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


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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The Semiotics of Folkdance in Amerindian Literary Prose (Svitlana Volkova)


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Svitlana Volkova

Kherson State University, Ukraine

The Semiotics of Folkdance in Amerindian Literary Prose

Abstract: Focussing upon the ways of construing ethnocultural identity in American Indian literary prose, this study aims to highlight, from a cognitive semiotic perspective, the sacred/psychological meaning of ritual dances (such as Sun Dance, Maize Dance, Buffalo Dance) reproduced in Amerindian fiction. Such reconstructions are central to many contemporary Native American literary works, e.g. those by Navarre Scott Momaday (1967, 1968), Leslie Silko (1986), Linda Hogan (1995), and others. Narrative analysis of Amerindian prose suggests that rituals and ritual dances embedded into a literary text form another, in-built space termed here as mytholoric. It integrates mythological and folklore images, where ritual dances with their symbolic meaning belong. Manifestations of ritual and mythological worldviews, particularly archetypes of motifs and genres, transform in literary texts into ritual images, with the Sun Dance and the Maize Dance being among the key constituents of mytholoric semiotics. Reconstructing the ethnocultural meaning of ritual dances described in Amerindian literary texts involves immersion into the sphere of sacred knowledge, the symbolic sense of rites, artefacts and costumes used for dance performances.

“Our task is to enter into the dream of Nature

and interpret the symbols”.

(Grant Watson 1964/1992: 49)

Sketch of a Sioux Sun Dance

by George Catlin

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