Le style épistémologique de Louis Hjelmslev

 

Ivan Almeida

www.revue-texto.net

 

 

Ouvrage fondateur en linguistique, Prolégomènes à une théorie du langage, de Hjelmslev est sans aucun doute révolutionnaire sur le plan de l'épistémologie pure. Et c'est sur cet aspect que je voudrais centrer mon étude. Mon projet est d'aborder quelques aspects essentiels du style épistémologique de Hjelmslev. Discourir du style épistémologique ce n'est pas rechercher certaines constantes de la rhétorique langagière d'un texte scientifique. C'est mettre en relief les principes non-thématisés mais mis à l'oeuvre qui guident la pratique scientifique en tant que travail. En d'autres termes, et suivant l'acception que Gilles-Gaston Granger a donnée à la stylistique en épistémologie, il s'agit de rechercher les conditions les plus générales de l'insertion des structures dans la pratique individuée. L'essence donc, de la notion de style est la mise en oeuvre du général dans le particulier.Cette notion ne coïncide pas avec la terminologie interne de Hjelmslev lui-même, qui adopte l'acception classique de style en tant que connotateur. Elle s'approche, en revanche, en la transposant sur un plan conceptuel, de la notion hjelmslevienne d'accent" : un sens d'expression apporté par des conditions fonctionnelles d'origine individuelle. Le style épistémologique de Hjelmslev est particulièrement décisif en tant que prise de position par rapport aux deux problèmes fondamentaux que pose la constitution de sciences à objet signifiant telles que la linguistique.

 

pdf

 


 

Pervasive Computing and Space

 

Peter Bøgh Andersen

 

This paper addresses the technological scenario that is normally described by terms such as pervasive computing or embedded systems (May et al. 2001, Andersen & Nowack, to appear).

The scenario predicts that the following will become true in the future:

Our daily environment will contain a network of more or less specialized computational devices that interact among themselves and with us. These devices will be distributed in the physical space around us, they will have a higher degree of autonomy than we are used to, and they will increasingly serve as a medium for cooperation and communication among humans. Some of these devices will be moveable and travel together with humans while others will be stationary. Since the devices will be located in many places and some of them will be able to move, they must be sensitive to their context of existence—their habitats. These habitats will typically be a combination of three spaces: the physical, the informational and the conceptual space. For example, May et al. (2001) envision that an intelligent book will behave differently when it is in the bookstore, in the library, or in the home.

 

pdf

 


What semiotics can and cannot do for HCI


Peter Bøgh Andersen

 

Semiotics is “the mathematics of the humanities” in the sense that it provides an abstract language covering a diversity of special sign-usages (language, pictures, movies, theatre, etc.). In this capacity, semiotics is helpful for bringing insights from older media to the task of interface design, and for defining the special characteristics of the computer medium. However, semiotics is not limited to interface design but may also contribute to the proper design of program texts and yield predictions about the interaction between computer systems and their context of use.

pdf


 

 

Le métatangage d’après Hjelmslev. Epistémologie sémiotique

 

Sémir Badir

www.revue-texto.net

 

Les concepts de connotation et de métalangage n'ont pas trouvé dans la théorie de lalinguistique structurale qui s'est le plus diffusée la place que Hjelmslev avait définie pour eux.Ils en ont trouvé une autre, à partir d'une interprétation de Roland Barthes. Or, les difficultésthéoriques rencontrées dans cette interprétation sont symptomatiques de problèmesgénéraux auxquels est exposée la linguistique structurale. Les chapitres de la premièresection sont consacrés à leur exposition. La deuxième section propose une lecture attentive du chapitre 22 des Prolégomènes à une théorie du langage (1943) dans lequel Hjelmslev a avancé les concepts de connotation et de métalangage. Toutefois, il n'a pas été possible, et il aurait d'ailleurs été regrettable, que le commentaire se limite à cet unique chapitre. En réalité, c'est la totalité du système théorique élaboré par le linguiste danois qui y est convoquée. Mais la lecture, en dirigeant l'interprétation de ce système vers deux concepts particuliers, lui donne un sens générique que Hjelmslev n'a pas cherché à souligner. C'est là en effet que la finalité de la théorie hjelmslevienne devient clairement épistémologique. Cette interprétation - la nôtre - n'est sansdoute qu'une parmi d'autres possibles; elle a en tout cas l'avantage d'expliquer le peu de résonance, voire l'incompréhension, que la théorie hjelmslevienne a trouvé auprès des linguistes. Ceux-ci pensaient en effet lire un système méthodologique qu'ils ont été très nombreux à juger "impraticable" à cause de la déraisonnable exigence formelle dont il fait part. En lui assignant au contraire une fonction épistémologique, on serait tenté de penser que la théorie présentée dans les Prolégomènes poursuit un tout autre but, déjà fixé par Saussure, que celui attendu par les linguistes. Ce but, pour lequel il ne s'est trouvé depuis pratiquement aucun relais, est de rendre au langage la priorité qui doit être la sienne dans la réflexion épistémologique.

 

 pdf


A Semiótica e o Design de Software

Osvaldo Luiz de Oliveira e M. Cecilia Calani Baranauskas

Software interface can be understood as a sign system manifested in computational processes, which people consciously or unconsciously create as they use or interpret systems. In this approach the computer has the role of a medium - a physical substance in which signs are manifested and used for communication. The aim of this work is to situate the reader in the context of the Semiotic Theory, presenting its foundations and roots, and to discuss the understanding of software design using the perspective of semiotic systems.

A interface de software pode ser entendida como um sistema de signos manifestados em processos computacionais, que as pessoas consciente ou inconscientemente criam quando usam ou interpretam sistemas computacionais. Segundo esta visão o papel do computador é o de um medium - uma substância física na qual signos são manifestados e usados para comunicação. O objetivo deste trabalho é situar o leitor no contexto da Teoria Semiótica, apresentando suas origens e fundamentos e discutir o entendimento de design de software segundo a perspectiva de sistemas semióticos.

pdf


Louis Hjelmslev

 

Robert Beaugrande

 

Hjelmslev purports to offer neither a general survey of language and its types (like Sapir's and Bloomfield's) nor a general theory of linguistics (like Saussure's and Hartmann's), but a preparatory ‘prologue’ to the formulation of any ‘theory of language’. The Prolegomena, his central book, published in Danish in 1943 and in English in 1953, proposes to stipulate in the broadest terms the conceptual layout for any such theory. His Résumé, circulated in a few typed copies in 1941-43 and eventually published in 1975, is a technical compilation of terms, symbols, definitions, rules, and notes. His ideas often build on Saussure's, but are, in an ambivalent way, more radical, digging for the roots while trying not to get dirty.

