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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 1, 2011

On the Cross-cultural Semiotic Turn

Youzheng Li
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


During the current transmitting period of semiotics and humanities in the world the term semiotics can and should be only a general index about a new direction of doing theoretical scholarship in social-human sciences without being able, however, to attain a more precise definition about its identity, aim, zone and methods. Semioticians have got used to organizing their scientific practice according to the related professional frames and channels that are often motivated by some competitive-utilitarian aims easily losing insight into the internal criteria of the semiotic elementals. The present paper proposes to go back to the internal criteria to pay attention to the semiotic merits as such. A proposal is raised here about the possible change of some basic conception in the current semiotic practice that the general semiotic scholarship can be further divided into several different categories or types implicative of different criteria and procedures. Thus, the main division should be made between the American-communication-directed trend (semiotics 1) and the Frenchsignification- directed trend (semiotics 2). The so-called cross-cultural semiotics (in an exact sense it amounts to global semiotics; but in a popular sense it is used as an alternative of the non-westem semiotics; in this paper it means almost the latter) or part of it could become another category so as to be able to more pertinently grasp the semiotic elementals in more detailed ways. Then we could find out or create more pertinent signifying units to carry out more effectively anatomizing and recombining operations in semiotic practice.

Published Online: 2011-9-1
Published in Print: 2011-9-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston