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Zeitschrift für Slawistik

Ed. by Kosta, Peter / Kuße, Holger / Prunitsch, Christian / Udolph, Ludger

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CiteScore 2017: 0.16

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.148
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2196-7016
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Phantastische Objekte. Stanisław Lems Beitrag zur Semantik1

Holger Kuße
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/slaw.2008.0004

Summary

Being an empiricist, Lem advocated an extensional semantics, a fundamental aspect of which is the distinction between designata with and designata without an empirical extension (pol. nazwy puste). The latter include fantastic objects, such as flying snails, dwarves, computers that hypnotise etc. Referring to Lem's classification of the Fantastic, the paper raises the question of the possibility and usefulness of creating terms that are not empirically extensional, which is the main question in the theory of language and communication in Lem's theoretical publications as well as in his works of fiction. Since Lem saw definitions of such terms in texts (of any length), and since the meaning of a text always depends on the situation in which it is embedded, Lem's semantics can be described as partial contextualism. Linguistic signs are considered being representations of facts and objects in the world. But they represent extra-linguistic facts always in pragmatic situations (contexts). And the overall pragmatic situation determines the possibilities and limitations of the production and reception of signs and meanings. Against this background, dealing with fantastic objects as part of literature meant for Lem pacing out the borders of communication.

Keywords: extensional semantics; fantastic objects; empirically extensional; partial contextualism; pragmatic situations

About the article

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2008-04-01


Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Slawistik, Volume 53, Issue 1/2008, Pages 60–81, ISSN (Print) 0044-3506, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/slaw.2008.0004.

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