Centrum för kognitiv semiotik (CCS)

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet

Past seminars

Spring Term Seminars 2017

January 2017

    26/1. Johan Blomberg & Jordan Zlatev (Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) Norms of language: What kinds and where from? Insights from phenomenology. (abstract)

February 2017

    2/9. Jordan Zlatev (Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) leads the discussion: The emergence of metaphor in discourse.
        We will read in advance, and discuss the attached paper, in relation to our ongoing efforts to formulate a novel cognitive-semiotic theory of metaphor (emergence).

    9/2. Joel Parthemore (University of Skövde): Reassessing Metaphor. (abstract)
    16/2. No seminar.
    23/2. Göran Sonesson (Cognitive Semiotics, Lund): Bats Out of the Belfry: The Nature of Metaphor, with Special Attention to Pictorial Metaphors (abstract)
        Download article

March 2017

    2/3. Discussion of mimesis/pantomime theories. Introduction by Jordan Zlatev.
    9/3. Journal club: We will read together a paper on metaphor research by Paula Pérez Sobrino.
        Download paper
    16/3. Paula Pérez Sobrino (Post-doctoral fellow, University of Birmingham): Facing methodological challenges in multimodal metaphor research. (abstract)
    23/3. Presentations by Simon Devylder (Fellow at Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) and Viswanath Naidu (Doctorate student at Cognitive Semiotics, Lund).
        Reconciling iconicity of distance with frequency to explain Paamese grammatical asymmetries (Simon Devylder). (abstract)
        Relaxing the “boundary crossing constraint” in (supposedly) verb-framed languages (Viswanath Naidu) (abstract)
    30/3. No seminar, to allow our participants to attend the workshop Connecting discourse in speech and gesture, organized by Maria Graziano, Emanuela Campisi and Marianne Gullberg, on March 30-31. Register by 20 March 2017 by sending an email to:


April 2017

    6/4. No seminar
    13/4. Easter
    20/4. No seminar, to allow participation in The 6th conference of the Scandinavian Association for Language and Cognition at Lund University:
    27/4. Mats Andrèn (Linköping university college), Laughter at the preschool: Semiotic properties and emotional intersubjectivity (abstract)

May 2017

    4/5. Per Linell (Universities of Gothenburg and Linköping): A dialogical perspective on intersubjectivity (abstract).
    11/5. Journal club: Reading Lawrence Hass on Maurice Merleau-Ponty, final chapters. Contact Jordan Zlatev (, if you want a copy of the text
    18/5. Simone Aurora (Università degli studi di Padova) & Patrick Flack (Charles University, Prague): Principles of Structural Phenomenology. (abstract)
    24/4 (Wednesday; please note different time and place, 10.15-12, A129b) William Croft (University of New Mexico). The aspectual potential of verbs and lexical semantic typology. (abstract)
        PDF version
    25/5. Ascension
    29/5 (Note changed date). Presentations by George Stampoulidis (Doctorate student, Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) and by Anu Vastenius (Doctorate student, Cognitive Semiotics, Lund).
        Constructing a Digital Archive on Street Art: Methodological Challenges. The pilot study of Athens, Greece (George Stampoulidis) (abstract)
        Constituent order in non-verbal representations: introduction of new film stimuli and a pilot study with gestures (Anu Vastenius) (abstract)

June 2017

    1/6. No seminar
    8/6. Susan Ronner Larsson (Malmö musikhögskola): Deconstructed opera & operaimprovisation - a comparison of two contrary concepts and their influence on opera singers and audience (abstract).
    15/6. Tomas Persson, Elenie Madsen & Gabriela Sauciuc (LUCS), The effects of imitation on imitation, play and emotional rapport - a report on the PLIMI project. (abstract)
        PDF version




Autumn Term Seminars 2016

August 2016

    26/8, 10-12, H428b (Note changed day and time): Huuli Wang (Institute for Language and Cognition, School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology) Color Representation in Chinese Sentence Comprehension. (abstract)

September 2016

    22/9. Simon Devylder (Research fellow at Cognitive Semiotics): The Iconicity of Distance in Paamese Language and Culture. (abstract).
    29/9. Jordan Zlatev (Cognitive Semiotics): Different definitions lead to different conclusions in the study of (iconic) gestures. (abstract)

October 2016

    6/10. Michael Ranta (Cognitive Semiotics): Master Narratives and the (Pictorial) Construction of Otherness: Anti-Semitic Images in the Third Reich and Beyond. (abstract).
    13/10. Simon Devylder (Research fellow at Cognitive Semiotics): The Part-whole Schema We Live Through : A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Part-whole Expressions of the Self. (abstract)
    20/10. Göran Sonesson (Cognitive Semiotics): Epistemological Prolegomena to the Cognitive Semiotics of Evolution and Development. (abstract)
    27/10. H205c (Note changed room). Anna Cabak Rédei (Cognitive Semiotics) & Joost van der Weijer (General Linguistics): Borderline Personality Disorder and the five-factor model of personality traits. A correlative study of two self-report instruments (BPI and NEO PI- R) (abstract)

November 2016

    3/11: Lars Elleström (Linné University): Coherence and Truthfulness in Communication. Intracommunicational and Extracommunicational Indexicality. (abstract)
    10/11. No seminar.
    17/11. Neil Cohn (Tilburg University): The Structure and Cognition of Visual Narrative. (abstract)
    24/11.No seminar

December 2016

    1/12. Kristian Tylen (Aarhus University): Perceptual and symbolic adaptations in prehistoric semiotic behavior: an experimental approach (abstract).
    7-8/12. Symposium organized by the project "The Making of Them and Us – Cultural Encounters Conveyed Through Pictorial Narrative" (MatUs).
        Presentation of the symposium
        Detailed program
    14/12, 15.15-17.00, H140 (Please note changed time and place) Piero Polidoro (Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta di Roma): Umberto Eco’s Legacy in Visual Semiotics (abstract)
    15/12. Piero Polidoro (Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta di Roma): Left-right orientation: the aesthetic preference in images from a semiotic point of view. (abstract)


June 2016

  • 1/6, 13.15-15.00, H429b (Note changed day and place): Everardo Reyes (Paris 8) Digital imaging and visual semiotics. Workshop 1: Describing visual information
  • 2/6, 13.15-15.00, H428b : Everardo Reyes (Paris 8) Digital imaging and visual semiotics. Workshop 2: Experimenting with visual information

