A comprehensive textbook, Psychology of Language examines both the formal/structural aspects of linguistics and psycholinguistics and the concerns of sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and social semiotics. In a clear and lively presentation, author Michael A. Forrester discusses three levels of communication: Thinking, the cognitive processes of self-communication; Talk, with an emphasis on everyday conversational behavior; Text, including the study of reading and writing
Within these areas, Forrester introduces a wide range of subjects, from language structure, semantics, and deixis to conversation, power relations in language, interpretation, and postmodern psychology.
Thorough and informative, Psychology of Language provides students of linguistics, sociolinguistics, rhetoric, and social psychology with a critical overview that integrates diverse themes.
Chapter 8: Sign-Systems and Social Semiotics
Sign-Systems and Social Semiotics
When semiotics emerged as the ‘science of signs and sign-systems’ it appeared to offer the promise of a systematic, comprehensive and coherent study of communication processes. At a general level one purpose of communication is to ensure the continuity of ideas, experiences and knowledge from generation to generation expressed in symbols so that they can be transmitted across space and time. Semiotics provides a way of describing and explaining the processes and structures through which the ‘meanings’ of these experiences can be communicated, what Sebeok (1985) calls the ‘time-binding’ function of social communication: the human capacity for transcending the limitations of inherited characteristics through the use of language, number, gesture and other symbolic forms.
At the heart of structuralism ...