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.
© by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston