correlated with repetitions in rituals and in meditation, not to speak of repetition of events in nature. This correlation of texts with the mystery of the change and recurrence of natural cycles determined the sacralization of the texts themselves and the moment at which they were generated (similarly, atlater stages of development, silence, the antithesis of external texts, became sacralized in a number of confessional traditions). (Toporov 1976b: 186)
And what could be the definition of text in the semiotic meaning of the word? Also, Toporov's lack of doubt that all forms of non-verbal texts could be translated into verbal form may be why the Tartu-Moscow school is criticized for their naive belief in "total translation." Also, this is the first time i meet discrete-continuous identified with the opposition culture/nature.
Such sequences serve as an entirely suitable means for describing correlations of elements both in linguistic texts (at various levels: sound organization of the text, morphological forms, syntactic structures, semantic units, stylistic figures) and in pictorial texts ("mimetic" and "nonmimetic"), sculptural, musical, choreographic, in architecture, in ritual, and so forth. "Correctly" organized sequences are also reproduced on the content level. Therefore, for a whole series of traditions (as a rule, typologically archaic) the appearance of a "correct" sequence in any text always proves to be "marked" (unlike later traditions). For archaic cultures this property of "correct" sequences cannot be regarded as trivial, the more so as it also extends to the extratextual realm (compare the sacralization of similar sequences or the number of elements in them in life, the seven stars of the Big Dipper, of any seven homogeneous objects, the seven-day cycle, etc.). (Toporov 1976b: 186-187)
It is still a somewhat mystery what they (the authors of the TM school) mean by "pictorial texts". At best I could list the examples (ritual, painting, sculpture, etc.), at worst I could generalize this as all forms of texts that are non-verbal.
One may offer the hypothesis that many texts belonging to very different cultural-historical traditions (and all texts in a number of traditions) are satisfactorily described by means of models developed in the mathematical theory of symmetry (here symmetry is regarded as a special kind of geometrical regularity). The differentiation between symmetry, antisymmetry (by which is usually understood opposite symmetry, an example of which is the symmetry of three-dimensional digures in four-dimensional space), and dyssymmetry (the dropping of some elements of symmetry from the given group), the establishment of fur kind of symmetrical transformations (motion, antimotion, mirror motion, and mirror antimotion), and the incorporation of the problem of time in this range of questions probably make it possible to presume the possibility of using the apparatus of the theory of symmetry to describe many relatively simple texts that have drawn the attention of investigators of archaic forms of art and verbal creation. (Toporov 1976b: 212)
Just as with Jakobson's theory of parallelism, this kind of theory of symmetry could some day be applied - ever if "just for fun" - on interactional synchrony; exactly because "synchrony" denotes similitude in time, but not exactly in space.

Revzina, O. G. and Revzin, I. I. 1976. Toward formal analysis of plot construction. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 244-256.
Certain concepts of the theory of relations. Below we shall treat the plot of a work under analysis as an n graph, i.e., as a set M on which a number of relations are defined that are valid either for the entire text or for some specific portion of the text. The elements of set M are the characters, and the relations may be of utmost diversity, for example, coencounter, kinship, bethrotal, intimacy, friendship, enmity, etc. Let us note that Propp's functions can also be interpreted as relations, and specifically such relations as are particularly essential for the development of action in a given type of text. (Revzina and Revzin 1976: 244)
I bolded only some of these items because I don't know how to handle kinship and bethrotal in nonverbal terms. In Greima's dictionary, Propp's functions are defined as "syntagmatic units which remain constant despite the diversity of narratives." That is, "relations" must in the Revzins' definition be "syntagmatic units". Presumably kinship, intimacy, friendship, enmity etc. do "remain constant" and are expressed "syntagmatically"; though I may be far off, as this is a foreign nomenclature for me and I'm just beginning to make sense of it.

Lotman, Iu. M. 1976c. O. M. Freidenberg as a student of culture. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 257–268.
