Baltic accent

2023 Vol. 14 №4

Back to the list Download the article

A part outside the whole? (To Anton Zimmerling's article “Really: syntactics without semiotics?”)



Before delving into the connections between linguistics and semiotics, it is essential to es­tablish a clear demarcation between these fields, which necessitates a precise definition of each subject. However, the approach taken by Anton Zimmerling in this regard is subject to de­bate. In the discussion of semiotics, the focus tends to lean towards interpretations that recog­nize the dual understanding of signs, while unilateral conceptions of signs are often over­looked. Linguistics is typically confined to the study of language itself, and the treatment of linguistics concerning speech (text) is often seen as a concealed branch of philology. Moreo­ver, it remains unclear whether the distinction between language and speech pertains to lin­guistics or philology. This ambiguity extends to the status of linguistic pragmatics.

To address this issue constructively, it is useful to differentiate between five concepts en­compassing language and speech: hermeneutics, philology, linguistics, semiotics, and prag­malinguistics. Each of these concepts delineates a specific ontology and corresponding metho­do­lo­gical approach. By considering them as orthogonal axes within a fan matrix, one can identify 25 possible approaches for studying speech, including those that are currently em­ployed and potential ones. Within this framework, philological linguistics, as discussed by Zimmerling, finds its place, and the transitions of scholars like Witzany from biohermeneu­tics to biopragmalinguistics and Ongstad's shift from philology become more comprehensible.


Averintsev, S. S., 1977. Poetika rannevizantiiskoi literatury [Poetics of Early Byzan­tine Literature]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V. and Dmitrieva, M. A., 2009. Directions in Interpretative Biosemi­otics. In: 9th Gathering in Biosemiotics. Prague, p. 26.

Chebanov, S. V. and Martynenko, G. Ya., 1990a. The main types of ideas about the nature of language. In: Acta et commentationes universitatis tartuensis, 911. Tartu, pp. 112—136 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V. and Martynenko, G. Ya., 1990b. Ideas of hermeneutics in applied linguistics. In: Quantitative linguistics and automatic text analysis. 1990. Acta et Commen­tationes Universitatis Tartuensis, 912. Tartu, pp. 92—111 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V. and Martynenko, G. Ya., 2007. On the hermeneuticization of ap­plied linguistics. In: Vestnik Tverskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya: Filologiya [Herald of Tver State University Series: Philology], 11 (207), pp. 273—291 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 1993. Biology and Humanitarian Culture: the Problem of Inter­pretation in Biohermeneutics and Hermeneutics of Biology. In: Lectures of Theoretical Biology: 2nd Stage. Tallinn, pp. 219—248.

Chebanov, S. V., 1998. The Role of Hermeneutics in Biology In: P. Koslowski, ed. Sociobiology and Bioeconomics. The Theory of Evolution in Biological and Economic Theory. Berlin; Heidelberg; New York: Springer, pp. 141—172.

Chebanov, S. V., 1999a. Bio-Hermeneutics and Hermeneutics of Biology. Semioti­ca, 127 (1—4), pp. 215—226, https://doi. org/10.1515/semi.1999.127.1—4.215.

Chebanov, S. V., 1999b. Review of the book by Jesper Hoffmeyer (Jesper Hoff­meyer. "Signs of Meaning in the Universe", transl. by B. J. Haveland. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1997). Zhurnal obshchei biologii [Journal of General Biology], 59 (2), pp. 229—235 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2002. Bilateral biosemiotics: A problem of sense on a super-triplet level. In: Gathering in Biosemiotics-2. Tartu, p. 11.

Chebanov, S. V., 2004. Semiotics of the contents and semiotics of expression: the role of sign's body. In: Körper — Verkörperung — Entkörperung. Body — Embodiment — Disembodiment. Kassel, pp. 1132—1144 (CD).

Chebanov, S. V., 2005. Semantophores: a view of biosemiotics and pragmalin­guistics. In: Nauchnye chteniya — 2004: materialy konferentsii [Scientific readings — 2004. Materials of the conference]. St. Petersburg, pp. 243—252 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2006. On the ultimate identity of hermeneutics, applied linguis­tics and pragmalinguistics. In: Ponimanie i refleksiya v obrazovanii, kul'ture i kommu­nikatsii [Understanding and reflection in education, culture and communication]. Tver, pp. 247—249 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2007a. The current Situation in Modern Biosemiotics. In: Biose­miotics in Transdisciplinary Contexts. Proceedings of the Gathering in Biosemiotics 6, Salz­burg 2006. Vilnius, pp. 133—141.

Chebanov, S. V., 2007b. Communicative-glossematic conception of semiotic means (SM) as tool for explanation of understanding/misunderstanding. In: 9th World Congress of Semiotics. Helsinki — Imatra, pp. 107—108.

