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Claudio J Rodríguez H

Abstract

Metaphors constitute a relevant method for both building and making sense of theories. Semiotics is not exempt from their influence, and an important range of semiotic theories depends on metaphors to be meaningful. In this paper, we wish to examine the place of theory-constitutive metaphors considering the interaction view and the extent to which some areas of semiotics, particularly, the semiotics of culture and biosemiotics, are enriched by having metaphors dominate the way we think about them. The intention of the paper is not to document the different metaphors that have built semiotic theory, but rather to observe through a number of examples that semiotic research contains theory-building metaphors and that these are productive means of developing semiotic thinking further, with the caveat that theory change can be unexpected based on how we build metaphors for our theories.

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Hana Owsianková, Dan Faltýnek and Ondřej Kučera

Abstract

In this study, we aim to introduce the analytical method bag-of-words, which is mainly used as a tool for the analysis (document classification, authorship attribution and so on; e.g. [1, 2]) of natural languages. Quantitative linguistic methods similar to bag-of-words (e.g. Damerau–Levenshtein distance in the paper by Serva and Petroni [3]) have been used for the mapping of language evolution within the field of glottochronology. We attempt to apply this method in the field of biological taxonomy – on the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family. The subjects of our interest are well-known cultivated crops, which at first sight are morphologically very different and culturally perceived as objects of different interests (e.g. oil from oilseed rape, turnip as animal feed and cabbage as a side dish). Despite the phenotypic divergence of these crops, they are very closely related, which is not morphologically obvious at first sight. For this reason, we think that Brassicaceae crops are appropriate illustrative examples for introducing the method. For the analysis, we use genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer [ITS] and maturase K [matK]). Until now, the bag-of-words model has not been used for biological taxonomisation purposes; therefore, the results of the bag-of-words analysis are compared with the existing very well-developed Brassica taxonomy. Our goal is to present a method that is suitable for language development reconstruction as well as possibly being usable for biological taxonomy purposes.

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Serge Tchougounnikov

Abstract

German–Austrian psychology is a direct source of the European formalism movement both in the German context (Germany, Austria) as well as in Russia. This interest of the formalists in the corporeal component of linguistic and literary production has resulted in a particular research stream, which could be defined as a ‘linguo-somatic orientation’. In particular, this is the case of Alois Riegl’s [1] perceptive ‘tactile–optical’ method; Adolf von Hildebrand’s [2] architectonic conception; Konrad Fiedler’s [3] ‘sensorial aesthetics’; W. Wölfflin’s [4] ‘basic concepts’ of the art history, W. Worringer’s [5] psychological arts typology as well as Oskar Walzel’s soundcorporeal poetics elaborated during 1920 [6]. Within Russian formalism, psychological notions (such as ‘representation’, ‘sensation’, ‘apperception’, ‘series’, ‘clear and dark zones of consciousness’, ‘verbal gestures’ and ‘sound gestures’) are fundamental in nearly all the formalist conceptions (Viktor Šklovskij, Evgenij Polivanov, Lev Jakubinskij, Osip Brik, Boris Eixenbaum and Jurij Tynianov). This psychological background constitutes a rather heterogeneous constellation composed of psychological aesthetics and psychological linguistics of the second half of the 19th century. Independently of its intrinsic theoretical values, the formalist way of thinking about language and literature is based on the implicit dominance of psychology, which takes its sense only with respect to the German cognitive tradition, appropriated by the Geisteswissenschaften of this time. In this respect, European formalism participates in the large movement of psychologisation of the humanities. To this extent, the case of Russian formalism is really representative: it invites the rethinking of the genealogy of European structuralism in general. This accumulation of conceptual tools borrowed from the German psychological tradition also reveals a cognitive charge of the formalist theories. The latter constitute a conceptual link between the properly psychological past of the European Geisteswissenschaften and the ‘cognitive’ future of the actual research programmes. Beyond the borrowing of conceptual tools from the psychological trend, the formal method has found in psychology its inspiration for producing new models of analysis. This intrinsically cognitivist dimension of the formalist programme explains its late success during the 1950s–1960s, the period often and abusively called the period of the cognitivist revolution. In reality, it deals with the re-emergence of the research programme of the cognitivist sciences, rather exhaustively formulated by the German psychological tradition..

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Diego Gabriel Krivochen

Abstract

In this paper, we will motivate the application of specific rules of inference from the propositional calculus to natural language sentences. Specifically, we will analyse De Morgan’s laws, which pertain to the interaction of two central topics in syntactic research: negation and coordination. We will argue that the applicability of De Morgan’s laws to natural language structures can be derived from independently motivated operations of grammar and principles restricting the application of these operations. This has direct empirical consequences for the hypothesised relations between natural language and logic.

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Pascal Ory

Abstract

L’« école française d’histoire culturelle » adopte cette identification à partir des années 1980 mais elle est la résultante de plusieurs démarches qui ont renouvelé un vieux projet remontant aux Lumières, françaises puis allemandes : une démarche d’histoire sociale, née d’une évolution critique de la doxa marxiste, une démarche d’histoire politique, née d’une évolution critique des grilles de lecture libérales, enfin, et surtout, une démarche d’anthropologie historique, née d’une évolution critique des hypothèses économistes du groupe dominant de l’École des Annales. La particularité française, qui s’était exprimée après la Seconde guerre mondiale dans le vocable de « mentalités », a, en récupérant le concept de culture, paradoxalement facilité la réintégration de cette école dans un mouvement international.

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Susanne Greilich

Abstract

Nach langen Jahren der Debatten hat sich die Kulturwissenschaft in den philologischen Fächern in Deutschland etabliert. Sowohl hinsichtlich der programmatischen Auseinandersetzung als auch der wissenschaftlichen Praxis scheint eine Phase der vorläufigen Konsolidierung erreicht, die sich gleichwohl durch eine große Bandbreite im begrifflichen Verständnis und der konkreten Ausgestaltung von Kulturwissenschaft auszeichnet. Der Beitrag zeichnet diese Bandbreite auf der Grundlage von jüngeren Positionsbestimmungen und Einführungsbänden nach. Dabei gilt das Augenmerk den ‚Nachbarphilologien’ der Romanistik, spezifischer: der Germanistik und Anglistik.

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Françoise Lartillot

Abstract

L’article retrace à grands traits l’histoire de la rencontre entre études germaniques et Cultural Studies / études culturelles, comportant pour une part une interrogation quant à l’organon des questionnements de ces dernières. Toutefois, la pluridisciplinarité pratiquée de longue date par les germanistes français les conduit à se rapprocher des études culturelles. Certaines évolutions institutionnelles, comme la création du CIERA et du centre Marc Bloch par exemple, des pratiques novatrices apportées par les études culturelles, notamment dans le cadre de cotutelles de thèse ou des programmes des Équipes d’Accueil en sont la preuve. Ces éléments novateurs sont les bienvenus s’inscrivant dans le cadre d’une conception globalement humboldtienne de l’université mais soucieuse également de ne pas réifier le savoir.