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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 23, 2013

Abstraction as a limit to semiosis

Tahir Wood
From the journal Semiotica


In highly evolved culture, discourse is made up of complexes of implicit and explicit inter-textual relations, which form the meanings for new signifiers. Meanings for common abstract nouns are derived from the modeling of typical situations in everyday narratives. However at a further level of abstraction, models of discourses, which themselves contain abstract concepts, provide meanings for what are called “hyper-abstract” nominals. Here a certain limit is reached, and it is argued that this diachronic, onomasiological process provides a constraint on the notion of “unlimited semiosis.” This constraint has both natural and ethical aspects.

Published Online: 2013-10-23
Published in Print: 2013-10-25

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston