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

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.240
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.819

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 2013, Issue 197 (Oct 2013)


Abstraction as a limit to semiosis

Tahir Wood
Published Online: 2013-10-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0080


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.

Keywords: unlimited semiosis; abstraction; symbolic; infinity; concrete; discourse

About the article

Tahir Wood

Tahir Wood (b. 1953) is an associate professor and director of the academic planning unit at the University of the Western Cape 〈 〉. 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.”

Published Online: 2013-10-23

Published in Print: 2013-10-25

Citation Information: Semiotica, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0080.

Export Citation

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in