Chapter published in:Operationalizing Iconicity
Edited by Pamela Perniss, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 17] 2020
► pp. 294–306
The cognitive function of iconicity
Unfortunately, Peirce’s concept of the icon has been reduced to the notion of a sign that represents its object by similarity. It is true that Peirce considered a subdivision of the icons into the image, the diagram, and the metaphor, which reveal other facets of this sign type. However, even this subdivision does not exhaust the whole picture of iconicity. Although no explicit systematization can be found in Peirce’s work, the distinction between pure icon on the one hand and actual icons on the other are clearly drawn in some passages of his writings. The aim of this paper is to discuss these passages in order to stress that the notions of pure icon, actual icons, and hypoicons fit perfectly well in the logical framework of the categories of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Then, the distinct perceptual and cognitive functions of these facets of iconicity will be explored.
Published online: 13 May 2020
Bernstein, R. J.
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Peirce, C. S.