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Intro to Yuri Lotman’s Semiosphereby Dimitar Trendafilov, semiotic researcher at New Bulgarian University – Sofia.        ...
The Notion of Semiosphere /1• Global, abstract model of culture, demonstrating its non-  material aspect and its character...
The Notion of Semiosphere /2• Synonymous sign systems are immersed in a semiotic  continuum, filled with diverse formation...
The Basic Elements• Center (kernel) – more dense place, where grammar rules.• Periphery – a space composed of less structu...
The Structure of the Semiosphere                                                           Frontier                       ...
Basic Characteristics• “The Semiosphere has diachronic depth because it is  loaded with complicated system of memory and i...
Demarcation of the Semiosphere• Homogeneity and individuality – the Semiosphere is  separated from 1/ outer chaos and 2/ o...
Unevenness of the Semiosphere• Availability of structural Kernels (the dominant semiotic  systems are placed in them).• On...
Generation of Information /1• “The structural heterogeneity of the semiotic space creates  some reserves of dynamic proces...
Generation of Information /2• The existing vertical isomorphism - between the structures of  the semiotic system, which ar...
The Notion (Process) of Dialogue /1• This is the process of creation of completely new text.• Since here we mean not an or...
Dialogue /2• “The availability of two similar and simultaneously different  partners in communication is extremely importa...
Dialogue /3• “In the real tissue of culture the lack of synchronization is  not casual diversion, but orderly law. Transla...
Dialogue /4• The unevenness of the message exchange between the texts is universal law.• The same system acts at other div...
Dialogue /5• Enandiomorphism – mirror-symmetry: both parts are alike as two images in a mirror, but when we juxtapose them...
Based on:Lotman, Yuri, On the Semiosphere (an essay on semiotic nature of culture;translation in English and adaptation is...
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Introduction to Semiosphere - 2010

A short introduction to a theory on culture and communication provided by Russian semiotician Yuri Lotman.

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Introduction to Semiosphere - 2010