 

pdf

 


  

Sentido e forma na estrutura do signo

 

Waldir Beividas

 Revista Alfa, 27, 1983

 

Reduzindo ingratamente a umas poucas linhas toda a problemática da linguagem que se vem apoderando das cabeças de muitos filósofos, lógicos e lingüistas, desde a antiguidade grega, diríamos que Ferdinand de Saussure lançou, no final do século passado, as bases de uma teoria lingüística que, por oposição às que lhe antecederam, via a língua não como uma coleção de etiquetas que estariam colado às coisas do mundo, de modo natural e ajustado, mas como sistema de signos cujo arranjo e dependências internas se dão de modo arbitrário por relação às coisas a que eles se referem. O princípio da arbitrariedade do signo lingüístico foi objeto de muitas discussões e controvérsias, dada a imprecisão de algumas colocações e exemplos do seu famoso Curso de Lingüística Geral. Mas, justamente graças a essas discussões, tal princípio se evidenciou, pouco a pouco, como o de maior economia para a teoria lingüística, que se firmou como disciplina autônoma, e como o princípio fundamental da teoria semiótica que dela se originou. A importância do princípio da arbitrariedade do signo lingüístico não poderia aqui ser ressaltada sem um exame prévio de outro conceito, muito polêmico, que na verdade ocupará o centro das nossas atenções: o sentido.

 

pdf


Phonology and syntax: a shifting relationship

Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero & Patrick Honeybone

In their day-to-day research practice, phonologists and syntacticians are guided .implicitly or explicitly. by ontological andepistemological assumptions about their respective objects of study.1 These views of phonology and syntax are in turn inscribed within wider conceptions of the nature of language in general and of the proper conduct of linguistic research. Beyond this point, however, uncertainties loom: it is not immediately apparent how much similarity there ought to be between phonology and syntax simply because both are components of language (in the ordinary sense), nor is it clear whether the conceptions of language current in the two disciplines coincide or conflict with each other. This Special Issue2 provides a platform for the exploration of these questions, which have been repeatedly raised by developments in linguistic theory but have found little space for discussion elsewhere. In the early 1980s, for example, the rise of Principles and Parameters syntax and the attendant birth of Government Phonology prompted a flurry of interest in comparisons between the nature of syntax and phonology (see §4 below). More recently, the advent of the Minimalist Program and of Optimality Theory (OT) has again brought these issues into sharp focus. Minimalism, it would be fair to say, is primarily inspired by a reflection upon the nature of syntax, whereas OT was first conceived in response to fairly specific phonological problems. Both frameworks, however, have profound general implications: Minimalism, for example, has stimulated a vigorous re-examination of the division of labour between syntax and phonology, while there has been a concerted effort to extend the application of OT from phonology to syntax (see §5 below).

pdf


Seven types of iconicity

 

Line Brandt

 www.hum.au.dk/semiotics

 

The Hjelmslevian concept of a sign, as divisible into expression and content (following Saussure), and furthermore into form and substance, yielding a quadruple partitioning, is a useful framework for our analysis. I will extend its use beyond the purely linguistic (from the phonological to the morphological to the lexical to the syntactic) to encompass larger structures (text) as well as structures that are specifically non-linguistic (rhythm). In the following, the expression plane and the content plane will sometimes also be referred to simply as signifiant (sa) and signifié (sé). The 1st sign relation is that of semantic content. The 2nd is phonemic expression. The 3rd is the relation between the two, subsumed as language. The 4th is rhythm. The 5th semiotic plane concerns the relation between rhythm and language. The 6th the relation between written and oral text (in so far as it is relevant). The 7th the relation between the rhetorics and the imagery of the poem, viewed as a whole. Each semiotic plane, or layer, is part of another sign on another level, in a cumulative fashion. The 7th sign relation hence embeds all of the former. The linguistic meaning of a poem consists of two planes, that of sound and that of imagery, one standing as a sign of the other. However, these two planes of linguistic signification can be further analyzed as two independently significant planes. Starting with the content side of linguistic signification, semantic content can be analyzed as a semiotic unit with four distinguishable aspects to it: expressive form and expressive substance along one axis, and content form and content substance along the other.

 

pdf


  

Plano da expressão verbal e musical: uma aproximação glossemática

 

José Roberto do Carmo Jr.

 

This work explores some of Glossematics concepts and procedures, as it is treated in the Résumé of a Theory of Language, by Louis Hjelmslev. It proposes a description of a system of melody categories based on the dependence relationship between the constitutives and the exponents categories. This model states that any language can be described and compared according to the range and internal organization of each of these categories and that they play a role in the construction of meaning effects. Following the glossematics model we raise the hypothesis that melody could be described as a singular case of organization of such categories. In these terms, the timbre can be characterized by the total syncretism of the constitutives category and pitch, duration, and intensity by the maximal resolution of the exponents category. The author also examines some other meaning effects due to this organization.  

pdf


 

Denotation, conotation and myth

 

Daniel Chandler

www.aber.ac.uk

 

