Narrative Discourse as an Emergent Phenomenon: Global Semiotic Approach

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Livytska, Inna
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This theoretical paper continues a spectrum of research on the sign character of narrative discourse against a background of the modern post-classical theory of narrativity. It aims to uncover the relationships between the meaning of the narrative text and sign signification, assuming the narrative telic aspects (global semiotics) intentionally govern discourse. The global semiotic approach (Sebeok, 2001) views a narrative discourse as a self-organizing entity with a purposeful (telic) character to all its constituent parts, which turns a static text into a dynamic whole through the process of reading/perception/interpretation. The key notion for analysis of emergency is the term Umwelt (Jakob von Uexküll, 2001) to denote the perceptional world in which an organism (and a human) exists and acts as a subject. Therefore, Umwelt represents a human’s perceptual boundary, which modifies the surrounding by the human’s subjective perspective. As Umwelt can be attributed to both biological and abiotic texts, creation in the narrative discourse is compared to a semiotic study of comparative Umwelten (Cobley, 2013) where the narrative is defined as a modeling device for the world created through embodied subjectivity. It has been stressed that focusing on the subjective sphere of information eхchange and processing from the position of global semiotics necessitates the introduction of basic principles of biosemiotics (i.e. semiotic scaffolding etc.) and teleology (i.e. cause, purpose, result) to the analysis of narrative discourse. This provides the potential for further research in this domain.
narrative, meaning emergence, telic aspect, global semiotics, Umwelt, article
Livytska I. Narrative Discourse as an Emergent Phenomenon: Global Semiotic Approach / Inna Livytska // Journal of Narrative and Language Studies. - 2021. - Vol. 9, Issue 16. - P. 57-67.