The historixal paradox lay in the fact that it was precisely in linguistics that the weakest sides of the "new teaching on language" emerged. The direction of scholarly thought within the framework of this school was directly opposed to one of the principal trends characterizing the humanities in the twentieth century. This tendency may be defined as an instrusion of linguistic methods into the nonlinguistic disciplines. Marrism, on the other hand, is distinguished by the intrusion of nonlinguistic methods into the realm of linguistics. This trend proved to be historically sterile. The complete identification of language and thought deprived linguistics of its own content, and the humanities of a method. However, the task of studying consciousness as a system was posed at the same time, primarily with respect to archaic thought. The study of language was sacrificed to research the secondary models of a culturological type. But what was done in the latter field merits serious attention. (Lotman 1976c: 258)
The intrusion of linguistic methods into, for example, the study of nonverbal communication, is clearly visible in the work of Ray Birdwhistell. But there are many examples of this in semiotics, beginning with film semiotics, for example, and coming to it's full bloom in Greimas defining all non-linguistic signs as non-signs.
We have stated that interest in archaic relic interjections in later texts destroyed syncrhonic-structural analysis of the work. However, this same feature simultaneously makes the scientific thinking of our research quite timely, for we are witnesses to a steady growth of interest in the mythological, the fairy-tale, and more broadly, the archaic elements in modern culture. They are presently treated not as regrettable and useless fragments but as organic forms assuring the wholeness of human culture as such. However, the research for such elements is sometimes carried on without the necessary methodological rigor; and here it is more appropriate to recall the scholarly heritage left by Marr, Freidenberg, Frank-Kamenetskii, Tronskii, and other scholars of this school. (Lotman 1976c: 263)
Not surprisingly, some of my course-mates are studying exactly this: myths in modern culture. Specifically, those related to local contemporary culture and it's link to (perhaps constructed) archaic background.

Bakhtin, M. M. 1976. The art of the word and the culture of folk humor (Rabelais and Gogol'). In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 284-296.
Therefore, a return to living, folk speech is necessary; and this is accomplished in a way that is perceptible to all in the creation of such spokesmen of genius for the folk consciousness as Gogol'. Here is primitive notion, which commonly takes shape in norm-setting circles, that some kind of linear forward motion exists is rejected. It turns out that every truly significant step forward is accompanied by a return to the beginning ("primitiveness"), or more exactly to a renewal of the beginning. Only memory, not forgetfulness, can go forward. Memory returns to the beginning and renews it. Of course, in this understanding the very terms "forward" and "backward" lose their self-contained absoluteness. Rather they reveal by their interaction the living, paradoxical nature of motion, which has been studied and variously interpreted by philosophers (from the Eleatics to Bergson). As applied to language, this return signifies the reestablishment of its active, accumulated memory in tis full semantic scope. The folk culture of laughter, so vividly expressed in Gogol', is one of the paths to this restoration-renewal. (Bahtin 1976: 293)
In the first instance this reminds me of Cherry's quip about understanding the historical growth of scientific knowledge, and is related to sinusoidal processes in culture. For example, my own work is more like a historical survey of nonverbal communication research than actual nonverbal communication research. In the second instance I'm reminded of Foucault in one of his lectures (in The Hermeneutics of the Subject) saying exactly the same on the... "...question of ignorance and memory, memory being precisely what enables one to pass from ignorance to non-ignorance, from ignorance to knowledge (savoir), it being understood that ignorance cannot escape from itself on its own." (Foucault 2005: 129)

Lotman, Iu. M. 1976d. Gogol’ and the correlation of "the culture of humor" with the comic and serious in the Russian national tradition. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 297–300.
Gogol' is the writer who synthesized the most diverse elements of national life. The acute contemporaneity of his works was combined with a capacity to penetrate into deep strata of the archaic folk consciousness. Thus Gogol's works can serve as the foundation for reconstruction of the mythological belief of the Slaws, which go back to the most distant antiquity and which, of course, were unknown to Gogol' at the level of self-awareness. The connection with the deep strata of the pre-Petrine national cultural tradition also emerged in a special treatment of the concept of the comic: European culture of the new era had legitimized two functions of laughter: accusatory satire and amusement, entertainment. Bakhtin noted the presence in Gogol's laughter of a third principle: ambivalent carnival laughter. But Gogolian laughter has yet another aspect: it is inseparable from horror; it is related to the world of diabolic confusion. (Lotman 1976d: 298)
Not surprisingly this is the distinction also drawn in visual behavior: either looking because of liking or looking because of disliking; and indeed even with this modality the ambivalence of it (what is the reason for that look) is indeed a state of "diabolic confusion". In a simple way, though, the "accusatory satire" is laughing at me and "laughter of amusement, entertainment" is laughing with me.