 Beyond its 'literal' meaning (its denotation), a particular word may have connotations: for instance, sexual connotations. 'Is there any such thing as a single entendre?' quipped the comic actor Kenneth Williams (we all know that 'a thing is a phallic symbol if it's longer than it's wide', as the singer Melanie put it). In semiotics, denotation and connotation are terms describing the relationship between the signifier and its signified, and an analytic distinction is made between two types of signifieds: a denotative signified and a connotative signified. Meaning includes both denotation and connotation. 'Denotation' tends to be described as the definitional, 'literal', 'obvious' or 'commonsense' meaning of a sign. In the case of linguistic signs, the denotative meaning is what the dictionary attempts to provide. For the art historian Erwin Panofsky, the denotation of a representational visual image is what all viewers from any culture and at any time would recognize the image as depicting (Panofsky 1970a, 51-3). Even such a definition raises issues - all viewers? One suspects that this excludes very young children and those regarded as insane, for instance. But if it really means 'culturally well-adjusted' then it is already culture-specific, which takes us into the territory of connotation. The term 'connotation' is used to refer to the socio-cultural and 'personal' associations (ideological, emotional etc.) of the sign. These are typically related to the interpreter's class, age, gender, ethnicity and so on. Signs are more 'polysemic' - more open to interpretation - in their connotations than their denotations. Denotation is sometimes regarded as a digital code and connotation as an analogue code (Wilden 1987, 224). As Roland Barthes noted, Saussure's model of the sign focused on denotation at the expense of connotation and it was left to subsequent theorists (notably Barthes himself) to offer an account of this important dimension of meaning (Barthes 1967, 89ff). In 'The Photographic Message' (1961) and 'The Rhetoric of the Image' (1964), Barthes argued that in photography connotation can be (analytically) distinguished from denotation (Barthes 1977, 15-31, 32-51). As Fiske puts it 'denotation is what is photographed, connotation is how it is photographed' (Fiske 1982, 91). However, in photography, denotation is foregrounded at the expense of connotation. The photographic signifier seems to be virtually identical with its signified, and the photograph appears to be a 'natural sign' produced without the intervention of a code (Hall 1980, 132). Barthes initially argued that only at a level higher than the 'literal' level of denotation, could a code be identified - that of connotation (we will return to this issue when we discuss codes). By 1973 Barthes had shifted his ground on this issue. In analysing the realist literary text Barthes came to the conclusion that 'denotation is not the first meaning, but pretends to be so; under this illusion, it is ultimately no more than the last of the connotations (the one which seems both to establish and close the reading), the superior myth by which the text pretends to return to the nature of language, to language as nature' (Barthes 1974, 9). Connotation, in short, produces the illusion of denotation, the illusion of language as transparent and of the signifier and the signified as being identical. Thus denotation is just another connotation. From such a perspective denotation can be seen as no more of a 'natural' meaning than is connotation but rather as a process of naturalization. Such a process leads to the powerful illusion that denotation is a purely literal and universal meaning which is not at all ideological, and indeed that those connotations which seem most obvious to individual interpreters are just as 'natural'. According to an Althusserian reading, when we first learn denotations, we are also being positioned within ideology by learning dominant connotations at the same time (Silverman 1983, 30).

 

pdf 

 


  

Computers at work: the semiotics of interface design

 

Bernhard Debatin

www.univie.ac.at/wissenschaftstheorie

 

Computer semiotics is a rather new field within semiotic analysis that increasingly attracts the interest not only of semioticians, but also of computer scientists. As Figge (1991) points out, computer semiotics deals with two different objects, namely computer-aided semiotics and semiotics of the computer as a sign system. Computer-aided semiotics refers mainly to attempts to analyze and to understand the complex sign system of language, such as representation and processing of natural language by means of artificial intelligence. In this domain, formal semantics and linguistics in the tradition of Fodor's and Katz' theory of semantic markers (1964) and Chomsky's theory of generative grammar (1972) have been very successful. Because of the unsolved problems of formalizing natural language -- such as dealing with everyday communication and metaphors -- research in artificial intelligence currently is oriented more toward pragmatic theories of language (see Dreyfus/Dreyfus 1986; with regard to metaphor see my review in SRB 1/1992: "Metaphors and Computers").In contrast to this, semiotic analysis of the computer as a sign system refers mainly to the relation between computer systems and their human users. In this sense, computer semiotics analyzes structures and functions of the signs that mediate the communication between human and computer. By analyzing the signs of human-machine, computer semiotics systematically can help to find communicative criteria for system design. Therefore even computer scientists increasingly focus on the analysis of communication; the design of interfaces that are both simple and comfortable must consider not only the internal constraints of hard- and software, but also the constraints of human-computer interaction (eg. Winograd/Flores 1986). However, in contrast to computer-aided semiotics, relatively little research has been devoted to the study of computers as sign systems. This theoretical gap may now be filled by Peter Bogh Andersen's book A Theory of Computer Semiotics.

 

pdf


 

A Theory of Computer Semiotics: Semiotic Approaches to

Construction and Assessment of Computer Systems de P. B. Andersen

 

review by Robin P. Fawcett

 

Semiotics is, or seeks to be, the science of sign systems, just as linguistics is, or seeks to be, the science of language. Semiotics therefore includes linguistics, as well as the study of all other sign systems. These include:

• Those sign systems that are used in parallel with language, such as tone of voice and body posture (including pointing, etc).

• Those that operate on a longer time scale such as the 'presentation of self' through our choice of clothing, of car, etc.

• Those with a broader conception of 'self,' such as the self presented by civic architecture, etc.

Semiotics also includes the general principles that underlie all sign systems. It is thus more comprehensive than linguistics--very much more, because there is a semiotic dimension to practically every human artifact. (Indeed, since we can 'read in' meanings to natural events, e.g., as in 'the lack of rain shows God's displeasure,' semiotics is not even limited to human artifacts.)

 

pdf

 


 

 

O projeto hjelmsleviano e a semiótica francesa

 

José Luiz Fiorin

Galáxia, 5, 2003

 

Hjelmslev é um autor pouco lido e muito criticado nos dias de hoje. As críticas a ele são feitas com base em estereótipos que se foram perpetuando: é excessivamente formalista, desdenha a História, é cego para as determinações culturais que incidem sobre a linguagem, nega a dimensão do sujeito, e assim por diante. Paradoxalmente, os que fazem essas críticas não levam em conta a dimensão histórica do projeto hjelmsleviano. Afinal, uma teoria é criada num ambiente cultural determinado, num dado universo de discurso, em que campos e espaços discursivos ganham significados. Não se pode ler Hjelmslev, sem levar em conta as teorias com que ele dialoga, pois não se pode analisar um projeto científico fora do espaço discursivo em que se constitui. Afinal, toda teoria é mais ouenos influenciada pelas que a precederam, em oposição às quais ela se constitui. Este trabalho pretende analisar o projeto hjelmsleviano dentro da História e mostrar suas influências na semiótica francesa. Louis Hjelmslev nasceu em 1899 em Copenhague, em cuja universidade realiza estudos de Filologia Comparada. Fez cursos de aperfeiçoamento em diversas universidades européias. Em 1937, torna-se professor titular de Lingüística Comparada da Universidade do Copenhague. Em 1943, publica seus Prolegômenos a uma teoria da linguagem, em que expõe seu projeto científico. Prolegômenos quer dizer "noções ou princípios básicos para o estudo de um assunto qualquer"; "princípios". O que o lingüista dinamarquês pretende fazer nessa obra é exatamente estabelecer os princípios que deveriam nortear a construção de uma ciência da linguagem ou de uma ciência das linguagens.