May 2016 

  • 12/5,  10:15 - 12:00,   SOL  Humhör (Note changed time and place): Daniel Dor (Tel Aviv): From Experience to Imagination:The Origin and Evolution of Language As a Communication Technology (abstract)
  • 19/5, No seminar
  • 26/5, Elena Faur (Cluj-Napoca, Romania): Creativity in Linguistic Metaphor (abstract)
  • 31/5, 15.15-17.00, H428b (Note changed day and hour): Everardo Reyes (Paris 8) Digital imaging and visual semiotics (abstract)

April 2016 

  • 7/4, Jordan Zlatev & Johan Blomberg (CCS): Embodied intersubjectivity, non-actual motion expressions and the sedimentation of meaning (abstract)
  • 14/4, No seminar
  • 21/4, Mats Arvidsson (Intermedia studies, Lund) An Imaginary Musical Road Movie: Transmedial Semiotic Structures in Brad Mehldau’s Concept Album Highway Rider (abstract)
  • 28/4, No semina

March 2016 

  • 3/3, Benjamin Fagard (Labex, Paris) Language & cognition: Space, perception and grammaticalization (abstract)
  • 10/3, Joel Parthemore (Skövde) Consciousness, conceptual agency, and the "unbinding" problem (abstract)
  • 17/3, Johan Blomberg (CCS) The objectification of space
  • 24/3, No seminar

February 2016

  • 4/2, Jordan Zlatev (CCS): Intersubjectivity in construal
  • 11/2, Readings: Discussion of Leon de Bruin and Sanneke de Haan, "Enactivism & Social Cognition: In Search of the Whole Story" (If you want to participate, write to goran.sonessonsemiotik.luse to receive a copy of the text)
  • 18/2, Readings: Revisiting the Semiotics of Petroglyps as described in Sonesson, G., Prologomena to a semiotic analysis of prehistoric visual displays, in Semiotica 100: 3/4, July 1994. See esp. pp. 14-17; 30-43; 46-52. Download

    Discussion of the central ideas and concepts in these texts:

    Joakim Goldhahn & Johan Ling: “Bronze Age Rock Art in Northern Europe: Contexts and Interpretations” Download

    Kristian Kristiansen: "Rock Art and Religion - The sun journey in Indo-European mythology and Bronze Age rock art" Download

    Åsa Fredell: "The Pangs in Askum? - An Example of Storytelling by Rock Pictures and their Possible Link to a Known Story" Download



December 2015 

17/12: All-day symposium, summarizing the program "Centre for Cognitive Semiotics" (2009-2014) Pufendorf institute (Note: In Swedish) (program)

November 2015 

  • 5/11: Luis Bruni, Paolo Burrelli and Sarune Baceviciute (Aalborg university, Copenhagen campus): The psychophysiology of meaning making: problems and perspectives (abstract)

  • 11/11, 10-12, LUX B251: Ellen Dissanayake (University of Washington, Seattle) The Deep Structure of the Arts (abstract)

  • 12/11: Ellen Dissanayake  (University of Washington, Seattle) What Cupules Suggest About Early Human Symbolic Capacity and the Beginning of Art  (abstract)

  • 26/11: Michael Ranta: The (Pictorial) Construction of Collective Identities in the Third Reich (abstract)
  • 10/12: Göran Sonesson: French Embassy Invited Speech: Barthes and Beyond. From structuralism to semiotics

October 2015 

  • 1/10, Jordan Zlatev: Learning signs and other meanings: Semiotic development in the first three years of life
  • 8/10, 9-18: Symposium together with Malmö Theatre Academy, in the locals of that department : The Anatomy of the Moment: Embodiment, Situatedness and Dramaturgy
    • Bruce McConachie, Univ Pittsburgh; Erik Rynell, Malmö Theatre Academy, LU; Linda Rtizen, Malmö Theatre Academy, LU; Tom Ziemke, Univ Skövde; Erik Ringmar, LU; Jordan Zlatev, CCS/LU 
  • 15/10: Timo Miettinen (University of Helsinki): Edmund Husserl's Europe: Phenomenology and Universalism (abstract)
  • 22/10: Michael May (Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen) Cognitive Semiotics of Science: what?, why?, how? (abstract)

September 2015

  • 17/9: Usa Pruethichaiwiboon (Mahidol University): Static spatial expressions in Thai and Vietnamese: A cognitive linguistic/semiotic study (abstract)

June 2015 

  • 4/6: The Expression of Non-Actual Motion in Swedish Sign Language
    Jonas Ekström ventilerar sin kandidatuppsats

  • 11/6: David Dunér (CCS):The Rise and Fall of Civilizations


May 2015 

  • 21/5: Anna Cabak Rédei (CCS): Petroglyphs from a semiotic perspective [abstract]
  • 28/5: Peter Skoglund (Gothenburg): Interpreting rock art - Current trends and approaches [abstract]

April 2015

  • 30/4: Text Seminar: Origin of Geometry
  • 16/4: Slawomir Wacewicz (Torun University) The orofacial route to multimodal theories of language origins [abstract]

March 2015

  • 19/3: Walter J. Ronner Change of statements of an object after a spatial modification process [abstract]
  • 26/3: Göran Sonesson Leads the discussion of R. Menary's text "Embodied Narratives"

February 2015

  • 5/2: Can Kabadayi & Ivo Jacobs (LUCS): Presentation and review of Terry Deacon's “Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter” [abstract].
    12/2: Can Kabadayi & Ivo Jacobs (LUCS): Presentation and review of Terry Deacon's “Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter” . Second Part . [abstract]

January 2015

  • 22/1: Ivan Kasabov (New Bulgarian University): From conceptual structures and plastic invariants to semantic forms [abstract]
  • 29/1: Matz Larsson (Örebro): Ancient steps in the evolution of human brain and culture [abstract]

December 2014

  • 4/12: Piotr Konderak (Lublin, Marie Curie Sklodowska University). Are we brains in a vat? (Joint seminar with the Linguistics Seminar, 10.15 in H428B)
  • 4/12: Piotr Konderak (Lublin, Marie Curie Sklodowska University). If meanings 'just ain't in the head', where are they? [abstract]
  • 10/12: Rosario Cabellero (U. de Castilla-La Mancha) & Iraide Ibarretxe-Antunano (U. de Zarazoga). From physical to metaphorical motion: A typological and genre approach to motion constructions in English and Spanish. (Joint seminar with English Linguistics. In H339). [abstract]
  • 11/12: Mark Dingemanse (MPI, Nijmegen). How to combine multiple modes of representation in language. [abstract]
  • 18/12: Stina Gestrelius (LU). Human and animal images at Göbeklitepe and Catalhöyük. [abstract]

