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What is cultural semantics? How to define and analyze it in the lexicon of modern Chinese?
This book outlines the development and research results of cultural semantic theory, and then proposes the distinction between two types of cultural semantics at the synchronic level: conceptual gap items and items with a cultural meaning. It provides criteria for identifying these items by using detailed examples from theory and application. Finally, the two types of cultural semantics are applied to the case of modern Chinese. The criteria proposed for determining the Chinese cultural semantics apply not only to this, but also to other languages. Therefore, this book offers an operational basis for further studies of cultural semantics in academia.
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Abstract

Both ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’ are words with a long and polysemic history in Western culture. Moreover, the 120-year history of the modern semiotics movement has failed to provide a highly needed definition of these most basic terms, thus resulting in ambiguity of the definition of the discipline itself. This paper proposes defining ‘sign/symbol’ as ‘a sensuous entity to be regarded as carrying meaning’. Furthermore, the terminological chaos that arises between ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’, which originated in Western languages, has caused chaos for translators in selecting the appropriate Chinese term from the options Fuhao and Xiangzheng, since a phonetic rendition is hardly possible in Chinese. On this basis, the paper attempts to define ‘semiotics’ as ‘the formal study of meaning-making’. In this understanding, semiotics covers not only signification but also communication and interpretation of meaning.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
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Abstract

This article discusses new developments in the field of literary theory and literary praxis in the era of new media from the perspectives of media theory and interology. It takes new media as a McLuhanesque formal cause and holds that a conspicuous characteristic of literary works in the era of new media lies in the salience and normalization of interality. This development means art forms like mosaic and Pointillism have acquired a paradigmatic significance as a result. In revealing this new paradigm, the article also points to some current social maladies that have come with new media. It holds that literary writing should go beyond the mere embodiment of symptoms and make an intervention in media-induced maladies. The article affirms the irreplaceability of experimental literature and serious literature in an era of attention deficit, and points out that form should occupy a paramount position in literary theory, literary criticism, and literary praxis.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
In: Japanese Morphography
In: Japanese Morphography
In: Japanese Morphography
In: Japanese Morphography
Author:
As an intriguing but little understood language group within the Tibeto-Burman family, Qiangic languages are widely reported to have evidentiality, the grammatical means of expressing information source. How does this category function in this language group? Does it show any common features across these languages? And does it have any unique properties? Drawing on data from over a dozen languages and dialects, and cast within an informative typological framework, this study is the first attempt to answer these questions. It is found that evidentiality in Qiangic languages can be classified into three broad types. The study further demonstrates that modern systems cannot be inherited from Proto-Qiangic, and it also reveals certain features of the reported evidential that seem to be typologically rare.
Author:

Abstract

This study looks at the grammatical category of evidentiality in Qiangic languages within the typological framework developed by Aikhenvald. An examination of nine Qiangic languages, with a total of sixteen dialects and varieties, shows that the evidential systems currently identified can be grouped into three categories: the Rgyalrongic type, which is characterized by a firsthand and a non-firsthand subsystem in the past tense, the Qiang type, with a visual, an inferential, and a reported evidential, and the southern Qiangic type, which consists of a direct, an inferential, and a reported and/or a quotative evidential. After comparing these systems, it is found that there is little or no conclusive evidence for them to be inherited from a proto-language, instead, they are more likely to have developed independently. The special properties of the direct evidentials and the unusual composition of the reported and quotative evidentials recurrent in several languages are also discussed.

In: A Typological Study of Evidentiality in Qiangic Languages