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Unfolding the Semiotic Web in Urban Discourse

In Scientific Cooperation with Daina Teters

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Edited By Zdzislaw Wasik

The main focus of this volume is on urbanity as a discursive way of human life in the city. Discourse is specified here in terms of semiotic codes and processes that link city dwellers as communicating selves into interpersonal and intersubjective collectivities when they create and interpret similar meanings embodied in material bearers. Accordingly, the unfolding of the semiotic web is understood, firstly, as detecting and evaluating the growth and manifestation of the sphere of meaning-bearers or a sequence of meaning-bearing events, and secondly, as identifying and explaining the constituents and aspects of discourse in the light of signs and/or sign-processes that aggregate individual participants of communication into discursive linkages on a lower level and discursive communities – on a higher level of social grouping. Some contributions deal with the discursive properties of human individuals in urban environments, and some others are devoted either to the meta-discourses on the city or discourses in the city.

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Zdzis.aw Wąsik: Roots and varieties of functionalist discourses in the understanding of linguistic functions 105

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Zdzisław Wąsik PHILOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN WROCŁAW ANGELUS SILESIUS STATE SCHOOL OF HIGHER VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN WAŁBRZYCH ADAM MICKIEWICZ UNIVERSITY IN POZNAŃ & KARKONOSZE STATE SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN JELENIA GÓRA Roots and varieties of functionalist discourses in the understanding of linguistic functions 1. Functionalism as an epistemological perspective Inquiries into the nature of functionalism belong to the metascientific level of epistemology. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy which answers the questions connected with the consequences that result from the acceptance of a particular position assumed by a subject of science in order to realize his investigative goals. For construing the model of the subject-matter of his research, it is important for him to detach a set of relevant properties from the essential and accidental qualities of an inves- tigated object. While modeling his subject matter, a researcher must de- limit the domain of his study by defining the nature of his object through the choice of a given epistemological orientation, which stipulates, in turn, the choice of an appropriate perspective determined by both its on- tological and the gnoseological properties.1 The task of epistemology on a metascientific level is thus to check how far the commitment of scien- tists to their attendant views on their object of study corresponds to its investigative approachability. 1 The notion of epistemology corresponding to the usage represented in the diction- ary of Algirdas Julien Greimas and Joseph Courtés (1979: épistemologie) has been accepted after Paul...

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