November 2014

  • 27/11: Kalevi Kull (University of Tartu) Semiotic Thresholds: Hierarchy of mechanisms of learning [abstract]
  • 20/11: Justin Sulik (University of Edinburgh). What are symbols in language evolution? [abstract]
  • 13/11: Michael Ranta (CCS). On Relevance - Communication, Life and Dangerous Things. [abstract]
    • 6/11: Martin Thiering (Technische Universität, Institute for Language and Communication, Department of Linguistics Humboldt-Universität, Department of Philosophy I). Spatial Semiotics and Spatial Mental Models: Figure-Ground Asymmetries in Language and Visual Perception. [abstract]

    October 2014

    • 30/10: Lasse Berg. I begynnelsen var gruppen (Obs! LUX, C121) [more information (PDF)]
    • 23/10: Irene Mittelberg (Aachen University). Experiential Essence: Image schemas and force dynamics as mediating structures in artworks and their gestural enactments. [abstract (PDF)]
    • 16/10: Charles Forceville (University of Amsterdam, Department of Media Studies). The visual expression of anger: LOSS OF CONTROL IS LOSS OF HANDS in azumanga, vol 4.
    • 9/10: Elena Faur. On the metaphoric process. [abstract]
    • 2/10: Joel Parthemore (CCS). The case for protoconcepts. [abstract]

    September 2014

        • 11/9: Bruno Faria. A search through cognitive semiotics for enhanced understanding of the musical knowledge embodied in the practice of the artistic medium of Soundpainting.[abstract]
        • 4/9: Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics). Between Representation, Enaction and Phenomenology. Some Keys to Cognitive Semiotics. [abstract]

        August 2014

        • 28/8: Line Brandt (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics): Investigations into the communicative employment of force in rhetoric, modal meaning, and visual aesthetics. [abstract]

        June 2014

        • 12/06 Hongbo Li (Sichuan University, Chengdu): A Socio-Cognitive Approach to Metaphor in Chinese - [abstract].


        • 31/05: 10:00-13:00 - Palaestra - Johan Blomberg (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics): Motion in Language and Experience: Actual and Non-actual motion in Swedish, French and Thai (PhD defense).
        • 22/05: Marlene Johansson-Falck (Umeå University): Perception of Spatial Artefacts as Motivation for Metaphorical Meaning - [abstract].
        • 15/05: Daniel Helsing (Literature, Lund): Representing everything: Representations of the Cosmos in Popular Science.


        • 24/04 Anu Vastenius (opponent: Peer Christiansen, Centre for Semiotics, Aarhus) - MA thesis defense: Constituent Order in Non-verbal Representations: Describing Events with Pictures by Speakers of Swedish and Kurdish + Peer Christiansen - Exteral Constaints Shaping Constituent Order in Non-verbal Communication.

        • 03/04 Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics): Translation as a Double Act of Communication: Reflections on the Semiotics of Translation - [abstract].


        •  27/03: Ole Nedergaard Thomsen (Roskilde): The Road Forms in Walking: Linguistic Conventions and Conventionalization in a Peircian Perspective - [abstract].
        • 13/03: John Haglund (Jönköping): The Pathway of Phenomenology: Examining the connection between Husserl and Derrida - [abstract].
        • 08/03 - Johan Blomberg (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund): Motion in Language and Experience: Actual and Non-Actual Motion in Swedish, French, and Thai (slutseminarium).
        • 06/03 - Joel Parthemore (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund): Specification of the Unified Conceptual Space, for Purposes of Empirical Investigation - [abstract].


        • 27/02 - David Machin (University of Örebro) Global and Local influences in the Language of Chinese Consumer Magazines - [abstract].
        • 19/02 - Michael Ranta (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) - 18:15-19:15h Kungshuset 203 - Art, Aesthetic Value, and Beauty: Narrative Resemblance Concepts and Empirical Research - [abstract].
        • 13/02 - Kajsa Lawaczeck Körner (PhD candidate, Dept. of Architecture and Built Environment, Lund) and Gunnar Sandin (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) - Making Sense of Walking in Urban Context - [abstract].
        • 06/02 - Jordan Zlatev (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund) - Non-actual Motion in Experience and Language - [abstract].


        • 29/01: 13:15-15:00 - Kungshuset 318 - Peter Gärdenfors (Lund University Cognitive Science [LUCS]) - Stages in the Evolution of Teaching.
        • 23/01: 13:15-15:00 - Viewing and Discussion of the National Geographic Film Ape Genius (2007) - [abstract].

        December 2013

        • 19/12 - Slawomir Wacewicz (University of Torun, Poland) - Nonverbal Coordination as a Possible Evolutionary Precursor of Conversational Cooperation: The Case of Adaptor Mirroring - [abstract].
        • 18/12 - Slawomir Wacewicz (University of Torun, Poland) - 15:15 -17:00h - H428b - The ‘Modality Transition’ Problem in the Gestural Theories of Language Origins - [abstract].
        • 11/12 - Lorraine McCune (Rutgers University, USA) - 13:15-15:00h - L403 - The Transition to Language: A Dynamic Systems View - [abstract].
        • 12/12 - Lorraine McCune (Rutgers University, USA) - Cognition and Motion-Event Semantics: A Basis for Single and Multiple Word Predicates - [abstract].
        • 05/12 -  Line Brandt (Copenhagen Business School) - The Conversation Frame as a Basic Domain in Human Cognition: An Introduction to the Communicative Mind - [abstract].


        • 28/11 - Viktor Smith (Copenhagen Business School) - From Compound Interpretation To(wards) a Working Model of Lexicalization - [abstract].
        • 21/11 - Sara Lenninger (CCS, Lund) - Semiotics of Metaphors - [abstract].
        • 14/11 - Jordan Zlatev (CCS, Lund) - Image Schemas, Mimetic Schemas and the Emergence of Gestures - [abstract].
        • 70/11 - Göran Sonesson (CCS, Lund) - Elements of Evolutionary Cultural Semiotics - [abstract].


