Baltic accent

Current issue

Back to the list Download the article

Where does the method come from? On the self-sufficiency of semiotic objects



The article aims to illustrate the inadequacy of viewing semiotics as a mere extension of linguistic methods applied to non-linguistic objects. It highlights the dual and recursive na­ture of semiotic terms. Semiotics' objects are not independent signs but rather the processes involved in establishing sign relations, specifically semiosis and semiopoiesis. Given the dy­namic character of semiosis, signs should not be regarded as fixed objects from a predefined vocabulary; instead, they should be seen as ongoing processes. This underscores the signifi­cance of referencing texts and contexts within semiotics. This aspect is crucial as it is where semiotics can complement linguistics effectively.

Social semiotics and poetic semantics, from different vantage points, demonstrate that the speaker's activity is not merely the reproduction of signs but the generation of them. Con­versely, biosemiotics and molecular genetics offer insights into comprehending the inter­nal laws of semiosis, affirming that sign generation is an inherent property of information sys­tems and need not always involve a conscious subject. Simultaneously, linguistic descrip­tions can take various directions, focusing either on describing significative functions exter­nal to the system or on internal relationships within the system.


Barbieri, M., 2008. The Code Model of Semiosis: The First Steps Toward a Scien­tific Biosemiotics. The American Journal of Semiotics, 24 (1—3), pp. 23—37, https://doi. org/10.5840/ajs2008241/33.

Benveniste, É., 1974. Obshchaya lingvistika [Problèmes de linguistique Généra­le]. Translated and ed. by Yu. S. Stepanov (in Russ.).

Deacon, T. W., 2021. How Molecules Became Signs. Biosemiotics, 14, pp. 537—559,

Dostoevsky, F. M., 1958. The Brothers Karamazov. In: Sobranie sochinenii [Collec­ted works]. Vol. 9. Moscow (in Russ.).

Eco, U., 1998. Otsutstvuyushchaya struktura. Vvedenie v semiologiyu [Missing struc­ture. Introduction to Semiology]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Gasparyan, D. E., 2018. Language as Eigenform: Semiotics in the search of a mea­ning. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Philosophy and Conflict Studies, 34 (4), pp. 474—492, https://

Gasparyan, D. E., 2020. Semiosis as Eigenform and Observation as Recursive In­terpretation. Constructivist Foundations, 15 (3), pp. 271—279.

Hauser, M., Chomsky, N. and Fitch, W., 2002. The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve? Science, 298 (5598), pp. 1569—1579, https://

Hjelmslev, L. T., 2006. Prolegomeny k teorii yazyka [Prolegomena to the theory of lan­guage]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Hodge, R. and Kress, G., 1988. Social Semiotics. Cambridge: Polity.

Jacob, F., 1992. The linguistic model in biology. Voprosy Jazykoznanija [Topics in the study of language], 2, pp. 135—143 (in Russ.).

Kauffman, L. H., 2003. Eigenforms — Objects as Tokens for Eigenbehaviors. Cy­bernetics and Human Knowing, 10 (3—4), pp. 73—90.

Kauffman, L. H., 2020. What Lies Beyond Language? Constructivist Foundations, 15 (3), pp. 282—283.

Lotman, Yu. M., 1984. On semiosphere. Trudy po znakovym sistemam. 17: Struktura dialoga kak printsip raboty semioticheskogo mekhanizma [Sign Systems Studies. 17: Dia­lo­gue structure as a principle of operation of the semiotic mechanism]. Tartu, pp. 5—23 (in Russ.).

Lotman, Yu. M., 2022. Lecture at Tartu State University, March 13, 1981. Baltic accent, 13 (2), pp. 10—23 (in Russ.).

Morris, Ch., 1948. Signs About Signs About Signs. Philosophy and Phenomenologi­cal Research, 9 (1), pp. 115—133.

Morris, Cհ. W., 1983. Foundations of the Theory of Signs. In: Yu. S. Stepanov, ed. Semiotika [Semiotics]. Moscow, pp. 37—89 (in Russ.).

Peirce, Ch. S., 2000. Izbrannye filosofskie proizvedeniya [Selected Philosophical Works]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Prodi, G., 1988. Material Bases of Signification. Semiotica, 69 (3—4), pp. 191—242,

Pyatigorsky, A. M., 1994. Notes from the 90s about the semiotics of the 60s. In: A. D. Koshelev, ed. Yu. M. Lotman i Moskovsko-Tartuskaya shkola [Yu. M. Lotman and the Moscow-Tartu school]. Moscow, pp. 324—329 (in Russ.).

Revzin, I. I., 1971. On Subjectivity in Semiotics. Trudy po znakovym sistemam. 5. Uchenye zapiski Tartuskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Sign Systems Studies. 5. Sci­entific letters of The University of Tartu.], 266. Tartu, pp. 334—344 (in Russ.).

Saussure, F. de, 1997. Trudy po yazykoznaniyu [Cours de linguistique Générale]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Searle, J. R., 1993. Rationality and Realism, What Is at Stake? Daedalus, 122 (4), pp. 55—83.

Zimmerling, A. V., 2023. Really: syntactics without semiotics? Baltic ac­cent, 14 (3), pp. 125—153, (in Russ.).

Zolyan, S. T., 2021a. How to reconcile Luhmann with Saussure: The principle of intrasystemic differentiation as a basis for a neo-structuralist approach. Voprosy Jazy­koznanija [Topics in the study of language], 1, pp. 121—141, 31857/0373-658X.2021.1.121-141 (in Russ.).

Zolyan, S., 2021b. Language. In: M. Tamm and P. Torop, eds. The Companion to Juri Lotman: A Semiotic Theory of Culture. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 123—135,

Zolyan, S. T., 2022. Yuri Lotman: On problems of language and linguistics. Vo­pro­sy Jazykoznanija [Topics in the study of language], 1, pp. 106—119, http://dx.doi. org/10.31857/0373-658X.2022.1.106-119 (in Russ.).