The study of semiotics underwent a gradual but radical paradigm shift during the past century, from a glottocentric (language-centered) enterprise to one that encompasses the whole terrestrial biosphere. In this collection of 17 essays, Thomas A. Sebeok, one of the seminal thinkers in the field, shows how this progression took place. His wide-ranging discussion of the evolution of the field covers many facets, including discussions of biosemiotics, semiotics as a bridge between the humanities and natural sciences, semiosis, nonverbal communication, cat and horse behavior, the semiotic self, and women in semiotics. This thorough account will appeal to seasoned scholars and neophytes alike.
Preliminary Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Global Semiotics 2. The Evolution of Semiosis 3. Biosemiotics: Its Roots, Proliferation, and Prospects 4. Galen in Medical Semiotics 5. Signs, Bridges, Origins 6. What Do We Know about the Signifying Behavior in the Domestic Cat (Felis catus)? 7. "Give Me Another Horse" 8. Nonverbal Communication 9. Intersemiotics Transmutations: A Genre of Hybrid Jokes 10. "Tell Me, Where is Fancy Bred?": The Biosemiotic Self 11. The Cognitive Self and the Virtual Self 12. Some Reflections on Vico in Semiotics 13. Women in Semiotics 14. The Music of the Spheres 15. The Estonian Connection 16. My "Short Happy Life" in Finno-Ugric Studies 17. The Uralic Studies and English for Hungarians at Indiana University: A Personal View Notes References Index of Names
Thomas A. Sebeok is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Semiotics and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Folklore, and Uralic and Altaic Studies at Indiana University. An Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, he is also Distinguished Senior Fellow Emeritus of the Institute for Advanced Study (Collegium Budapest), a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the American Anthropological Association, and holder of a Professional Achievement Citation from the University of Chicago. He is author or editor of hundreds of books and articles on a wide range of topics. Among his numerous semiotics publications are The Play of Musement, A Sign is Just a Sign, and The Sign of Three (with Umberto Eco).
Linguist, anthropologist, semiotician, and author/editor of hundreds of articles and books on a wide range of topics, Sebeok (emer., Indian Univ.) here offers 17 chapters dealing with the worldwide emergence and development of modern semiotics. The chapter topics range from global semiotics and the evolution of semiotics to nonverbal communication and women in semiotics; the author ends with three short chapters that strike out in new directions: Estonian Connection, My 'Short Happy Life' in Finno-Ugric Studies, and Uralic Studies and English for Hungarians at Indiana University, A Personal View. This comprehensive and scholarly work is complete with 14 pages of detailed notes and a thorough 30-page reference section. The study will be of use and value to those beginning a serious study of semiotics at the graduate level and to seasoned scholars.March 2002 -- W. B. Warde, Jr. * University of North Texas *