        • 24/10 - Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger) - The Ontogeny of the Embryonic, Fetal and Infant Human Umwelt - [abstract].
        • 17/10 - Aleksei Semenenko (Slavic languages, Stockholm University) - Lotman in the Study of Cognition: Part II- [abstract].
        • 10/10 - Y Viswanatha Naidu (Department of Dravidian & Computational Linguistics, Dravidian University) - On Verbalizing Motion in Telugu - [abstract].
        • 09/10 - 18:15h - Kungshuset 203 - Mog Stapleton (Stuttgart) - Extending Interoception: Tool Use and Transparency - [abstract].


        • 26/09 - Anna Rédei Cabak, Daniel Barratt & Joost van de Weijer (CCS, Lund) - Does the Kuleshov Effect Really Exist? Revisiting a Classic Film Experiment on Facial Expressions and Emotional Contexts - [abstract].
        • 19/9 - Ingar Brinck (Dept. of Philosophy, Lund) - Reference, Coordination, and Ecological Pragmatics - [abstract].
        • 12/09 - Joel Parthemore (CCS, Lund) - Enactive Philosophy, the Mind/Body Problem, and Mental Health - [abstract].
        • 10/09 - Damian Moran (Vision Group, Department of Biology, Lund University) - Is Visible Light a Prerequisite for the Evolution of Complex Neural Systems? - [abstract].
        • 05/09 - Jordan Zlatev (CCS, Lund) - The Evolution of Human Sociality - [abstract].


        • 22/08 - 13:15-15:00h - Kungshuset 104 - Jean Decety (University of Chicago) - On the Neurological Mechanisms of Empathy and Caring.


        • 13/6 - Susanne Ronner Larsson - Body and Mind in Interplay: A Study of the Creative Process in Musical Performance - [abstract].


        • 23/5 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University). What's Wrong with Evolutionary Psychology? - [abstract].
        • 22/5 - 15:15-17:00h, Pufendorf Institute - Søren Brier  (Centre for Language, Cognition and Mentality, Copenhagen Business School): When is Something Information? - [abstract].
        • 16/5 -13:15-15:00h - H428b - Introduction to Phenomenology: A discussion of the book by Robert Sokolowski. Ch. 11 "Reason, truth, and evidence" and as far as we manage to get. Continued from December 2012.
        • 14/5 - 13:15-15:00h - H428b - Per Linell (Department of Education, Communication and Learning, Göteborg University): Language: Individual, Collective, or Something Else? - [abstract].
        • 10/5 - Normativity in a Nutshell - Esa Itkonen (Department of Linguistics, Turku University) - [abstract].
        • 02/5 - Metaphors and Concepts of Metaphor: Convergence or Confusion? - [abstract].


        • 25/4 - Michael Ranta (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University). Art, Aesthetic Value, and Beauty: Narrative Resemblance Concepts and Empirical Reserach - [abstract].
        • 18/4 - Erik Rynell (Malmö Theatre Academy). Acting as Embodiment of Intersubjective Understanding.
        • 11/4 - Søren Overgaard (University of Copenhagen): Other Minds and the Argument from Presence - [abstract].


        • 22/3 - 10:15-12:00 Room L123 - note special day and time! - Todd Oakley (Oakley Evolution Lab, University of California - Santa Barbara):  Autism and Intersubjectivity - [abstract].
        • 21/3 - Kristian Tylén (Centre for Semiotics, Aarhus University, Denmark) - The Motivations for Conceptual Structure in Language and Gesture: An Experimental Approach - [abstract].
        • 14/3 - Benjamin Fagard (CNRS, ENS, Université de Paris III): The Semantics of Motion and Directionality: Cross-Type Similarities and Within-Type Differences - [abstract].
        • 07/3 - Joel Parthemore (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University): Autism an Philosophical Insight: The Enactive Response to the Tendency to Pathologize - [abstract].


        • 28/2 - Jordan Zlatev (Department of Linguistics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University): Five Stages in the Development of Intersubjectivity in Children - [abstract].
        • 14/2 - Aleksei Semenenko (Södertörns Högskola / Stockholm University): Yuri Lotman’s Semiotic Theory in the Study of Cognition - [abstract].
        • 7/2-8/2 - Enactive and Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity - workshop in Copenhagen - [website].


        • 31/1 - Lars Elleström (Linnaeus University): Spatiotemporal Aspects of Iconicity - [abstract].
        • 24/1 - Ana Moreno Núñez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid): Development of Communicative Actions and Gestures Adult-Child About and Through Objects from 9 to 13 Months Old - [abstract].
        • 17/1 - Joel Parthemore (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics) - The "Final Frontier" as Metaphor for Mind: Opportunities to Radically Re-conceptualize What It Means to be Human - [abstract].

        December 2012

        • 20/12 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Introduction to Phenomenology: A discussion of the book by Robert Sokolowski. Ch. 10 "Lifeworld". Continued from September.
        • 13/12 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Introduction to Phenomenology: A discussion of the book by Robert Sokolowski. Ch. 9 "Temporality". Continued from September.
        • 06/12 - Mats Andrén (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Gesture and Narrativity in Children with Language Impairment - [abstract].


        • 30/11 - 10:00-18:00 - One-day Workshop on Experimental and Cognitive Semiotic Approaches to Film - [programme].
        • 22/11 - Michael Ranta (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Recent Paleolithic Research in Tübingen, plus Presentation at the 22nd Biennial Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA), Taipei, August 2012 - [abstract].
        • 15/11 - Daniel Barratt (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - On Fiction and Emotion - [abstract].
        • 08/11 - Chris Sinha (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Finding Our Selves in Time - [abstract].
        • 01/11 - Joel Parthemore (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University): A Proposal for Sensorimotor++ - [abstract].


        • 25/10 - Ana Moreno Núñez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid): Educational Processes in Early Childhood: Communication and Cognitive Development - [abstract] - [slides (PDF)].
        • 18/10 - David Dunér (History of Ideas, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University): Interstellar Intersubjectivity: The Significance of Shared Cognition for Communication, Empathy and Altruism in Space - [abstract].
        • 01/10 - 13:15-15:00 - H104 - Sara Lenninger (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - When Similarity Qualifies as a Sign: A Study in Picture Understanding and Semiotic Development in Young Children (PhD defense).
          01/10 - 16:15-17:00 - H104 - Barend van Heusden (University of Groningen) - The Workings of Art: Meta-cognition Through Artifacts - [abstract].
          01/10 - 17:15-18:00 - H104 - note special time/date and location! - Frederik Stjernfelt (University of Århus) - Cows, Red Cows, Red Herrings: A Diagram Experiment in the Young Peirce - [abstract].