Chebanov, S. V., 2008. Alternatives of Biosemiotics. In: 8th Gathering in Biosemiot­ics. Hermoupolis, p. 18.

Chebanov, S. V., 2009. Biosemiotics and biohermeneutics. In: Nauki o zhizni i obra­zovanie. Fundamental'nye problemy integratsii [Life sciences and education. Fundamen­tal problems of integration]. Moscow, pp. 340—344 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2010. The status of semiotically conscious biology. In: Filosofskie problemy biologii i meditsiny. Vyp. 4. Fundamental'noe i prikladnoe [Philosophical prob­lems of biology and medicine. Issue. 4. Fundamental and applied]. Moscow, pp. 323—326 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2011. Cognitive linguistics and pragmalinguistics as alternatives for the development of functional linguistics and their relation to hermeneutics. In: Aktual'nye problemy sovremennoi kognitivnoi nauki: mater. IV Vserossiiskoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii s mezhdunarodnym uchastiem (20—21 oktyabrya 2011 goda) [Ac­tual problems of modern cognitive science. Materials of the fourth All-Russian scien­tific-practical conference with international participation (October 20—21, 2011)]. Ivanovo, pp. 252—266 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2012. Results of the development of biosemiotics. In: Gatherings in Biosemiotics. Tartu, pp. 174—175.

Chebanov, S. V., 2014. The course of hermeneutics in the cycle of specialized dis­ciplines in the training of specialists in applied linguistics. In: Vestnik gumanitarnogo fakul'teta Ivanovskogo gosudarstvennogo khimiko-tekhnologicheskogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Faculty of Humanities of the Ivanovo State University of Chemical Technolo­gy], 7, pp. 87—96 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2017. History and Results of Development of Biosemiotics. In: Gatherings in Biosemiotics 2017. Lausanne, pp. 54—55.

Chebanov, S. V., 2018. Steps towards the semiotic awareness of biology: Biosemi­otics replacing the role of synthetic theory of evolution. In: Eighteenth Annual Biosemi­otics Gathering. June 17—20, 2018. Abstract Booklet. Berkeley, p. 16.

Chebanov, S. V., 2019a. Interpretation techniques in living organisms. In: 19th Annual Gathering in biosemiotics. Moscow, pp. 15—16.

Chebanov, S. V., 2019b. On the way to semiotically conscious biology: biosemiot­ics replaces the synthetic theory of evolution. In: Metod: moskovskii ezhegodnik trudov iz obshchestvovedcheskikh distsiplin [METHOD: Moscow Yearbook of Works from Social Science Disciplines], 9. Moscow, pp. 151—173 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2020. The system of understanding techniques by G. I. Bogin. In: Ponimanie i refleksiya v Rossii: sbornik materialov dokladov na mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii (g. Tver', 29—30 noyabrya 2019 g.) [Understanding and reflec­tion in Russia. Collection of materials of reports at the international scientific and practical conference (Tver, November 29—30, 2019)] Tver, pp. 307—339 (in Russ.).

Chebanov, S. V., 2022. Interdisciplinary Course of Lectures on Biosemiotics for Professionals. In: Gatherings in Biosemiotics-2022. Olomouc, pp. 36—37.

Domanskii, Yu. V., 2006. Variativnost' i interpretatsiya teksta (paradigma neklas­sicheskoi khudozhestvennosti) [Variability and interpretation of the text (a paradigm of non-classical artistry)]. PhD thesis. Moscow (in Russ.).

Florensky, P., 1973. The structure of the word. In: Kontekst 72. Literaturno-teoreticheskie issledovaniya [Context 72. Literary and theoretical studies]. Moscow, pp. 348—375 (in Russ.).

Ivanov, Vyach. Vs., 1977. On the semiotic theory of carnival as an inversion of binary representations. In: Trudy po znakovym sistemam. 8. Uchenye zapiski Tartuskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Sign Systems Studies. 8. Scientific letters of The Univer­sity of Tartu], 411. Tartu, pp. 45—64 (in Russ.).

Kordonsky, S. G. and Chebanov, S. V., 1996. Fan Matrices as a Data Representa­tion Model. In: Chebanov S. V. Sobranie sochinenii [Chebanov S. V. Collected works]. Vol. 1. Vilnius, p. 80 (in Russ.).

Kordonsky, S. G., 2001. Tsikly deyatel'nosti i ideal'nye ob"ekty [Cycles of activity and ideal objects]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Kordonsky, S. G., 2011. Veernye matritsy kak instrument postroeniya ontologii [Fan matrices as a tool for constructing ontologies]. Washington (in Russ.).