Lotman, Iu. M. 1976e. On the reduction and unfolding of sign systems (The problem of “Freudianism and semiotic culturology”). In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 301–309.
The impossibility of adequate translation of texts from a language "with a large alphabet" into a language "with a small alphabet" means that whereas the spontaneous texts of the child's consciousness acquire definite expression in the child's language, texts translated from the language of adults retain a certain indefiniteness, simultaneously being primitivized. Many texts simply do not submit to translation and prove to be introduced into the memory of the "small world" in the form of integral textual inclusions of an unclear semantics. It would seem that the presence of such texts, essentially extrasystemic from the standpoint of the child's sign world, can acquire only negative characterization, inasmuch as these texts are alien to the context surrounding them and, from the child's point of view, are not obligatory.
However, the uselessness of inclusions of this type is only illusory: in their subsequent development these inclusions perform the role of unique "spores" - folder programs; and it is precisely thanks to them that the accelerated development that characterizes the psychology of the childhood years occurs. (Lotman 1976e: 305)
In the first instance this notion of "folded programs" remind me of Berger and Luckmann's "pockets of meaning", but the similarity is very contingent. Generally, here we have a proto-semiospheric approach: the inner sphere (the child's "sign world") is contrasted to the outer sphere (the adult's sign world), and in transposing texts from one sphere to another there occurs a recoding; here the child doesn't understand all of what the adults mean, but may "take in" the texts and come to understand them later - the developmental potential of this is high, according to Lotman. Also, it is noteworthy that here Lotman does not argue for "total translation" as he is sometimes accused of by people who most likely havent read him (G. Pechey).
The parallel between the "child-adult" system and "small alphabet culture - large alphabet culture" is also manifested in the fact that the period of aggression of texts from the latter sphere into the former is followed in explosive fasion by a period of accelerated development of the former region. (Lotman 1976e: 305-306)
Here we have - (presumably the translation of these articles took some time) already in the first half of the 70s - the basic premise of two main notions developed in Lotman's later work: the semiosphere and cultural explosions. One can only wonder if Lotman saw the Soviet Union or Russia as a "small alphabet culture" which took in texts from, for example, the West, and went through "accelerated development" in certain regions (i.e. Tartu, Estonia).
A child obtains from adults not only symbols yet having signification for him/her but also rules. Yet another dubious proposition of Freud's is associated with this. The author of The psychoanalysis of Childhood Neuroses noted the child's early tendency toward indecent gestures, exposure, and the "improper" aspect of human behavior; and he drew from this a hypothesis about spontaneous sexual impulses that are later suppressed by the system of culture and subjected to various substitutions and displacements. (Lotman 1976e: 308)
This argument I have actually met in the body language literature: that indecent gestures are suppressions of childhood experiences, e.g. what are superficially named "intentional gestures" indicate the release of instincts held back by cultural bearing (upringing).