        • 27/09 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, University of Lund) - Introduction to Phenomenology: A discussion of the book by Robert Sokolowski. Continued from last term - [abstract].
        • 13/09 - Mathias Osvath (Cognitive Science division, Department of Philosophy, Lund University) - What on Earth Happened? Studying Homoplasically Evolved Cognition as a Way to Understand the Principles of "Intelligence" - [abstract].


        • 30/08 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Dress rehearsal for Buenos Aires lecture: Necker’s Cube, Rubin’s Vase, The Devil’s Turning Fork, the Duck/Rabbit and the Cat/Coffee pot revisited. On Pseudo-dilemmas of the Lifeworld and the Picture - [abstract].
        • 23/08 - Jordan Zlatev, Gunnar Sandin, and Johan Blomberg (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University) - Papers from LCM Lisbon - [abstracts].


        • 07/06 - Professor Kristian Bankov (New Bulgarian University) - New Media’s Quest for Verisimilitude: in Search of the Cultural and Sensomotoric Systems of Expectations of the Global Audience - [abstract].


          • 31/05 - Richard Moore (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
            Leipzig). The Role of Embodiment in Intentional Communication - [abstract].
          • 24/05 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, University of Lund) - Introduction to Phenomenology: A Discussion of the Book by Robert Sokolowski - [abstract].
          • 09/05 17:15-19:00, A129b - Katherine Nelson (City University of New York) - Social, Cultural, and Self in Memory and Collective Narrative - [abstract].
          • 03/05 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, University of Lund) - Introduction to Phenomenology: A Discussion of the Book by Robert Sokolowski - [abstract].


          • 26/04 - Benjamin Fagard (CNRS, Paris). Space in Language and Cognition: Testing the Localist Hypothesis - [abstract].
          • 19/04 - 10:30 - 12:00 - CCS Multimodal Database:  Visions and Practicalities.
          • 05/04 - Jordan Zlatev (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University). Language Evolution in Japan: Two Talks and a Report. "I will present my talks from the Kyoto (March 14-17) and Tokyo (March 19) conference on Language Evolution, and tell you about the most exciting things on the front."


          • 29/03 - Joel Parthemore (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund University). The Unified Conceptual Space Theory: An Enactive Theory of Concepts - [abstract].
          • 15/03 - Alenka Hribar ( Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig). From Sign to Action: Studies in Chimpanzee Pictorial Competence - [abstract].
          • 14/03 - Kungshuset 104 - 16:15 - 18:00 - Alenka Hribar ( Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig). Comparing Great Apes' and Children's Reasoning About Relational Similarity - [abstract].
          • 08/03 - L403 - Peter Gärdenfors (Lund University Cognitive Science [LUCS]). Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces: The Geometry of Meaning - discussion of draft chapters 1 and 2.
          • 01/03 - Michael Ranta (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics [CCS], Lund University) - On Proto-Aesthetic and Prelinguistic Communication in Mother/Infant Interaction and Human Evolution - [abstract].


          • 23/02 - Thomas Presskorn-Thygesen (Copenhagen Business School) - Are Ascriptions of Intentionality to the Brain Incoherent?: The Mereological Argument Against Cognitive Neuroscience - [abstract].
          • 16/02 - Chris Sinha and Jordan Zlatev (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics [CCS], Lund University).  Constructions, Conflations and Confusions: Mapping Patterns and the Cognitive Linguistic Typology of Motion Events - [abstract].
          • 09/02 - Göran Sonesson (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics [CCS], University of Lund). Readings in the Phenomenology of Empathy - [abstract].
          • 02/02 - Andreas Widoff (University of Lund). Is Linguistics a Hermeneutic Science?- [abstract].


          • 26/01 - Overview of Centre for Cognitive Semiotics' five themes.
          • 19/01 - Joel Parthemore -  The Generis and Evolution of Concepts Within the Evolution of Cognition - [abstract].

          December 2011

          • 15/12 - 13:15-15:00 - H428b - Elena Carmen Faur - The Concept of "Universe of Discourse" in Integral Semantics - [abstract].
          • 08/12 - 13:15-15:00 - H428b - Esa Itkonen (University of Turku, Finland) - Are We Justified to Impose the Indo-European Interpretive Grid on Complex Sentences of "Exotic" Languages? -- No! - [abstract].
          • 07/12 - 15:15-17:00 - H428b - Esa Itkonen (University of Turku, Finland) - Explaining the Basic Weakness of Ordinary Language Philosophy - [abstract].
          • 01/12 - Anders Högberg (Linné-universitetet) - 13:15 - 15:00 - H435 - Behavioural Modernity and Learning from an Archaeological Perspective - [paper (PDF)].


          • 24/11 - Adam Kendon 15:00-17:00 - H435 - How Can We Account for the Involvement of Hand Movements in Speaking from an Evolutionary Point of View? - [abstract].
          • 23/11 - Michael Ranta - 15:15-17:00 - H428b - On World Views (in Pictures) - [abstract].
          • 21/11 - Tim J. Smith (Birkbeck) - 13:15-15:00 - H435 - Watching You Watch Movies: Using Eye Tracking to Inform Film Theory.
          • 21/11 - Adam Kendon - 15:00-17:00 - A129b - Visible Action Components of the Utterance: Structure and Co-ordination with the Spoken Component - [abstract].
          • 10/11 - Gerd Carling and Niklas Johansson - 13:15-15:00 - Iconicity in Language: The Emergence of Different Categories -[slides (Powerpoint)] - [abstract].
          • 03/11 - Terry Deacon (Berkeley) - 15:15-17:00 - H428b - The Missing Links in Language Evolution: Semiotic Constraints and Relaxed Selection - video presentation followed by conversation (by video link) with Deacon (16:30 - 17:00).


