A Theory of Linguistic Signs

Paperback | July 1, 1998

byRudi KellerTranslated byKimberley Duenwald

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What does it mean to drive a Cadillac? What does `cuckoo' suggest about the bird? -- two examples explored in this investigation of the history of language signs and of what philosophers, linguists, and others have had to say about them. Rudi Keller shows how signs emerge, function, and develop in the permanent process of language change. He recombines thoughts and ideas from Plato to the present day to create a new theory of the meaning and evolution of icons and symbols. By assuming no prior knowledge and by developing hisargument from first principles, Rudi Keller has written a basic text which includes all the necessary features: easy style, good organization, original scholarship, and historical depth. This is a non-technical book which will interest linguists, philosophers, students of communications and culturalstudies, semioticians/semanticists, sociologists, and anthropologists.

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What does it mean to drive a Cadillac? What does `cuckoo' suggest about the bird? -- two examples explored in this investigation of the history of language signs and of what philosophers, linguists, and others have had to say about them. Rudi Keller shows how signs emerge, function, and develop in the permanent process of language ch...

Rudi Keller is Professor of German Linguistics at Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf.

other books by Rudi Keller

Format:PaperbackDimensions:276 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.63 inPublished:July 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198237952

ISBN - 13:9780198237952

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Signs in Everyday LifePart I: Two Notions of Signs1. Plato's Instrumental Notion of Signs2. Aristotle's Representational Notion of Signs3. Frege's Representational Notion of SignsPart II: Semantics and Cognition5. Conceptual Realism versus Conceptual Relativism6. Types of Concepts versus Types of Rules7. Expression and MeaningPart II: Sign Emergence8. Basic Techniques of Interpretation9. Inferential Procedures10. Arbitrariness versus MotivatednessPart IV: Sign Metamorphosis11. Iconification and Symbolification12. Metaphorization, Metonymization and Lexicalization13. Literal and Metaphorical Sense14. Rationality and ImplicaturesPart V: The Diachronic Dimension15. Costs and Benefits of the Metaphoric Technique16. The Metaphoric Use of Modal Verbs17. The Epistemic WeilSummary