The child obtains from the world of adults the first rules of culture, among which the rules of shame and fear are the most powerful. The assimilation of rules always occurs as a game with them, and play violation of the rules always occurs as a game with them, and play violation of the rules is "naughtiness." It is precisely the assimilation of the rules of shame that evokes play attempts to violate them, attempts which later fill the formal norms of semiotic behavior and give it content - not Nature but Culture. Erotic emotions develop spontaneously in the child; but language for consciousness of self, language that anticipates inner development and stimulates it, he acquires from without. For the child plays equally with fear, evincing curiosity about the mysteries of death, flirting with danger to life. A child's attraction to anomalies is not evidence, as is alleged, of the primordial perversion of his nature but, with respect to semiotics, is mastery of the Norm and, with respect to psychology, is the striving to convince himself of the firmness of this norm (the shifting of anomalies into the world of play). The rule of Sex and Fear in the history of world art thus gains an explanation directly opposite to that provided by Freud. (Lotman 1976e: 308)
Here I find significant that Lotman portrays shame and fear as culturally ruled. It is very reminiscent of what Andres Luure talked about concerning love in the Autumn School of Semiotics this year: he emphasized shame and pain; and fear can be interpreted as the fear of pain. In any case, this similarity is only contingent, as with many such cases only a few emotions of the whole spectrum is talked about as if they were "key emotions". I am not so sure if this kind of reduction is justified, as I tend to see emotions related to physiological "arousal" and any picky talk of emotion seems like constructing something unfinished, like painting only one side of the house.

Ivanov, V. V. 1976b. The significance of M. M. Bakhtin's ideas of sign, utterance, and dialogue for modern semiotics. In: Baran, Henryk (ed.), Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union. White Plains (N.Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, 310-367.
According to Bakhtin, each field of ideological creativity "forms its specific signs and symbols, which are not applicable in other fields. Here the sign is created by a specific ideological function and is inseparable from it" (5, p. 21). Such "basic, specific ideological signs" cannot be replaced by others, but they all "rest on the word and are accompanied by the word, as singing is attended by accompaniment" (5, p. 22).
Anticipating the distinction, now widely used in contemporary semiotics, between natural language and supralinguistic (secondary modeling) sign systems, he noted that only the word "can bear any ideological function: scientific, aesthetic, moral, religious" (5, p. 21); "the word accompanies and comments on every ideological act. ... Speech elements flow around all manifestations of ideological creativity, all other, nonverbal signs; they are not immersed in it and are not subject to complete separation and detachment from it" (5, p. 22). Therefore, Bakhtin regards the word as the principal object of the science of ideologies and sign systems.
As with all other signs, Bakhtin studies the word in the context of concrete forms of social intercourse (1; 5, pp. 28-29). This viewpoint, based on the communicative view of art and other cultural phenomena, is counterposed to the usual one, which has come to be taken for granted: "We most readily see ideological creativity as some kind of internal matter of understanding, perception, and penetration, and do not observe that in fact it is entirely displayed on the outside - for the eye, for the ear, for the hands - that it is not within us but between us" (3, p. 17). In essence this anticipation that use of the general model of communication which was broadly adopted only after information theory was created. As a particularly vivid example of investigation of social (communicative) situation determining the structure of utterance, one must note the very profound understanding of psychoanalysis presented by Bakhtin in his first book: "All these verbal utterances by the patient (in his verbal reactions), on which Freud's psychological construction is based, are scenarios primarily of that immediate, tiny, social event in which they were born - the psychoanalytic session" (2, p. 119). Proceeding from the communicative approach to the subject of psychoanalysis, Bakhtin was one of the first to mark the way toward its semiotic reinterpretation, which in those years was proposed by E. Sapir and was later developed in the school of Lacan and also by Shands and a number of other present-day investigators. (Ivanov 1976b: 314)
In a sense Bakhtin preceded van Dijk by many decades in approaching ideologies communicatively. But just as van Dijk, he also sets language up on a privileged position.
In the words of G. Dumézil in the preface to one of his last books, the return to what had been discovered fully thirty years ago and then remained unnoticed has become normal in humanities. (Ivanov 1976b: 316)
This is exactly how I feel and also justifies why most of the books I read still were published in the 1970s. It is because many things were figured out during that explosive era and are still now or not even yet realized. It is a matter of "digging in the crates" (as it is said in hip-hop) and constructing something new out of the old.