          • 20/10 - Discussion of "The enactive approach: theoretical sketches from cell to society" - [paper (PDF)].
          • 13/10 - Etzel Careña - Neurophenomenology and the Study of States of Consciousness  - [related paper (Word)] - [abstract].
          • 26/10 - Eduard Marbach (University of Bern) - 15:15-18:00 - H428b - The Phenomenology of Depicting - [abstract].
          • 27/10 - Åsa Abelin (Department of Linguistics, Gothenburg University) - 10:15-12:00 - H428b - Interpretation of Emotional Interjections in Swedish: The Importance of Prosody and Lexical Information - [abstract].
          • 27/10 - Eduard Marbach (University of Bern) - 13:15-15:00 - H428b - On Integrating the First-person Perspective of Phenomenology into a Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness - [abstract].


              • 29/09 - Joel Parthemore - 13:15-15:00 - Concepts as They Relate to Autonomy - [abstract].
              • 28/09 - 15:15-17:00 - H428b - Michael Kimmel (Universität Wien) - Imagery for Interaction: What Makes Embodied Contact and Improvisation Systems Tick? - [abstract].
              • 22/09 - Charles Forceville (in conjuction with the English department) - 15:00-17:00h, L201, SOL - Multimodal Metaphor in Commercials and Film: Agendas for Research - [abstract].
              • 15/09 - Ron Langacker, University of California - San Diego  (in conjunction with the English department) - 16:00-18:00h, Hörsalen, SOL - Conceptual Semantics, Symbolic Grammar, and the Day-after-Day Construction - [abstract].
              • 1/9 - Chris Sinha - The Cognitive Semiotics of Artefacts and Their Significance for Human Evolution - [abstract].


              • 9/6 - Joel Parthemore - When is an Artefact a Moral Agent? - [abstract (PDF)].


              • 19/5 - Gerd Carling and Arthur Holmer - The Methodological Tools for Interrelating Language and Culture in (Pre)history: A Case in Amazonia - [abstract].
              • 17/5 - Alf Hornberg - Submitting to Objects: Fetishism, Dissociation, and the Cultural Foundations of Capitalism - [abstract].


                • 27/4 - Elainie Madsen - 15:15-17:00 - Evolution of Cooperation.
                • 14/4 - Per Durst-Andersen - Language, Communication, and Cognition - [abstract].
                • 7/4 - Jordan Zlatev - Social Origins of Language - 10:15-12:00.  Report on a four-day workshop on the social origins of language, held at the University College of London 14-17 February, along with a compilation of the speaker's own presentations:  "WHAT evolved? Rubicon or no Rubicon? The need for multi-factor explanations."


                • 31/3 - Joel Parthemore - Zlatev's Semiotic Hierarchy and the Evolution of Concepts - [paper (PDF)] - [Jordan's paper (PDF)].
                • 24/3 - Stefan Östersjö - Gestural-Sonorous Objects in Rolf Riehm’s Toccata Orpheus - [abstract].
                • 17/3 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 10 - led by Göran Sonesson and Jordan Zlatev.
                • 10/3 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 13 - led by Michael Ranta - [slides (Powerpoint)].
                • 3/3 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 12 - led by Erik Rynell.


                • 24/2 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 11 - led by Lars Kopp (continued from 10/2).
                • 10/2 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 11 - led by Lars Kopp - [slides (Powerpoint)].
                • 3/2 - Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 9 - led by  Johan Blomberg.


                • 13/1 -  Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 5-6 - led by  Miguel Maliksi.
                • 20/1 -  Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 7 - led by  Jordan Zlatev.
                • 27/1 -  Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 8 - led by  Joel Parthemore.

                December 2010

                • 2/12 -  Planning meeting, and discussion of Csibra, G. and G.R. Gergely (in press). "Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
                • 9/12 -  Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 1-2 and Appendix 1 - led by Göran Sonesson.
                • 16/12 -  Discussion of Evan Thompson, Mind in Life, Ch. 3-4 - led by Mats Andrén.


                • 4/11 - Gunnar Sandin, Architecture, CCS - Context Replacement as a Creative Act - [abstract].
                • 11/11 - Gerd Carling, LU, Linguistics, CCS -  Iconic Change: The Emergence of Iconicity in Language

                  Linguistic iconicity, understood as a motivated connection between expression and content in language, has been studied and concluded from a number of typologically diverse and unrelated languages. However, few studies have been devoted to the emergence, spread and decay of iconicity from a historic-linguistic perspective. The concept of iconicity is central to several contemporary theories on the origin and evolution of language, where "primitive" language is assumed to be more (or even maximally) iconic, whereas modern language inhabits a larger amount of arbitrariness, partly because of conventionalization, partly because of language change. However, several questions remain: How does language change affect iconicity? Why is iconicity, in spite of language change, such a common phenomenon in language? Which mechanisms in language change produce iconicity? Are all languages more or less equally iconic? In the lecture, I will try to look at linguistic iconicity from two angles by distinguishing qualitative from quantitative iconicity. The method will be to look at observable or reconstructable processes in genetically related languages, by using historical or comparative method and available data of contemporary and historical languages. Basic focus will be on Indo-European languages, in particular Germanic, but also Tocharian, Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, and Romani, as well as some Creole and Mixed Languages.
                •  12/11, 14:15-16:00, H135b
                  Sverker Johansson, Jönköping University
                  Evolution: Biological and Cultural

                  Evolution is the unifying principle in the biological sciences. As the
                  origins of language is intertwined with the biological origins of
                  humans, an understanding of evolutionary theory is needed for the study
                  of language origins.  But can evolutionary theory also be applied
                  outside biology?  To what extent can evolutionary thinking be fruitful
                  in the study of cultural phenomena, and of language itself?  What
                  entities actually evolve in language evolution?
                • 18/11 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Jana Holsanova & Roger Johansson, LU Cognitive Science
                  Image, Vision, Cognition

                  In our presentation, we will give an overview about our eye tracking studies on picture viewing and picture description, existence and use of mental imagery and on readers’ integration of language and pictures (Holsanova 2001, 2008, 2010; Johansson, Holsanova & Holmqvist 2006, 2010). Concerning the first topic, in studies on picture viewing and picture description, a combination of eye tracking and verbal data reveals how picture objects are focused on and conceptualised on different levels of specificity and how objects’ location, activities and attributes are evaluated. We can witness a process of stepwise specification, evaluation, interpretation and re-conceptualisation of picture elements and of the picture as a whole. Second, experiences of having mental images are apparent in a lot of everyday situations. We “see” images when we mentally recreate experiences, when we plan future events, when we solve problems, when we retrieve information about physical properties or relationships, or when we read an absorbing novel. However, historically, mental imagery has been very hard to study. With the present day eye tracking technology, a new window to the mind has been opened. Third, there is still little empirical evidence about how readers integrate information from language and pictures. There are many myths about how complex visuals are attended to and processed. We will discuss some of these myths from the perspective of contrary empirical evidence. Eye tracking methodology and retrospective verbal protocols can be used to reveal in detail the nature of attentional and cognitive processes underlying reception of complex documents.