 

 pdf


 

 

Eléments d'histoire sémiotique de l'homologie

 

Alain Herreman

www.revue-texto.net

 

 

Cette thèse est consacrée à l'histoire de la topologie algébrique et plus particulièrement à l'histoire du calcul homologique. Elle présente l'analyse de quatre "textes" : les trois premiers Mémoires de Poincaré consacrés à l'Analysis situs, publiés entre 1895 et 1900, le livre de Veblen, Analysis Situs, publié en 1922, un article d'Alexander, "Combinatorial Analysis Situs", publié en 1926, et le livre de Lefschetz, Topology, publié en 1930. Les analyses sont menées de manière à permettre la comparaison des traitements du calcul homologique dans ces textes. L'accent est mis sur leurs différences et des conséquences historiques et épistémologiques sont tirées de celles-ci. Pour cela, deux types d'analyses sémiotiques sont développées. Le premier consiste en l'analyse du système sémiotique des textes. Les notions de "signe" et de "système" adoptées sont reprises, avec d'importantes adaptations, de celles introduites par le linguiste Louis Hjelmslev. Les plans de contenu géométrique, arithmétique, ensembliste et algébrique sont définis, leurs manifestations sont relevées, leurs relations mutuelles sont décrites et il est montré que celles-ci diffèrent selon les textes. Il est ainsi possible d'apprécier dans les énoncés, et notamment dans les démonstrations, la part de chacun de ces contenus et les passages des uns aux autres. Plus généralement, la permanence du plan de contenu géométrique et l'absence du plan de contenu ensembliste dans ces textes sont établies. Une attention particulière est aussi accordée aux combinaisons linéaires ; l'importance de l'expression écrite dans ces textes est ainsi mise en évidence. Le second type d'analyse concerne le conditionnement sémiotique des textes. Il s'agit de prendre en considération les énoncés de ces textes dont la fonction est la production d'un signe ou qui comportent un commentaire explicite sur la nature d'un signe. Cette analyse permet de considérer des différences sémiotiques explicitement reconnues par les auteurs. Elle permet en particulier d'apprécier leur souci d'assurer à certaines expressions une signification géométrique. Elle donne un autre accès à la complexité sémiotique de ces textes mathématiques.

 

 pdf

 


 

A sílaba enquanto unidade estrutural

 

Louis Hjelmslev

Essais linguistiques II, 1985

 

O objetivo deste artigo é apresentar e discutir uma definição de sílaba que publiquei em 1937. Eis a definição: sílaba é uma cadeia da expressão que compreende um único acento. Como toda definição científica, esta definição de sílaba faz parte de um conjunto sistemático de definições e não seria compreendida sem se considerar o sistema em sua totalidade. Contudo, eu não principiarei pelo desenvolvimento de toda teoria dedutiva, nem pela apresentação da série de definições mais gerais a partir das quais a definição de sílaba é deduzida. Eu principiarei por familiarizá-los com minha concepção de sílaba, de uma maneira não comprometedora, do ponto de vista teórico. A afirmação de que a sílaba é uma cadeia da expressão não parece necessitar de maiores justificativas. Parece evidente que em todo enunciado deve-se distinguir, de uma parte, o conteúdo ou sentido e, de outra, a expressão, e segue-se que em toda língua devem ser distinguidos dois níveis: o nível do conteúdo ou, se vocês preferirem, o nível interno, e o nível da expressão ou nível externo. A sílaba pertence evidentemente ao nível da expressão, e é constituida de um número mais ou menos importante de elementos da expressão. A sílaba não é necessariamente de natureza fônica. Em toda expressão lingüística, ou seja, em todo conjunto de sons, de caracteres escritos, de gestos, de sinais, etc., as sílabas podem ou não estar presentes, segundo a estrutura da expressão considerada. No sânscrito védico, por exemplo, onde a escrita apresenta uma manifestação gráfica dos acentos, as sílabas podem ser identificadas diretamente pelo estudo da escrita, sem nenhum conhecimento da pronúncia. Não há nenhuma razão para não considerar da mesma maneira a situação do alemão moderno, onde o sistema fônico apresenta uma manifestação fonética dos acentos e onde, consequentemente, as sílabas podem ser identificadas diretamente pelo estudo da pronúncia, sem o recurso a qualquer conhecimento da escrita. A sílaba pode ser manifestada por uma cadeia de sons, de caracteres escritos, ou de quaisquer outros símbolos utilizáveis para tal fim. A sílaba deve ser definida independentemente de sua manifestação específica.

(trad. J.R. CARMO Jr.)

 

 pdf


 

The sonority hierarchy in Hungarian

András Kornai

The classical “mirror rule" of traditional grammars subsumes three, logically independent bservations: (1) If PQ is a possible syllable onset (P, Q arbitrary consonants), then QP is not. (2) If PQ is a possible onset, then QP is a possible coda, and conversely, if RS is a possible coda, then SR is a possible onset. (3) If PQ is a possible coda, then QP is not. Of course, if (2) holds, (1) and (3) are equivalent { but there might well be languages where (2) turns out to be false, but the other two statements are true. In fact, every language where consonant clusters are disallowed as codas but permitted as onsets is a counterexample to (2), and the same holds for those languages that allow complex codas but do not allow complex onsets. Before turning to the investigation of the mirror rule in Hungarian, let me add a further clause, (cf. Clements { Keyser 1983:47-48) which I will call Hjelmslev's Law: (4) If PQR is a possible onset, then so are PQ and QR, and similarly for codas. (5) If PQ and QR are possible onsets, then so is PQR, and similarly for codas.

pdf


 

Significato e contenuto: la molteplicita del senso

 

Francesco Marsciani

www.marsciani.net

 