According to Bakhtin, "the constitutive factor for a lingusitic form as a sign is not at all its signal self-identity but its specific variability, and for the understanding of the linguistic form the constitutive factor is not recognition 'of the same thing' but understanding in the strict sense, i.e., orientation in the given context and the given situation, orientation in formation and not 'orientation' in some immobile existence" (5, p. 83). These ideas were based on a consistent differentiation between the point of view of the listener (toward which, in Bakhtin's view, linguistics had traditionally oriented itself) and the point of view of the speaker, the role of which was emphasized by Bakthin, who in this respect anticipated one of the fundamental ideas of the linguistic conception of Chomsky (as well as those of many other contemporary linguists, who have advanced to the fore the linguistic intuition of the speaker; the formal description of which makes up the principal goal of generative grammar). The relationship between these two viewpoints was studied, following Bakhtin, as one of the fundamental problems of general linguistics and poetics by R. O. Jakobson, who built a communicative model to describe linguistic communication and poetic texts, and by his followers. (Ivanov 1976b: 320-321)
Upon reading this I realized that my own work is similarly oriented, not so much on observation, description and notation of behaviour as on the subjective aspects of behaving: the first person experience of self-communication and self-observation. Not finding new means to take note of behaviour of others but to take note of the behaviour of self.
"...Certain types of works were constructed, like mosaics, from someone else's texts" (11, p. 17). Similarly "collages" of quotations, like the cento, mentioned by Kahtin, from someone else's verses and hemistichs again became commonplace in modern artistic prose (for example, in the works of J. P. Faille), in which quotations may be regarded as metonymic substitutions for an entire text. In this way they enter the metonymic system of prose narration. The post-Cubist function of quotations in collages emerges with particular clarity in the early notes of Eisenstein, who wrote in 1928 that "an entire treatise can be made by composition of quotations." In his later works, in which compositions of quotations are often used, he himself explains them (in the spirit of the "linear style" of quotations) by a desire for "minimal distortion." Similar thoughts may be found in Thomas Mann, who gradually was arriving at a striving "to regard life as a work of culture in the form of a mythological cliche, and to prefer quotations to one's own invention." During the same years Mandel'shtam, in whose creative work the significance of hidden quotations is particularly great, described the similar "Keyboard of mentions" [upominatel'naia klavatura] in Dante in connection with the role of quotations in his works (which in part continued the medieval tradition investigated by Kahtin). It is also accident that in the 1930s the theme of "counterpoint" (the title of a novel by Aldous Huxley), or the dialogue of the component parts of a cultural tradition or various cultures counterposed to each other (3; 13, p. 240), is posed simultaneously both in the humanities and in verbal art, where it determines the structure of many works. (Ivanov 1976b: 323)
An entire treatise can indeed be made by composition of quotations. This whole blog is such a treatise on nonverbal communication. It is even possible that I will some day take up this challenge and compose a complete book wherein I will write nothing more than the preface and the whole book will be a series of quotations that will speak for themselves, compose a whole treatise on nonverbalism. I should title it soul searching or just looking for fights, as this is the accidental name of this blog. I should here note that this name is a quotation from Sage Francis's track "Slow Man" (Li(f)e, 2010; Strange Famous Records). The full quote reads: "These hands bleed ’cause they reached for some answers and got trampled by a stampede of know-it-all homogeneous types. The look-alikes. The kids burn my music and the parents burn the books I write. I think back to those lonely Brooklyn nights. I was either soul searching or just looking for fights." On a somewhat related note: I just realized that "slow man" is the exact opposite of Celer. Li(f)e is full of coincidences.
Description of this dual process may be linked with the conception of inner speech developed by Vygotskii, who regarded signs as instruments for the control of behavior. From this point of view man's use of inner speech, which retains the "function" of communication, is "a unique form of collaboration with oneself"; "the regulation of someone else's behavior by means of the word gradually results in the development of verbalized behavior of the personality itself." (Ivanov 1976b: 326)
This very much what I found during the "Book Week" on Nauta's page 52: "The main function of language in general is the SOCIAL CONTROL OF BEHAVIOR." Regarding inner speech as "a unique form of collaboration with oneself" sounds good to me; in this sense self-communication is less selfish but rather a means of orientation in the social world, collaborating with oneself for the sake of finding a place in the wider social world.
