Process, Image, and Meaning

A realistic model of the meaning of sentences and narrative texts

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The general topic of this book is the development of a &#8220;realistic&#8221; model of meaning; it has to account for the ecological basis of meaning in perception, action, and interaction, and is realistic in the sense of &#8220;scientific realism&#8221;, i.e. it is based on the most successful paradigm of modern science: dynamical systems theory.<br />In Part One a model of sentences is put forward. The first chapter outlines the philosophical background of a theory of meaning. Chapter 2 gives a very short summary of recent proposals for a semantic model which considers image-like schemata. In Chapter 3 a realistic model of valence and basic predication is developed in detail. Chapter 4 treats multistability in meaning and the application of chaos theory and dissipative structures in semantics. Chapter 5 outlines the global framework of a stratified universe of meanings, and Chapter 6 prepares the way for Part Two: the analysis of narrative texts. Oral narratives of personal experience are the prototypical form in which experienced events are organized with the aim of remaking a piece of reality. In Chapter 7 a discrete grammar based on vectorial schemata is developed. Chapters 8 and 9 elaborate the &#8220;syntax of narratives&#8221; in Chapter 7. Chapter 10 progress to conversational dynamics.

Subjects: Discourse studies; Semantics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Bremen

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