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Language − Literature − the Arts: A Cognitive-Semiotic Interface

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Edited By Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska and Olga Vorobyova

The book offers an interdisciplinary discussion of the cognitive-semiotic interface between language, literature, and the arts, with a special focus on creativity and imagination. It brings together international contributors suggesting a wide range of innovative perspectives on the correlation between verbal discourse and creative artefacts. The book reveals the specificity of such phenomena as parallax, transparency, corporeal imagination, and multimodality. Alongside interpreting artistic texts, the contributors search for cognitive and semiotic manifestations of creativity in political and everyday discourse.

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‘Soap Bubbles’, or the Epistemology of Iconic Signs in Charles S. Peirce’s Semiotic Theory (Olena Solodka)

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Olena Solodka

Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine

‘Soap Bubbles’, or the Epistemology of Iconic Signs in Charles S. Peirce’s Semiotic Theory

Abstract: The question whether Peirce’s semiotics can be used as the theoretical background of Visual Studies gave rise to controversial interpretations of his theory. Such re-interpretations were also motivated by several significant revisions of Peircean vocabulary and doctrine made by the philosopher himself. Since the project of Peircean Visual Semiotics can be described in terms of his ‘Icon Theory’, Peirce’s general typology of signs gradually reduces via ‘iconicity’ to ‘visuality’. The present paper highlights the reasons for and the consequences of narrowing down the epistemology of iconic signs to the epistemology of visuality. The author views the representative function of iconic signs in Peirce’s semiosis theory through the category of Firstness and tests compatibility of the ‘icon’ concept with such concepts of Visual Studies as ‘angles of vision’, ‘visual notebook’, ‘visual cues’, and ‘alternative rigour’.

An icon is a pure image, not necessarily visual.

(Peirce 1902: MS [R] 599: 41–43)

A man walking with a child points his arm up into the air and says ‘There is a balloon’. The pointing arm is an essential part of the Symbol without which the latter would convey no information. But if a child asks, ‘What is a balloon?’ and the man replies, ‘It is something like a great big soap bubble’, he makes the...

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