Bakhtin proceeds from the role for emotion of its "sign incarnation, ...the organizing and shaping center lies not within (i.e., not in the material of inner signs) but without. It is not emotion that organizes emotion but, on the contrary, expression that organizes emotion" (5, p. 101). Therefore, along with the "we - experience" (the highest psychological functions, in Vygotskii's terms) there emerge lower sensations ("I - experiences"), which in their extreme forms lack communicative manifestation: "With respect to the potential (and sometimes the explicitly perceived) listener, one can distinguish two poles, two limits, between which an experience, now tending toward one, not the other, can be realized and ideologically shaped. Let us tentatively call these limits 'I - experience' and 'we - experience'. The 'I - experience' yearns for annihilation; as it apprioaches its limit, it loses its ideological form, and consequently its awareness of self, approximating the physiological reaction of an animal. In striving toward this limit, an experience loses all potentials, all shoots of social orientation, and therefore loses its verbal aspects as well" (5, p. 164). In particular, groups of sexual experiences can drop out of their social context and thus lose verbal awareness of self (2, pp. 136-37). (Ivanov 1976b: 327)
In reversing the relationship of emotion and expression I suspect Bakhtin might have been under the influence of William James's The Principles of Psychology‎, or at least the chapter in it titled "Emotion follows upon the bodily expression in the coarser emotions at least." Note to self: read it! I do like the notion of "I - experience" but I'm not so sure about it "yearning for annihilation" - it seems that the Freudian thanatos (death-wish) is taken too seriously here. But I do concur with self-experience being mainly non-verbal; we need not talk (use verbal language) to communicate with ourselves; in this sense it does lose "all shoots of social orientation", but only insofar as there is no reason to orient oneself socially in this experience. And it need not be absolute - some social orientation will always remain (be it reference group, or God, or simply fear or suspicion of being watched somehow).
From the standpoint that Bakhtin developed in his early works, biological and biographical factors are significant only for "lower strata in the ideology of life" (5, p. 111). "That which is usually termed 'creative individuality' is an expression of the basic, form, and constant line of social orientation of the particular individual. ... There we find words, intonations, and intraverbal gestures that have undergone the experience of external expression on a more or less broad social scale, as though well polished socially, grounded fine by reactions and replies, by the rejection or support of the social audience." (5, pp. 110-11). Therefore, carnival language is a means of connecting to lower strata of inner speech with the broad social milieu (in other words, a means of retranslating the individual-biological into the social). Thus the general question of "the mundane genre," constituing part of the social milieu, which was formulated even in Bakhtin's first works (1; 5, p. 116), is solved in the material of the festival celebration. (Ivanov 1976b: 328-329)
Firstly it is a quite familiar theme: the social polishing of expression, trying communicative constructions out and compiling a repertory. Secondly it is very suspicious that Bakhtin uses exactly the same categories I do for nonverbal communication: 1) biological; 2) socio-cultural; 3) individual. I prefer the order to succeed from the more general or comprehensive to the more particular. Bakhtin seems to prefer to view both that which is biological and that which is individual to be "wrong" insofar as socio-cultural is the "right" category to strive for. Being biological (uninhibited) and individual (incorrect) must be molded into what is appropriate in a given socium. I made the jump of identifying individual with incorrect as Bakhtin supposedly argued that "Only error individualizes" (Pechey 2007: 26).
Just as, in accordance with the ideas presented by Bakhtin, multilingualism creates the premises for the science of language, and the contrasting of different cultures establishes the conditions for understanding each of them, the semitoic [sic] multilingualism of the epoch made possible the perception of each of the systems of sings within the bounds of the general science of such systems, one of the creators of which in its modern form was M. M. Bakhtin. (Ivanov 1976b: 342)
This is the last paragraph in this book (not considering notes and the one page about the editor). I don't blame the editor for not noticing this typo; mainly because it would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black: this blog contains more typos than I care about. But my blog is for my personal use and not meant for publishing. I have no reason to care. But I do care somewhat about the word "semitoic" as at the moment of first reading it I did not recognize it. I started to wonder that it could signify - an offshoot of semiotics? Something semi-teleologic? Something in respect to topos in plural? One can only wonder. And I do. I wonder, for example, if I have someday gathered enough interesting material on errors, typos and other mishaps to write a chapter titled "The Semitoics" of Errors".


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