Deledalle on Peirce and Jakobson

Deledalle, Gérard 2000. Charles S. Peirce's Philosophy of Signs: Essays in Comparative Semiotics. Bloomington; Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Unfortunately, the definition of the sign and the conception of the "hierarchy" are wrong: there are three trichotomies and not one (i.e., nine relational aspects of a sign and not three), and the hierarchy is not relative, but ordered. (Deledalle 2000: 121)
I suspected that Jakobson imputed a hierarchy on Peirce's trichotomy of icon, index and symbol because he imputed a hierarchy on most everything. Here it turns out that there is indeed a hierarchy but a different kind of hierarchy.
Why would we speak in a given case of an icon rather than of an index or a symbol? asks Jakobson. It is simply because of "the predominance of one of these factors over the others" (Jakobson 1965: 26) [...] But in a semiotic analysis of the Peircean type, it cannot be said that the icon "predominates" over the two other aspects of the sign. (Deledalle 2000: 122)
I can guess that in Peircean lingo there are various degenerate types of signs.
It is extremely difficult to maintain the delicate balance between the dualistic meanings of the semiological concepts of Saussure and the pragmatic and triadic meanings of the new protocols of Peirce: the protocol of hierarchy and the protocol of degeneracy. (Deledalle 2000: 123)
I guess that my guess was correct.
Jakobson's diagram can be translated into a Peircean graph without altering Jakobson's theses on linguistics and poetics. The Message is related by the Sender to an Object with which the Message has some contact. The Message reaches a Receiver who is in a context which may be different from that of the Sender. Accordingly, the code of the Sender and the Receiver being different, the Receiver may give the sign-representamen of the Sender a different immediate Object or meaning from that of the Sender. (Deledalle 2000: 125)
Thus Deledalle notices the relation that eluded Kockelman (that message is positioned between the receiver and the referent). The fact that the receiver's context may be different from the sender's context is a major cause of communication difficulties.
The Receiver or interpreter is the λόγος of a Peircean semiosis (Representamen → Interpretant → Object), in a situation or context which is both psycho-physiological (Contact), social (Code), and singular (Context of a subject interpreting). (Deledalle 2000: 126)
Here I also have a little quibble: contact is indeed psycho-physiological (e.g. physical channel and psychological connection), but I would argue that it is social instead of the code, which can be shared or personal. This would probably go against both the linguist's and semiotician's sensibilities, but I stubbornly stick to an idiosyncratic interpretation of code. In my view only some codes are shared and social, others are private and "post-social" (a paraphrase of Morris's post-language). My contention is borne mostly from the fact that unlike language understood as code, which is pretty straightforward, it is rather difficult to pinpoint the code in nonverbal communication (cf. Ekman & Friesen's Figure 1 in Semiotica 1(1): 49-98).


Post a Comment