Vorrei partire da un problema teorico, e precisamente da una citazione che fa parte del bagaglio storico di qualunque semiotica. La traggo dal saggio di Hjelmslev "La struttura fondamentale del linguaggio". Il passaggio è il seguente: "Per ragioni puramente logiche sembra ovvio che ogni linguaggio concepibile implichi due cose: un'espressione e qualcosa di espresso. Non può esserci semplicemente un'espressione senza qualcosa di espresso e viceversa. Queste due proprietà sono fondamentali a tutti i linguaggi. Dal momento che non siamo sicuri che un significato, sia in senso mentalistico che in senso behavioristico, sia implicato, non farò uso del termine 'significato' per denotare la cosa che è espressa. La definirò contenuto, termine scelto perché perfettamente non impegnativo, che consente di rinviare il problema del significato ad una più tarda discussione. La cosa più importante è che, anche se eliminassimo il significato considerato come coscienza del locutore o comportamento dell'ascoltatore, questi espedienti non ci permetterebbero di ridurre il linguaggio a mera espressione. Il contenuto è il complemento necessario dell'espressione. Il linguaggio resta doppio, è una struttura a due facce che implica contenuto ed espressione. Io li chiamerò i due piani del linguaggio." Può sembrare banale per la nostra sensibilità. Siamo tutti profondamente imbevuti di queste acquisizioni. Si trattava per Hjelmslev di abbandonare la nozione di significato, per quel tanto che aveva di determinazioni psicologiche, sociologiche o comportamentiste, al fine di poter parlare di un significato linguistico definibile all'interno della teoria linguistica e, in quanto tale, conforme a quelle istanze formali di scientificità (più o meno standard secondo i canoni dell'empirismo) cui Hjelmslev, è noto, teneva in modo particolare. Eppure può valere la pena riflettere ancora su questo passaggio, perché al suo interno vi sono molti elementi che ci aiutano a capire il senso vero di un cambiamento d'ottica di grande portata, un rovesciamento della prospettiva che continua ad informare le attuali ricerche sui fenomeni di significazione e sull'analisi stessa dei testi.

Innanzi tutto Hjelmslev intendeva prendere le distanze da due approcci tra loro distinti al problema del significato. Il primo è quello che risulta più esplicito nel brano citato: si tratta evidentemente dell'idea di significato che si trae dalle discussioni di logica applicate al linguaggio e dalla tradizione della filosofia analitica, per le quali si può dire in generale che il significato doveva essere trattato come un'entità "reale", realtà psicologica, appunto, o comportamentista, ma comunque già data in quanto "oggetto empirico". Da qui le discussioni sulle relazioni che il significato intrattiene con le cose, o referente, e sulla possibilità di definire i significati in maniera univoca. Sono discussioni che hanno avuto i loro sviluppi e i loro esiti anche all'interno di quella stessa tradizione e in maniera quasi del tutto indipendente; basti pensare al posto che vi ha occupato Wittgenstein.

 

 pdf


 

 

Discrete, continuous and diferentible layers in hjelmslev stratification of music

 


Guerino Mazzola

www.ifi.unizh.ch/mml/musicmedia



The complex system of musical signs shares a stratification into three layers of denotation and connotation in the sense of Louis Hjelmslev. This implies that musical meaning is not a monolithic fact, but results from a successive enrichment of semantic subprocesses on different ontological levels. We describe the three layers: score, interpretation, and performance with respect to their speci c denotational and connotational structures and relations. The main thesis of this paper is that this triple strati cation goes in parallel with a transition from discrete to continuous and then di erentiable paradigms. Whereas the mental reality of a score's text is dominated by the encyclopedic combinatorics of discrete conceptualization, syntactical or paradigmatic interpretation and analysis of the score's discrete data unveils a fundamentally topological avor. It is related to topologies which issue from non-hierarchical grouping, transformations, and deformations on the score data. This eld is described by mathematical music theory and includes harmony, counterpoint, rhythmical, and motivic analyses. The third layer of musical performance turns out to be a transformation of the score's interpretation and analysis into a space of physical sound parameters. According to Adorno's and Benjamin's \micrologic" of performance, performance transformations are diferentiable and can be investigated by means of speci c performance vector elds. This approach is a natural generalization of the classical tempo curves to other parameters, such as pitch and loudness. The overall picture of this strati cation of music deals with abstract concept spaces which by far transcend common space paradigms.

 

pdf



Semiotic Aspects of Musicology: Semiotics of Music

Guerino Mazzola

The role of semiotic aspects in musicology is best described from the complex ontological topography of music. We start this article from the fundamental description [70], stating that “music is communication, has meaning and mediates on the physical level between its mental and psychic levels”. This fact suggests that three ontological dimensions: reality, communication and sign are described to locate facts that deal with music. It turns out that each dimension specifies three aspects, corresponding to three coordinate values on the cube of musical topography, see Figure 1.

pdf


 

Methodological aspects of computational semiotics

 

Alexander Mehler

www.library.utoronto.ca

 

 

The field of Computational Semiotics (CS) has emerged in order to account for the inter-section between semiosis and machine computation (Clarke 2001). Any definition of computational semiotics hinges on a notion of sign and sign processes used as its starting point. In this paper we will not try to (re-)construct this fundament. Thus, this paper does not define computational semiotics, but outlines only some of its methodological implica-tions and replications. Since the author’s object of interest is given by natural language discourse systems, it is a trios of schools which needs to be taken into account for this task: 1. Peirce (1993) proposes a dynamic, relational semantics, which describes meaning as a result of processes of ongoing sign interpretation resulting in the constitu-tion/modification of behavioural dispositions restricting the usage of signs in ex-actly these processes. Without following the differentiation of Peirce’s triadic no-tion of sign, it is this kind of “circularity” which we believe is crucial for a semi-otic grounding of CS, i.e. the fact that signs do not only participate in sign proc-esses on the basis of dispositions (usage regularities), but may also – as a result of their participation – change these dispositions. The implications of this notion for the linguistic concept of rule, or more generally: regularity, are manifold, since Peirce’s dynamic perspective does not allow to conceive them as categorial, static entities. 2. Whereas Peirce does not pick the distinction of syntagmatic and paradigmatic regularities – especially with respect to textual units above the level of argumenta-tive structures – as a central topic of his sign philosophy, this distinction, which parallels the distinction of text system and language system, is fundamental for Hjelmslev’s glossematics (Hjelmslev 1969). As a consequence, Hjelmslev can de-scribe linguistics as a formal, deductive approach which – starting from the text as an un-analysed whole – tries to reconstruct the system of choices defining the language system and the realisations of these choices defining the system’s tex-tual instances. Regardless of the deductive approach of glossematics, it is the di-chotomy of syntagmatics and paradigmatics which is seen to be essential for a semiotic grounding of CS. 3. In contrast to Hjelmslev’s static notion of language system, it is the dynamics of mutual constitution of text and language system which is stressed in Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics (SFL) (Halliday 1977), thereby pointing to the con-text-sensitivity of linguistic processes. In this sense, a text being pro-duced/received as a discourse unit by participants of a speech community always has at least two (types of) contexts: the system of semantic/linguistic choices un-derlying it, and the (type of) social context, which SFL differentiates according to situational factors (whose recurrent combinations are described as registers) and the staging of social interactions (described as genres) (Halliday 1977; Martin 1992).2 As a consequence of this context-sensitivity, linguistics cannot be con-ducted as a purely deductive discipline, but necessarily builds on a qualitative as well as quantitative analysis of synchronic and diachronic aspects of the dynamics of linguistic structures. Nevertheless, syntagmatics and paradigmatics remain con-stitutive terms in SFL, but are now – so to say in accordance with Peirce – ana-lysed from a dynamic perspective. It is the dynamic co-evolvement of text and system as well as its context-sensitivity – especially its embedding into social sys-tems – which is seen to be essential for a semiotic grounding of CS. The unification of these different notions aims at a unification of structural and pro-cedural aspects of linguistic modelling:

