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Obligatory course

Cognitive Science (BA) 2nd year
spring semester 2013/14
prof. Göran Sonesson (link)

prof. Jordan Zlatev (link)
lectures: 5-9 May, 9:00-12:00; 16:00-19:00
classes: 26-28 May, hours TBA

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The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the emerging field of cognitive semiotics (CS), which combines theories, methods and findings from cognitive science, semiotics and linguistics in investigations of the multifaceted concept of meaning. The course has four themes: (1) introducing CS and providing a general overview of major concepts, methods and fields of inquiry; (2) human bio-cultural evolution, focusing on what allowed unique characteristics in the animal kingdom, cumulative cultural evolution, and eventually language, pictures, and other complex semiotic resources; (3) semiotic development, focusing on the parallel development of speech and gesture, as well as the mostly alternative development of pictorial meaning ; (4) Iconicity, manifested both in pictures, gestures, and other visual means of communication, which has been hotly debated in semiotics, and in phenomena of linguistic semantics such as “sound symbolism” that have remained controversial, and where the cognitive-semiotic approach can offer new insights.

  Lectures 1-2: What is cognitive semiotics? (5.V)
  1. Basic concepts and methods of cognitive semiotics [Zlatev 2012]
  2. Origins of cognitive semiotics: communication model, signs, other meanings [Sonesson 2009; 2012a]
1. Wykład 1 2. Wykład 2
  Lectures 3-4: General issues (6.V)
  1. The ladder of meaning: life, consciousness, culture, signs, language [Zlatev 2009]
  2. Iconicity, indexicality, symbolicity, system character, norms [Sonesson 2010]
3. Wykład III 4. Wykład IV
  Lectures 5-6: Evolution (7.V)
  1. Cognitive semiotic evolution: intersubjectivity, mimesis, speech [Zlatev 2008]
  2. Semiotics of culture and evolutionary theory – The picture in evolution [Sonesson 2012b]
5. Wykład V 6. Wykład VI
  Lectures 7-8: Development (8.V)
  1. Semiotic development in human ontogeny [Zlatev 2013]
  2. Psychological and semiotic studies of pictorial development – Cultural identity [Sonesson 2013, Hribar et al. 2014, Zlatev et al. 2013]
7. Wykład VII 8. Wykład VIII
  Lectures 9-10: Comparative studies (9.V)
  1. Language and as non-arbitrary semiotic system [Ahlner&Zlatev 2010]
  2. Difference of the picture sign from the verbal sign, etc. [Sonesson 2004]
9. Wykład IX 10. Wykład X
  References References

    knowledge of:
  • what is common and what distinguishes Cognitive Semiotics from its "component" fields: linguistics, cognitive science and semiotics
  • basic concepts and methods of Cognitive Semiotics
  • basic research topics of Cognitive Semiotics
  • Examples of case studies of Cognitive Semiotics
  • skills
  • being able to read and critically assess texts within Cognitive Semiotics
  • Being able to participate in a group project focusing on specific CS topic
  • participating in an oral presentation of the group project
  • being able to formulate an academic essay on Cognitive Semiotics
  • attitudes:
  • able to assess strengths and weaknesses of different methods (e.g. intuition, observation, experimentation) in relation to different research questions
  • able to find weaknesses in academic arguments, and to suggest alternatives
  • Syllabuses:
  • http://syjon.umcs.lublin.pl/metacortex/show/1/30062
  • http://syjon.umcs.lublin.pl/metacortex/show/1/30061

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