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.
About the author
Tahir Wood (b. 1953) is an associate professor and director of the academic planning unit at the University of the Western Cape 〈email@example.com〉. His research interests include semiotics, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse. His publications include “Between signification and the referent0ial act: the proposition as pure ideation” (2010); “Beyond signification: the co-evolution of subject and semiosis” (2011); “Hermeneutic pragmatics and the pitfalls of the normative imagination” (2011); and “Author's characters and the character of the author: the typical in fiction.”
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