The resulting models are structural in the sense that they model signs with respect to their informationally uncertain syntagmatic and paradigmatic regularities.

• They are procedural in the sense that they represent these regularities not only as a precondition, but also as an output of sign processes. As being dynamic entities, the processes involved are necessarily modelled by means of procedures.

 

pdf


Comparaison entre les comportements réflexifs du langage
humain et la réflexivité des langages informatiques

Anne Nicolle
GREYC UMR 6072 CNRS (équipe ISLanD)
Université de Caen

Le langage humain est réflexif en ce sens qu'il n'a pas besoin d'un autre langage pour parler de son propre fonctionnement. Cette caractéristique du langage a été analysée en particulier par Hjelmslev et cette analyse est encore pertinente aujourd'hui. Elle est intrinsèquement liée à la multiplicité des interprétations possibles d'un énoncé. Tous les autres langages et toutes les notations mathématiques, logiques, musicales sont construites à partir du langage écrit. Chacun d'eux forme donc un langage dans le langage. Les interprétations sont univoques et ils ne sont généralement pas capables de parler de leur propre fonctionnement. Ils font appel pour cela au langage humain dans sa généralité. La formalisation du langage trouve ses limites dans le processus de création des notations, et nous en présenterons quelques conséquences. Certains langages informatiques ont des capacités réflexives : lisp et plus récemment Java ou XML. Ils perdent en même temps leur univocité d'interprétation. Cette nécessité de l’ambiguïté a été prise en compte dans le métamodèle UML. Les capacités réflexives des langages informatiques sont comparées avec les capacités réflexives du langage humain. La dynamicité des langages informatiques et leur réflexivité sont des moyens de lever certaines difficultés de la formalisation du langage.

pdf


Analise glossemática da estrutura das linguagens de interface humano-computador

 

Osvaldo L.de Oliveira

M. Cecília C. Baranauskas

 

 

Interfaces podem ser entendidas como linguagens, na medida em que expressam elementos que devem ser usados em um processo de comunicação. Nós entendemos que a Semiótica, como ciência geral de todas as linguagens, suporta formalismos que possibilitam a análise de linguagens de interface Humano-Computador. Neste artigo discutimos uma teoria Semiótica - a Glossemática - como referencial teórico para se criar notação e procedimentos que possibilitem uma análise objetiva de linguagens de interface. Ilustramos esta discussão na linguagem da interface do Netscape Mail 3.0.

 

pdf


 

Louis Hjelmslev en el ambito de la lengua espanola

 

José Polo

www3.unileon.es

 

Entramos ahora, dentro del recorrido historiográfico en marcha —a su vez, parte introductoria de esta serie—, en el tramo final, dedicado a dos autores destacados en la consideración científica de la obra del maestro danés, a saber: el estudioso chileno anunciado y, próxima entrega, Eugenio Coseriu. La curiosidad intelectual sin límites de Ambrosio Rabanales lo ha llevado de modo natural a acercarse, incitado por las cuestiones de epistemología y metodología lin-güísticas, al fecundo Louis Hjelmslev, siempre novedosa fuente de inspiración para la ulterior reflexión propia. Si hay un rasgo común a estos dos lingüistas en el punto de mira, es, sin duda, el espíritu de objetivación y exactitud con que ambos se acercan a la muy compleja estructuración, entre plena y virtual, de los hechos del lenguaje. La preocupación metodológica en ellos no es sino un reflejo o, tal vez, la premisa de la «intersubjetividad comprobable», que diría Bernard Pottier, del ideal de «lo objetivo» o, casi deletreando a Coseriu, del «decir las cosas como son». 1. Al enviarle yo a mi buen amigo Ambrosio Rabanales separata de la mencionada primera entrega de esta serie, separata en la que, cual he señalado, figuraba un trabajo de él relacionado indirectamente con el universo científico de Hjelmslev, me escribió (15 de septiembre de 1995, pues mi estudio había aparecido en ese año, no en el teóricamente esperable) una amable carta en la que, por lo que afecta a nuestro asunto, decía: Con respecto a la [separata] de Hjelmslev, te recuerdo, «por si las moscas», que en mi artículo (fotocopia del cual te mandé oportunamente) «Origen y evolución de mis modelos lingüísticos» me refiero tanto a él como a Alarcos con cierto detalle. A propósito de la visita que con Lidia [Contreras, su esposa: destacada hispanista, muy fina en su trabajo, y entrañable persona, desgraciadamente ya no entre nosotros] le hicimos al maestro en Copenhague, en 1956, recuerdo que cuando le hablé de la gramática de Alarcos [Gramática estructural (según la Escuela de Copenhague y con especial atención a la lengua española), Gredos, Madrid, 1951], con cinco años ya de vida, me dijo que no la conocía; y cuando le pregunté su opinión sobre la obra de [la autora holandesa Berta] Siertsema [A Study of Glossematics. Critical Survey of Its Fundamentals Concepts, Martinus Nijhoff, La Haya, 1955, 21965], me contestó que «esa señora no entendió nada». Te recuerdo también que, hasta donde yo sé, la traducción que hice en forma completa de la «Editorial» de AL [Acta Linguistica], IV, 1944, págs. V-XI, en 1959, es la primera en español, muy anterior a la que se incluye en Ensayos lingüísticos («con algunas omisiones» y en donde parole se traduce por palabra, en vez de habla, como propuso A. Alonso [al verter al español, en 1945, el Curso de lingüística general de Saussure]), de Gredos, 1972, con el nombre de «Lingüística estructural» (pági-nas 27-34). Mi traducción, desde entonces, siempre ha estado presente en la bibliografía de la docencia universitaria de la lingüística en varias partes del país [me ocuparé de ese texto mucho más adelante en esta serie, cuando presente las traducciones al español de los trabajos de Hjelmslev].

