Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 2010, Issue 178


Two steps toward semiotic capacity: Out of the muddy concept of language

Karen A. Haworth / Terry J. Prewitt
Published Online: 2010-03-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.005


As John Deely has suggested in his Four ages of understanding, philosophia in practice is semiotic process, an engagement in the world through the action of signs. But this observation leads us to a point of contention with Deely's treatment of semiotic process itself and its connection with the more widely understood notions about language in our time. Specifically, there are major difficulties with the treacherous formal and popular nomenclature about the phenomenon of language and its philosophical connection to the “semiology” of Saussure and sign theory of C. S. Peirce. Our issue is with the formal use of the term “language” centrally and often in its technical sense as an analytical system — a way of “seeing or looking at the world” that is prior to and removed from the communicative sense of “language” — while at the same time also informally employing the term in its common and practical sense as a system for information exchanges. In fact, Deely's comprehensive annotated index helps resolve some of the issue. But taken in the context of Deely's broader argument, the problem with the definition and use of the term “language” somewhat stifles the attempt to revise appreciation of our arrival at the “time of the sign” as a species-specific capacity.

Keywords:: language; evolution; cognition; Peirce

About the article

Published Online: 2010-03-19

Published in Print: 2010-02-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2010, Issue 178, Pages 53–79, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.005.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Marc Champagne
Recherches sémiotiques, 2008, Volume 28-29, Number 3-1, Page 183

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in