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Katya Mandoki :
Re: TUT: SIGN;
Wed, 19 Jun 1996 20:00:30 -0600

I wish Steve would post the complete article he wrote with Gary Shank.
From the abstract sent by Steve, I find it as highly stimulating as it
seems controversial. What I understood from Steve and Gary's proposal is
that while Saussure is a linguist interested in code systems, Peirce is an
epistemologist focusing on inference. Linguistic denotation corresponds to
epistemological deduction, while linguistic connotation corresponds to
abduction and induction. He then goes on to explain firstness, secondness
and thirdness and leave Saussure waiting at the "threshold".  From this
very superficial and partial reading, it seems to me P and S have been set
even farther apart. It is true each one emphasized a diffferent aspect of
semiosis, (epistemology and linguistics respectively), yet they overlap
precisely in the small region of semiosis.  I personally don't find
denotation as equivalent to deduction. Denoting is pointing at, isolating
an item from its context by an act of refering, while deduction is a chain
process, causal from one utterance to the next, and in this sense
motivated by previous statements. On the other hand, in denotation the
relation between signified and signifier is not motivated;  it is
arbitrary. Moreover, deduction is a purely mental process in the sense
that develops from previous statements or premises. Denotation is a direct
connection between two entities of a wholly different nature: a signifier
(aural, graphic, visual, kinesic i.e. perceptual) and a signified
(mental).  Rather than a full shot on each of S's and P's general
theories, I think that a close-up into this small overlapping common
ground of semiosis between both authors may be a more fruitfull appproach.

hoping to receive the full paper,

katya mandoki

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