 

   pdf


 

Les fondations de la sémiotique et le problème du texte. Questions sur les prolégomènes à une théorie du lanagage de louis hjelmslev

 

François Rastier

Hjelmslev aujourd’hui

 

Le geste de fondation, caractéristique de la sémiotique contemporaine (Peirce, Saussure, Greimas), prend chez Hjelmslev une figure particulière. Pour caractériser du point de vue d'une herméneutique philologique la fondation formelle de la sémiotique chez Hjelmslev, il convient de préciser le statut du concept de texte dans les Prolégomènes à une théorie du langage. Cette fondation formelle conduit à une transsémiotique, inévitablement transcendantale, dont on retrouvera les apories dans le cognitivisme classique. Elles peuvent être discernées, sinon résolues, par une sémiotique des cultures qui, sans réitérer le geste de fondation, reconna”trait ses fondements herméneutiques. Plus d'un demi-siècle après la parution des Prolégomènes, il convient de mesurer le chemin parcouru et de questionner les formes présentes de la sémiotique, discipline toujours énigmatique. Je le ferai du point de vue d'une sémantique des textes, partie intégrante d'une sémiotique des cultures. Je commencerai par questionner les Prolégomènes sur le texte. Mais mon point de vue ne sera pas historique : je prendrai certes le parti de la tradition, mais pour apprécier ce qui vit aujourd'hui du projet hjelmslévien. Cela n'ira pas sans une réflexion historiographique, qu'impose la temporalité propre des sciences humaines. Le geste de fondation suppose une rupture avec une tradition déniée plutôt que dépassée. Un sémioticien français affirmait naguère que la sémiotique était née en 1966 ! Délimiter un objet impose certes de nécessaires refus, mais une discipline peut-elle s'édifier sur la dénégation de son histoire ? Sans doute le geste de fondation suppose-t-il une conception axiomatique des théories scientifiques, qui permettrait de les créer ex nihilo, décisoirement. L'historiographie de la sémiotique a-t-elle dépassé les deux formes archaïques que sont le mythe de fondation, et les généalogies subséquentes ? Le geste de fondation est un tic contemporain. Il accuse les traits archaïques ou barbares du scientisme moderne, qui entend réitérer le geste newtonien des Lumières, et remet indéfiniment en scène les sciences dures et les disciplines molles, nous sommant de choisir entre la physique mathématique et le bavardage, comme si la sémiotique devait culminer dans la mathématisation du concept, ou sombrer dans un ressassement humaniste. Toute fondation est tout à la fois héroïque et mythique : que l'on songe à celle de Rome par Enée, ou à celle de Lisbonne par Ulysse. Naturellement, la fondation ne devient effective que par le récit, et l'épopée intellectuelle que nous narrons prend alors la place du mythe d'origine. Mais les fondateurs de la sémiotique contemporaine n'ont pu achever leur programme, ils ont sombré dans l'océan de leurs brouillons. Nous devinons leur projet par un patient travail d'édition posthume. Si les sources manuscrites du Cours ont commencé à être publiées dans les années soixante, la plupart des manuscrits de Saussure restent cachés dans ce que Parret, par allusion sans doute à la mythologie germanique, a appelé le trésor de Harvard. Le résumé de la théorie du langage de Hjelmslev est une oeuvre posthume reconstituée voire constituée patiemment par Whitfield. Et avant que le programme d'édition des oeuvres de Peirce ne soit suspendu, on en prévoyait l'achèvement pour l'année 2.025. Les sémioticiens les plus fervents, naturellement fascinés par le décryptage, s'emploient ainsi à divers travaux exégétiques, sur des corpus assez étendus et obscurs pour y faire de longues carrières. Ils chantent ainsi une fondation déjà faite, mais restée inconnue. Leur art légendaire s'appuie sur la tradition orale, les manuscrits énigmatiques, et laisse libre cours aux écoles ou aux sectes. Leur prophétisme reste inévitablement rétrospectif. Puissent-ils reconnaître tout ce qu'ils doivent, pour la reconstruction de leurs textes fondateurs, à la philologie par ailleurs tant vilipendée pour son historicisme...

 

pdf


 

Un hjelmslevien en visite chez un peircéen

 

Fernando Roy & Jean Fisette

Protée, XXVII, 2, 1999, p 118-124

 

Contexte (Fernand Roy). Après avoir lu crayon en main et avec beaucoup d'intérêt Pour une pragmatique de la signification, j'ai eu le goût de discuter avec Jean Fisette: d'une part, il me semblait à l'occasion injustement sévère à l'égard de la perspective hjelmslévienne et, d'autre part je me reconnaissais souvent dans les mises à l'essai sur les textes littéraires qu 'il faisait des catégories peircéennes. En décembre 1996, je lui ai donc proposé que nous interagissions au cours de l'hiver par courrier électronique: je lui soumettrais d'entrée de jeu une série de questions pour lui donner à voir ce qui me préoccupait; mais pour éviter que l'échange soit trop linéaire, il était convenu que je reformulerais une à une mes questions en cours de route, me permettant ainsi de réagir à sa (ses) réponse(s) antérieure(s). Au début de juin 1997 nous nous sommes retrouvés avec une correspondance de 60 pages. Pour en arriver à un texte recevable par la revue Protée - l'idée était là au départ!-, après un été de réflexion, j 'ai reformulé l'ensemble de mon propos en cinq questions que j'ai transmises à Jean Fisette et auxquelles il a réagi en une seule fois. Les titres précédant les questions n'ont pas été pensées en vue d'une publication, ils font partie de la formulation initiale.

