The Motivated Sign

The Motivated Sign

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This volume, a sequel to Form Miming Meaning (1999), offers a selection of papers given at the second international symposium on iconicity (Amsterdam 1999). In the light of semiotic, linguistic and literary theory the studies gathered here investigate how iconicity works on all levels of language, in literary texts and other forms of verbal discourse. They investigate, among other subjects, the semiotic foundations of iconicity, the role played by iconicity in language evolution and in the way words are positioned syntactically. Special consideration is given to the iconic nature of metaphor and the `mise en abyme', to iconically motivated punctuation and other typographic matters such as the manipulation of colour, fonts and spacing in advertising and in poetry. Other studies show how iconicity influences Shakespeare's rhetoric, the structural design of Margaret Atwood's writings and the changing fashions in fictional landscape description. Thus, these analyses of `the motivated sign' represent yet another strong challenge to "Saussure's dogma of arbitrariness" (Jakobson).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 387 pages
  • 154.94 x 223.52 x 25.4mm | 635.03g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588110036
  • 9781588110039

Table of contents

1. Acknowledgements; 2. List of contributors; 3. Introduction: Veni, Vidi, Vici (by Nanny, Max); 4. Part I: General; 5. Semiotic foundations of iconicity in language and literature (by Noth, Winfried); 6. The semiotics of the Mise-en-Abyme (by White, John J.); 7. Good probes: Icons, anaphors, and the evolution of language (by Herlofsky, William J.); 8. Part II: Sounds and beyond; 9. The sound as an echo to the sense: The iconicity of English gl- words (by Sadowski, Piotr); 10. On natural motivation in metaphors: The case of the cucurbits (by Norrman, Ralf); 11. Old English poetic texts and their Latin sources: Iconicity in Caedmon's Hymn and The Phoenix (by Anderson, Earl R.); 12. Part III: Visual iconicity: Writing, typography and the use of images; 13. Iconic punctuation: Ellipsis marks in a historical perspective (by Henry, Anne C.); 14. Iconic functions of long and short lines (by Nanny, Max); 15. Iconicity in advertising signs: Motive and method in miming 'the body' (by Goh, Robbie B.H.); 16. Iconoclasm and iconicity in seventeenth-century English poetry (by Innocenti, Loretta); 17. Part IV: Iconicity in grammatical structures; 18. Structural iconicity: The English -S- and OF-genitives (by Conradie, C. Jac); 19. The position of the adjective in (Old) English from an iconic perspective (by Fischer, Olga); 20. Present participles as iconic expressions (by Jansen, Frank); 21. Of Markov chains and upholstery buttons: "Moi, madame, votre chien..." (by Lecercle, Jean-Jacques); 22. Part V: Iconicity in textual structures; 23. Iconicity and rhetoric: A note on the iconic force of rhetorical figures in Shakespeare (by Muller, Wolfgang G.); 24. The emergence of experiential iconicity and spatial perspective in landscape descriptions in English fiction (by Wolf, Werner); 25. Iconic dimensions in Margaret Atwood's poetry and prose (by Ljungberg, Christina); 26. Author index; 27. Subject index
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