                • 22/11 15:15-17:00, L123
                  Adam Kendon, Philadelphia
                  Some relationships between body motion and speech: Examples with Commentary

                  Some examples are presented which show the diverse ways in which speakers relate speaking and gesturing and which suggest how the two modalities may be adjusted in relation to one another in accordance with the speaker's rhetorical aims. Widely repeated blanket statements about gesture-speech integration cover many complexities that have rarely been analysed and which may call into question existing theories about speech-gesture relationships.

                • 25/11 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Joel Parthamore, LU Cognitve Science/CCS
                  Representations, Symbols, Icons, Concepts... And Why There are No Mental Representations

                  One of the key claims in my thesis is that the longstanding arguments over whether concepts are either (mental) representations or (non-representational) abilities gets its premises fundamentally wrong.  Concepts must be both.  When we reflect on them, they just are representations; but when we possess and employ them non-reflectively then, logically, they must be something else: and here, "non-representational ability" seems the best description.
                  In order to advance this position, however, I must first be as clear as I can what I mean by representations, either of the iconic or symbolic variety.  A major stumbling block to resolving the conflict between the representationalists and the anti-representationalists is that, too often on both sides of the aisle, the term "representation" is used without any attempt at definition.  I certainly won't claim my definition to be the correct one, but it is an attempt at clarity and, with respect to how I wish to apply the answer -- because, I think, one must always keep the application in mind -- a step in the right direction!

                October 2010

                • 14/10 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Alf Nilsson, professor emeritus i psykologi
                  Om Homo psychius två utvecklingslinjer. Med varseblivningen som tvåskiktad. Illustrationer

                  Med referens i utvecklingsperspektivet, det evolutionära, det ontogenetiska såväl som det epigenetiska, härleddes i en tidigare bok, Om Homo psychicus uppkomst (2005), den psykiska människan, Homo psychicus. Med systemteori som grund urskiljdes två motivationssystem, de medfödda drifterna/behoven och affekterna, samt fyra (instru)mentala system: reflex-sensomotoriken/handlingen, varseblivningen, kognitionen och språket. I en senare bok, Det omedvetna i nya perspektiv (2009), var fokus den tidige Freuds systematiska beskrivning av det omedvetna, systemet "omedvetet" (Omv). Huvudspåret för härledningen var fortfarande utvecklingsperspektivet. I en ny bok med arbetstitel Det främmande, det kusliga och tankens brist frångår jag benämningen "instrumental organisation" till förmån för att urskilja två utvecklingslinjer hos Homo psychicus: den reflex-operativa respektive den affektiva-föreställningsmässiga utvecklingslinjen. Härledningen, så här långt, redovisas vid seminariet.
                • 21/10 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Junichi Toyota, Linguistics CCS,in collaboration with Marilena Thanassoula (University of Cologne) Pernilla Hallonsten (University of Oxford)
                  Mental verb from an evolutionary perspective

                  Mental verbs (including both perception and emotion) often exhibit grammatical peculiarities both syntactically and semantically, and these features have troubled theoretical linguists. In this paper, we argue that the evolutionary development of mental verbs differ in timing, but follow a similar pattern to other verbs. In other words, the development of mental verb recapitulates that of other verbs. Therefore, mental verbs can play an important role in understanding some of the earlier stages in our language evolution. This delay is closely related to speakers’ ability to expressing their internal and external world, and the internal world, often associated with perception or emotion, required more time to materialise linguistically. We also touch upon a later development in relation to cultural diversity of these verbs.

                  Anna Cabak Redei, Semiotics, CCS
                  Translation from literary texts to moving images: Intersemiotics from a theoretical perspective

                  Roman Jakobson introduces in a canonical text from 1959 three important distinctions within the field of translation theory: translation that is ‘intralingual’ (within a language), ‘interlingual’ (between languages, translation proper) and ‘intersemiotic’ (between different semiotic systems). The latter might be extended to include translation in a more broad meaning, namely between cultures (viewed as systems in a structural sense). Quine, in another canonical text within the field, discusses the importance of studying foreign languages within the frames of the culture in which these emerged, thus underlining the importance of an ‘ontological relativity’. However, translation is always a matter of keeping trace of the reference, and thus how references (objects and matters in our ordinary world) are transformed to signs in one or another semiotic system. Peirce has provided useful analytic tools to scrutinize these transformation processes, by defining three types of signs: icones, indices and symbols (conventional signs). By means of these notions one can analyse and compare differences and similarities between semiotic systems, i.e. conduct an intersemiotic analysis.
                • 28/10 13:15-15:00, H428B *** NOTE: MOVED TO 4/11 !!! ***
                  Gunnar Sandin, Architecture, CCS,
                  Context replacement as a creative act

                  The main idea of the presentation is that the disciplinary contexts in which we position, communicate and measure originality are fundamental for how originality,and thus also creativity, is generally sensed, measured or defined. It is claimed that it is the representational situation itself that makes an original thought discernible in the first place. By acknowledging the semiotic notion of “auto-communication” as a “creative function of a text” (Lotman) as well as the kind of cultural semiotics in which the point-of-view of one culture decides whether other cultures are to be regarded as “text, extra-text, or non-text” (Sonesson), we arrive at semiotic views needed to argue for a shift-of-context as a creative act in itself. These semiotic aspects can further be discussed in relation to the understanding of contextual shifts in the fashion of attention psychology (Arvidson), where various types of contextual alteration – like enlargement, contraction, elucidation, obscuration, and replacement – are viewed as changing the thematic focus of the phenomenon perceived.