  1. 1. Intro to Yuri Lotman’s Semiosphereby Dimitar Trendafilov, semiotic researcher at New Bulgarian University – Sofia. your name Made for teaching purposes, 2010
  2. 2. The Notion of Semiosphere /1• Global, abstract model of culture, demonstrating its non- material aspect and its characteristic as an environment in which communication could be generated.• Semiotic reality (an universum) in which several semiotic systems function, interact, and produce information. A semiotic process (semiosis) is impossible outside the Semiosphere.• A “macroeconomic” theory of nature and mechanism of culture/s. (К. Bankov) your name
  3. 3. The Notion of Semiosphere /2• Synonymous sign systems are immersed in a semiotic continuum, filled with diverse formations, which are placed on different levels of one organization (like living organism, for example, which is compounded by various systems).• Totality (a mechanism of existence) of various texts or separate languages, whose value is provided by the wholeness, not by the detached units themselves.• “...the complex of semiotic formations precedes (…) the particular isolated language and this is a condition for the existence of the latter.” (as a calf is entire body before being chopped up, while the reverse process is impossible, because steaks are meant to be consumed separately). your name
  4. 4. The Basic Elements• Center (kernel) – more dense place, where grammar rules.• Periphery – a space composed of less structured semiotic world (less dense, with flexible structures in it).• Frontier (membrane) – a bilingual mechanism by which the an external [data] is been filtered and translated from non- messages to messages (i.e. to information); the frontier means demarcation between proper and alien, inner and outer. your name
  5. 5. The Structure of the Semiosphere Frontier Periphery (bilingual, which actsNON-SEMIOTIC TEXTS AND as membrane) NON-TEXTS Kernel/s (= kernel; structure) Periphery NON-SEMIOTIC TEXTS AND NON-TEXTS your name
  6. 6. Basic Characteristics• “The Semiosphere has diachronic depth because it is loaded with complicated system of memory and it could not work without memory. The mechanisms of memory exist not only in separate semiotic substructures but in the Semiosphere as a whole.”• The intrinsic dynamics of the Semiosphere does not lead it to collapse because in the basis of the communication processes, flowing between the elements, “lies the invariant principle which makes them similar” (= myths, collective memory, and so forth).• This principle is a combination between symmetry and asymmetry (F. de Saussure calls it “a mechanism of similarity and difference”). your name
  7. 7. Demarcation of the Semiosphere• Homogeneity and individuality – the Semiosphere is separated from 1/ outer chaos and 2/ other semiotic space. It realizes its own specificity, its contradistinction towards other spheres.• Reticence – the Semiosphere does not start up direct contact with outer “world/s” but must firstly to semiotize (to re-code, to translate into its own language) non-semiotic texts and non-texts. [“Culture creates not only its own inner organization but its own outer disorganization as well.”] your name
  8. 8. Unevenness of the Semiosphere• Availability of structural Kernels (the dominant semiotic systems are placed in them).• One of the Kernels takes a dominant position and reaches to a stage of self-description as well as of description of the parts belonging to the Periphery (this is a level of perfect unity of/in the Semiosphere).• The Kernels are slowly developing zones, which are in contrast to the dynamics in the peripheral areas.• Often the Kernels go into the Periphery and vise versa.• Each part of the Sphere is distinct entity - closed and independent. your name
  9. 9. Generation of Information /1• “The structural heterogeneity of the semiotic space creates some reserves of dynamic processes and this is one of the mechanisms by which new information could be generated in the interior of the sphere.”• The translation of information between the inner elements, the play between different structures and sub-structures, the permanent semiotic “incursions” from one structure to another generate new meaning, new information comes into being. your name
  10. 10. Generation of Information /2• The existing vertical isomorphism - between the structures of the semiotic system, which are placed onto different hierarchical levels in it [i.e. each element is a part of the whole, but in the same time it is an analogy of the whole in question] - breeds quantitative increase of the messages. Just like an object reflected in a mirror that generates hundreds of pieces of itself, the message in the same manner, introduced in the integral semiotic structure, starts diffusing itself towards the lower levels. The system is capable to convert one text into avalanche of texts. your name
  11. 11. The Notion (Process) of Dialogue /1• This is the process of creation of completely new text.• Since here we mean not an ordinary act of transmission, but of exchange between the participating elements, then there should be not only relation of similarity between them, but of difference. The participating in this semiosis substructures are supposed to be isomorphic not in between, but one by one to be isomorphic towards third party elements of higher level, in whose system they enter. your name
  12. 12. Dialogue /2• “The availability of two similar and simultaneously different partners in communication is extremely important… The dialogue includes reciprocity and unity in information exchange.”• There are some pauses in transmission of information, i.e. some alternation exists between the time of delivering and the time of reception. In the history of culture there are periods when given “art, finding itself in the highest point of its activity, translates its own texts into other semiotic systems.” your name
  13. 13. Dialogue /3• “In the real tissue of culture the lack of synchronization is not casual diversion, but orderly law. Translating art, which is at zenith of its activity, meanwhile displays traits of innovation and dynamism. As a rule, addressees experience the transitional cultural stage.”• The translated text and the answer received by third party should constitute unified/integrated text. your name
  14. 14. Dialogue /4• The unevenness of the message exchange between the texts is universal law.• The same system acts at other diverse dialogues as well – between the center (kernel) and peripheral formations of culture, between its top and bottom.• “The chance for dialogues to be accomplished presupposes simultaneous availability of heterogeneity and homogeneity of the elements. In this respect, the diversity of the structure is the foundation of its mechanism.” your name
  15. 15. Dialogue /5• Enandiomorphism – mirror-symmetry: both parts are alike as two images in a mirror, but when we juxtapose them becomes evident that they are actually not alike (they have relation as left-hand side and right-hand side do).• This symmetry creates relations of structural variety and in the same time - of similarity, by which the dialogue is possible (see the mechanism of palindrome – word or phrase which may be read in the same way in either directions). your name
  16. 16. Based on:Lotman, Yuri, On the Semiosphere (an essay on semiotic nature of culture;translation in English and adaptation is mine – D.T.)Bankov, Kristian, Semiotic notebooks (Part I)Author of the presentation:Dimitar Trendafilov – assistant-professor and researcherat Socio-semiotic Studies Laboratory, New Bulgarian University – SofiaMember of South-East European Center for Semiotic Studies, NBUwww.advertisingandbrandmanagement.orgwww.semionaut.nettrendafilov.dim@gmail.com your name

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