Kovrigina, L. Yu., 2014. Negaussovoe modelirovanie leksiko-statisticheskoi struktury va­ria­tiv­nogo teksta: na primere «Skazaniya o Mamaevom poboishche» [Non-Gaussian mo­deling of the lexical-statistical structure of a variable text: on the example of "The Le­gend of the Battle of Mamaev"]. PhD thesis. St. Petersburg (in Russ.).

Labov, W., 1978. Denotational structure. In: Papers from the Parasession on the Lexi­con. Chicago, pp. 220—260.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M., 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York.

Lakoff, G., 1986. Classifiers as a Reflection of Mind: The Experiential, Imagina­tive, and Ecological Aspects. In: Noun Classes and Categorization. Amsterdam, pp. 13—52.

Martynenko, G. Ya., Chebanov, S. V. and Sherstinova, T. Yu., 1998. Text under­standing and interpretating methodology based on linguistic and hermeneutic tech­niques. In: Proceeding of International workshop TSD (Text. Speech. Dialogue.) September 23—26. Brno, pp. 21—26.

Morris, Ch. W., 2001. Foundations of the theory of signs. In: Yu. S. Stepanov, ed. Semiotika: antologiya [Semiotics: an anthology]. Moscow, pp. 45—97 (in Russ.).

Nöth, W. and Jungk, I., 2015. Peircean visual semiotics: Potentials to be explored. Semiotica, 207, pp. 657—673, https://doi. org/10.1515/sem-2015-0058.

Ongstad, S., 2004. Bakhtin’s triadic epistemology and ideologies of dialogism. In: F. Bostad, C. Brandist, L. S. Evensen and S. Faber, eds. Bakhtinian perspectives on lan­guage and culture. London, pp. 65—88.

Ongstad, S., 2005. Context. In: P. Strazny, ed. Encyclopedia of linguistics. Vol. 1. New York, pp. 237—238.

Ongstad, S., 2007. Positioning in Theory. A methodological framework for MTE-studies and beyond. In: W. Herrlitz, S. Ongstad and P.-H. v. d. Ven, eds. Research on mother tongue education in a comparative international perspective. Theoretical and metho­dological issues. Amsterdam & New York, pp. 119—148.

Ongstad, S., 2009. The concept of lifeworld and education in post-modernity: A critical appraisal of Habermas’ theory of communicative action. In: M. Murphy and T. Fleming, eds. Habermas, critical theory and education. London, pp. 47—62.

Ongstad, S., 2010. Synchronic-diachronic Perspectives on Genre Systemness: Ex­emplifying Genrification of Curricular Goals. In: S. Kvam et al, eds. Genre and Cultur­al Competence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Texts. Berlin, pp. 35—50.

Ongstad, S., 2019. A conceptual framework for studying evolutionary origins of life-genres. Biosemiotics, 12 (2), pp. 245—266, 09358-8.

Ongstad, S., 2021. Can Animals Refer? Meta-Positioning Studies of Animal Se­man­tics. Biosemiotics, 14, pp. 433—457,

Saussure, F., 2023. Kurs obshchei lingvistiki [A course in general linguistics]. Mos­cow (in Russ.).

Shcherba, L. V., 1974. About the triple aspect of linguistic phenomena and about the experiment in linguistics In: Shcherba L. V. Yazykovaya sistema i rechevaya deya­tel'nost' [Shcherba L. V. Language system and speech activity]. Leningrad, pp. 24—39 (in Russ.).

Stepanov, Yu. S., 1985. V trekhmernom prostranstve yazyka: Semioticheskie problemy lingvistiki, filosofii, iskusstva [In the three-dimensional space of language: Semiotic problems of linguistics, philosophy, art]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Vakulenko, N. S., 1990. Metod ierarkhicheskikh triad kak sredstvo obosnovaniya for­mal'nogo podkhoda v prikladnoi lingvistike (na primere kompleksa uchebnykh programm) [The method of hierarchical triads as a means of substantiating a formal approach in applied linguistics (on the example of a complex of curricula)]. PhD Dissertation. Leningrad (in Russ.).

Veernaya matritsa [Fan Matrix], 2018. Available at: wiki/Веерная_матрица [Accessed 1 March 2023] (in Russ.).

Witzany, G., 2006. The Logos of the Bios 1. Contribution to the Foundation of a three-leveled Biosemiotics. Helsinki.

Witzany, G., 2007. The Logos of the Bios 2. Bio-Communication. Vilnius.

Witzany, G., 2014 Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to genetic content operators. World J. Biol. Chem., 5 (3), pp. 279—285, wjbc.v5.i3.279.

Zimmerling, A. V., 2023. Really: Syntactics without Semiotics? Slovo. ru: Baltic ac­cent, 14 (3), pp. 125—153, (in Russ.).