 

pdf


 

Denotation/connotation

 

Göran Sonesson

www.arthist.lu.se

 

 

As used in semiotics and in neighbouring disciplines, the terms denotation and connotation really cover at least four main conceptual distinctions, some of which have several varieties: yet, ignoring a few marginal cases, all may be seen as different ways of carving up a particular semantic domain, made up of the two obligatory relata of the sign function, expression and content, and of a portion of the experimental world corresponding to the content, viz. the referent. Consistent with the views of Saussure and Hjelmslev, the content is here considered to be a mental, or more precisely, an intersubjective, entity, whereas the referent is taken to be something which may be encountered in the experimental world, that is, at least potentially, in direct perception. Given these preliminaries, the four different distinctions can be adequately derived, but unlike the terms, the resulting concepts do not exclude each other, and in fact are often confused in the literature. In the case of the logical distinction, the connotation is identical with the content, or with a particular feature analysis of the content, and the denotation is another name for the referent, or for the relation connecting the content to the referent or, in some conceptions, starting out directly from the expression. In what we shall henceforth call the stylistic distinction, denotation is considered to be a part of the content that is taken to be in one-to-one correspondence with the referent, and connotation is identified with what remains of the content when denotation is deducted; at the same time, however, connotation and denotation are ordinarily supposed to be different kinds of content, where the possible content categories are defined by psychological predicates. Moreover, in some versions of the distinction, the semantic domain subject to segmentation is extended on the side termed connotation, so as to include also the subjective mental content of the sender and/or receiver of the sign, without the latter being clearly distinguished from the marginal content domain of the sign. The semiotical distinction, so called because it is proper to semiotics, viz. to the Hjelmslev tradition, concerns a denotation which is a relation between the expression and the content, and a connotation which relates two signs (i.e. two units of expression and content) in a particular way. Finally, what Eco calls connotation, when he is not simply thinking about the stylistic notion, is really what is elsewhere termed a (contextual) implication, i.e. the distinction is this time concerned with the differing degrees of indirectness with which the content is given, denotation being merely the less indirect one.

 

pdf


 


On structural analogy

Jørgen Staun
Word 47.2: 193-205


This paper resuscitates the idea of positing parallel structures in phonology and syntax, an idea which was first presented in detail by Glossematics in the 40’s and later taken up by the dependency grammarians in the 80’s. Its resuscitation here is the result of analysing the initial levels of syntax and phonology in terms of monovalent components which are subject to identical laws of government and dependency. First it is shown how it is possible to analyse the ultimate thematic constituents at the syntactic level in terms of single or complex monovalent case components. Subsequently , it is shown how a similar analysis is appropriate for the description or vowel quality. This parallelism leads to the formulation of a stronger version of a more general constraint. This constraint, which has been termed the structural analogy assumption, imposes restrictions on the construction of grammars in general.

pdf


Introdução ao Résumé of a theory of language

 

Francis Whitfield

 

“É portanto necessário assegurar a aplicabilidade da teoria e qualquer aplicação necessariamente pressupõe essa teoria. Mas é de máxima importância não confundir a teoria com suas aplicações ou com o método prático de aplicação. A teoria conduzirá a um procedimento, mas nenhum ‘procedimento de descoberta’ (prático) será exposto nesta obra que, em termos estritos, não apresenta a teoria em sua forma sistemática, mas apenas os seus prolegômenos”. Este parágrafo, acrescentado aos Prolegômenos por Hjelmslev no outono de 1960, no curso das discussões com o tradutor, buscava precaver o leitor contra uma interpretação equivocada do livro, fato este que mostrou-se bastante comum nos anos que se seguiram a sua publicação. Para Hjelmslev, os Prolegômenos constituíam uma obra de ‘popularização’, na qual era necessário fazer algumas concessões e passar ao largo de certas complicações, já que o objetivo maior era traçar os contornos gerais da glossemática, seja para os não-especialistas, seja para os lingüistas profissionais. Não é difícil compreender, entretanto, que o que fora pensado como uma introdução mais ou menos informal era freqüentemente interpretado das mais diversas maneiras por lingüistas que interessavam-se pela glossemática e para quem os Prolegômenos constituíam a única exposição geral da teoria disponível. Como os anos se passavam e diversas circunstâncias continuavam a postergar a planejada apresentação da teoria em moldes mais formais, os equívocos se multiplicavam, de maneira que Hjelmslev se sentia compelido a esclarecer seu ponto de vista – particularmente, talvez, no que diz respeito ao “procedimento” glossemático. Entretanto, dar uma forma final à descrição detalhada do procedimento em seu contexto teórico mantinha-se como uma de suas esperanças não concretizadas. Hjelmslev retornou ao empreendimento, pelo menos até 1958, mas o avançado de sua doença o impediu de levar a cabo esta tarefa, assim como tantos outros projetos. Portanto, deve ficar claro que o presente trabalho não pode ser tomado como representando, em todos os seus aspectos, a formulação concisa da teoria glossemática que Hjelmslev seguramente desejaria ter realizado, se sua saúde assim o permitisse. Para mencionar apenas um exemplo, creio ser bastante provável que seu tratamento do conceito de ‘estabelecimento’ teria sofrido revisão – possivelmente, mas não certamente, uma vez que, é claro, nesses casos é difícil saber se ele teria realmente pensado em fazer alterações. Permanece o fato, no entanto, que o Résumé, em sua presente forma, era considerado por Hjelmslev como uma base da teoria sujeita à revisão. Além disso, ele é praticamente contemporâneo dos Prolegômenos, esclarece alguns de seus pontos e completa-os com importantes detalhes. Por estas razões eu julguei que seria oportuno e desejável preparar a presente edição.

(trad. J.R.CARMO Jr.)

 

pdf


 

Connaissance de hjelmslev

 

Claude Zilberberg

 Il Protagora, anno XXV, 1985, p.127-169

 

Ce text, de circonstance, se voulait un dossier - en l'acception juridique du terme. Puisque le structuralisme est toujours en procès, procès instruit du dehors quand il est dit que le structuralisme est réduit à l'un de ses possibles: le binarisme. La réflexion de Hjelmslev s'ordonne autour de deux exigences qui obligeront longtemps. En premieur lieu, elle requiert trois niveaux là où couramment il n'est fait appel qu'à deux. En effet, elle ajoute à la distinction "phonétique"/"phonologie" un niveau phonématique qui change la coupure "phonétique"/"phonologie" en seuil et capte, si l'on ose dire, à son avantage la solution de continuité qui fixait la pertinence.

 

pdf