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Unfolding the semiotic web in discourse formations

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The theme of this workshop is intended to cover those investigative domains belonging to the field of discourse studies, the objects of which appear or might be exposed in the light of semiotics, i.e., as capable of having meanings or creating meanings. Invited are scholars who approach various notions of discourse and, in particular, who offer classificatory proposals detaching specific discourses to explore the unfolding of their sign-and-meaning related structure, and investigate the content of social and cultural factors determining their formations. Results of their contributions will be considered for publications.

Regarding the subject matter of human-centered linguistics within the framework of this workshop, discourse will be taken for granted as a type of a text or text-processing activity embedded into the social roles of communication participants and their culture. In a context of social sciences, discourse will be specified as an interactive process that results in making and reproducing meanings and becomes crystallized in their material bearers. Accordingly, the unfolding of semiotic web will be understood here, firstly, on the level of observed phenomena, as an intrinsic growth and manifestation of the sphere of meaning-bearers (semiosphere) or a sequence of meaning-bearing events, and secondly, on another level pertaining to the observer’s focus of interest, as identifying and describing the constituents and aspects of discourse in terms of signs and/or sign-processes (semioses) that aggregate communicating individuals into communicative linkages on the lower level and communicative communities, called discourse communities, on the higher level of social grouping. Interpersonal linkages and communities will be considered as existing through the mediation of messages in a twofold manner, in physical and logical domains. In the physical domain, communicating individuals are bound by sound waves and other surrogate codes, transmitted and received in communication channels which are observable in dynamic interactions between people. In the logical domain, intersubjective linkages are only to be concluded, on the assumption that people interpret meaning bearers in a similar way while referring them to the commonly known extra-linguistic reality.

As constituents of discursive linkages and communities, apart from individuals and groups of people and messages, one has to enumerate the functional domains, circles or spheres of human life, in which verbal and nonverbal behavior takes place as, e.g., family, neighborhood, market, festival or carnival, magazine, school, church, media, office, parliament, army, law, courtroom, prison, hospital, feminism, decolonialism, green peace movements, etc. Aspects, in turn, are to be taken as those features, functions and relational values of communicative linkages, which are abstracted from the properties of their constituents making up the social and cultural conditionings codetermining the formation of various discourses.

It is expected that the workshop may offer the opportunity to bring the practitioners of text-oriented disciplines together who will present their papers, inter alia, on educational, political, legal, literary, advertising, and other types of discourse. Their investigative questions might concentrate around such human-communication related categories of topics, as for example, strategies and means of influence, values, ideology, anti-language of contestation, power, authority, interpersonal stage, conflict and accommodation, cooperation and competition, etc. Proposals for papers following the general submission rules of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting (as to the anonymity and the length of the text) should be sent directly to the convenors.

Doina Cmeciu (University of Bacău) (email: dcmeciu at
Zdzislaw Wąsik (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) (email: wasik at

Unfolding the semiotic web in discourse formations.pdf23.86 KB