From Interaction to Symbol
A systems view of the evolution of signs and communication
Against the background of jargon-ridden and often obscure semiotic literature Sadowski’s book offers a reader-friendly yet rigorous account of human communication and its evolution from animal and primate behaviour. What is specifically human about the way we exchange information with other people, and to what extent are our facial expressions, body language, and even emotive elements of speech still indebted to our pre-human ancestors? Why can the chimpanzees, smart as they are, not interpret animal tracks in the ground; why did religions often ban representational art; why is photography perceptually more powerful than painting; how have human syntactic speech and combinatorial grammar enabled the “explosion” of culture; and why do otherwise rational humans often strongly believe in the objective existence of unempirical, virtual entities such as religious and philosophic concepts? These and many other fascinating questions are addressed in the book within the methodological framework of systems theory and evolutionary psychology.
[Iconicity in Language and Literature, 8] 2009. xxi, 300 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
List of figures | p. xi
Acknowledgements | p. xiii
Preface | pp. xv–xxi
Chapter 1. Systems theory: Between philosophy and science, but more science than philosophy | pp. 1–24
Chapter 2. Towards a systems model of communication | pp. 25–70
Chapter 3. Needs as motivators of behaviour | pp. 71–90
Chapter 4. From emotive vocalizations to bodily adornments: The origins of referentiality | pp. 91–122
Chapter 5. Photography, or the magic of iconic indexicality | pp. 123–144
Chapter 6. Photography plus movement, or even more magic | pp. 145–160
Chapter 7. From mimicry to metaphor: The origins of art | pp. 161–182
Chapter 9. The thrills of visual realism | pp. 183–206
Chapter 10. Linguistic iconicity and the limits of arbitrariness | pp. 207–230
Chapter 11. The origins of language and the advantages of arbitrariness | pp. 231–256
Chapter 12. Language and the symbolic compulsion | pp. 257–280
Index | pp. 297–300
Cited by 9 other publications
2022. The iconicity of emotive Hijazi non-lexical expressions of disgust. In Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 18], ► pp. 389 ff.
Chang, Melanie L. & April Nowell
Ogourtsova, V. S.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Main BIC Subject
CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General