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Meaning, Mind and Communication

Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics

Edited By Jordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson and Piotr Konderak

This volume constitutes the first anthology of texts in cognitive semiotics – the new transdisciplinary study of meaning, mind and communication that combines concepts and methods from semiotics, cognitive science and linguistics – from a multitude of established and younger scholars. The chapters deal with the interaction between language and other semiotic resources, the role of consciousness and concepts, the nature of metaphor, the specificity of human evolution and development, the relation between cognitive semiotics and related fields, and other central topics. They are grouped in four sections: (i) Meta-theoretical perspectives, (ii) Semiotic development and evolution, (iii) Meaning across media, modes and modalities, (iv) Language, blends and metaphors.

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Chapter 1. Introduction: Cognitive Semiotics Comes of Age (Jordan Zlatev / Göran Sonesson / Piotr Konderak)


Jordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson & Piotr Konderak

Chapter 1

Introduction:Cognitive Semiotics Comes of Age

0. Introduction

A decade since the appearance of the journal Cognitive Semiotics, the establishment of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS) in 2013, and two successful international conferences, in Lund in 2014 and Lublin 2016, cognitive semiotics can hardly be characterized as an “emerging” discipline anymore. It is already here. Yet, we who are involved with this field are often pressed to answer: what is it really?

The chapters in this volume, which originate from the IACS conference in Lund, are a kind of extensional answer to this question: this is what cognitive semiotics is like! The reader may note that the editors of the volume and authors of this introduction – who have served as “founding fathers” or, less pretentiously, as the main organizers of the first two international conferences – do not participate as authors in this anthology. Rather, we have taken up the role of “mid-wives”, for a proper mix of metaphors, of this important project, which in effect is the first published volume of explorations in cognitive semiotics.

This discipline of cognitive semiotics can be described as the study of meaning, mind and communication, as reflected by the title of this book. Admittedly, this is a broad object of study, but as this volume aims to show, there is both an internal coherence to, and an important mission for,...

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