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

Theory of the Dialogical Sign

Charls Pearson
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


Bakhtin regarded every sign as a dialogic sign while Peirce regarded every sign as a sign of thought. But a sign of thought is in dialog with the self. Thure von UexkOII even said that" life is always and everywhere a dialogue between self and self". Thus troth thinkers agreed on the dialogic nature of all signs. All three thinkers even agreed on the presence in the sign of two interpreters-the self and other, thus displaying a unity in their three theories.

The current standard theory of semiotics, the USST-2000, handles the presence of two interpreters quite well but is not able to explain the semiotic details of dialog. Since dialog is a well attested function of signs, there is an empirical need to modify the USST-2000.

This paper attempts to make the minimum adjustments to the USST- 2000 in order to bring dialog within its explanatory power. The theory presented here is successful in doing that and I therefore refer to it as the USST-2010.

The structure of the USST-2010 still maintains a recognizable Peircean heritage and hence can be regarded as a further extension of Peirce's original semiotic theory.

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

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