                September 2010

                • 30/9 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Tomas Persson, LU Cognitive Science, CCS
                  Tetsing pictorial competence in nonhuman primates

                  Pictures are common in the experimental study of animal cognition and have been successfully used in perceptual and conceptual tasks for decades. The principal concern has been whether animals are able to recognize objects in pictures or not. The answer is positive. But recognition does not necessarily equal seeing the picture as a depiction. [...] Few studies of pictorial competence have successfully controlled for performance in alternative modes. Animals should ideally be able to categorize truly novel depictions that are low in realism, or pictures that otherwise violate processing as a form of reality. A study of language trained bonobos at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa showing successful trial-one performance in a matching-to-sample task with never-before-seen drawings will be presented. It suggests that some great apes can view pictures as depictions.

                Language, Culture and Mind from a Pragma-Semiotic Perspective. A series of 8 lectures.

                Chris Sinha, University of Portsmouth

                This lecture series critically explores the interdisciplinary matrix of contemporary theories of language and cognition, reviewing and contextualizing the speaker’s research in topics in the evolutionary, cognitive and language sciences.

                • 1/9 13:15-15:00, H428b
                  Lecture 1: Old Wine in New Bottles: Psychological Roots of Cognitive Linguistics … and Beyond. (PDF)

                  I begin by setting out some fundamental postulates of Cognitive-Functional Linguistics, noting that many concepts employed by cognitive linguists are fundamentally psychological. In this lecture the historical roots in cognitive psychology of some key concepts such as Gestalt, schema, frame are analyzed. The status of these concepts as pertaining to neurobiology, individual psychology, culture and language is critically examined.

                  The question of whether Meaning, central to Cognitive Linguistics, is confined to language and to language users is addressed, and a broad definition of meaning as biologically emergent and ecologically organized is proposed.
                  The general perspective of this lecture series, which I term the Socio-Naturalistic perspective on language, cognition and human development, is outlined as follows:

                  a)    The embodiment of language is in semiotic as well as biological material media (“signware” as well as “wetware”).
                  b)    The embodied mind extends beyond the boundaries of the individual organism to encompass the artefactual world (“the materiality of representation”, “the extended mind”).
                  c)    Mind is intersubjectively shared, socially distributed and culturally amplified (“language as tool and vehicle”).
                  d)    Language is dually grounded, in perception-action linkages and in discursive communication, and this dual grounding is constitutive of the human ecological niche.
                  Text 1 (PDF)
                • 2/9 13:15-15:00, A121
                  Lecture 2: Re-thinking Representation: Meaning, Representation, Conceptualization. (PDF)
                  What is meaning, what is it for a sign to be meaningful, how can meaning best be analyzed, and in what sense is linguistic meaning proper or unique to language? A fundamental problem facing the cognitive and language sciences is the nature of Representation. Should the human conceptual system be thought of as logically and developmentally prior to natural language semantics, or as a dependent part of natural language semantics? Can there be concepts without language? Is there a Language of Thought that is independent of language, or is the Language of Thought identical to natural language?

                  In this lecture a pragmatic and semiotic definition of Representation is advanced, which accords a fundamental role to the communicative, sign-using process itself. Representation, I propose, is not made up of “mental stuff” that exists in a different realm from the material world, but is rather part of the humanly constructed world of artefacts, including symbolic artefacts. Representation (including mental representation) is not a secondary structure superimposed over the world of things: rather, the world of things is representational in its material structure. This challenging notion is the essence of the thesis of the materiality of representation.

                  I propose that true concepts are socially, intersubjectively shared discursive symbolic representations based in, but not reducible to, schematic pre-conceptual representations. Linguistic meaning must be understood has having both a socio-cultural, discursive grounding, and an individual psychological experiential grounding. The dual grounding of linguistic conceptualization in shared sign systems and in individual experience is the fundamental basis of the semiotic mediation of human cognition, and a key proposition of a socio-naturalistic account of human development in both its cognitive and symbolic aspects.

                  The concept of “schema” is further explored and three questions are asked: 1.    Do schemas exist at the neural, psychological or cultural (intersubjective) level?
                  2.    Are schemas just “in the mind” (subjectively or intersubjectively), or do they also include some aspects of the material world they organize?
                  3.    Are schemas always pre-conceptual, or can there also be conceptual schemas?
                  Text 2 (PDF)
                • 7/9 13:15-15:00, A121
                  Lecture 3: Language as a Biocultural Niche and Social Institution (PDF).

                  How can culture be conceptualized from an evolutionary and ecological point of view, what are the relations between biology and culture, and how do theories of biology and culture bear upon theories of language? Culture can minimally be defined as the existence of intra-species group differences in behavioural patterns and repertoires, which are not directly determined by ecological circumstances (such as the availability of particular resources employed in the differing behavioural repertoires), and which are learned and transmitted across generations. On this definition, there is ample evidence of cultural differences in foraging strategies, tool use and social behaviours in chimpanzees. Such a definition will also qualify, for example, epigenetically learned intra-species dialect differences between songbird communities as cultural and culturally transmitted behaviour. Some biologists have argued on this basis for the reduction of culture to the mere expression of biology. Other biologists, however, increasingly acknowledge the role of culture in shaping the evolutionary process at the genetic level, by the construction of new selective environments. Many non-human species behaviourally co-direct genetic evolution through niche construction. Taking an evolutionary and ecological perspective enables us to situate the role of culture in human evolution within a wider class of processes involving adaptation to behaviourally induced changes in selective environments (niches or animal artefacts such as nests, dams, mounds and burrows).Human cultures, however, are different from the cultures of other species, in that the capacity for creating, acquiring and transmitting cultural forms is uniquely developed (though clearly not unique) in humans. Cultural acquisition and transmission is mediated in humans by the human language capacity. The nativist modular account of this capacity proposes its inscription in the human genotype. An alternative account is proposed that views the human language capacity as the ability to exploit a linguistic-symbolic niche. The capacity to acquire and use it is based on the evolution and replication of this biocultural niche.Such an account does not require the organism to possess an internal model of the grammar of a language to account for language acquisition and use, any more than the building of a nest requires an internal model of the nest. The grammar of the language is in the language, just as the structure of the nest is in the nest. The capacity for language is thus a cognitive-behavioural relationship between language user and the constituents of language, just as the capacity for building a nest is a cognitive-behavioural relationship between the builder and the constituents of the nest; and it is this relationship that, in each case, has been selected for in evolution. This account is thus compatible with usage-based, cognitive functional theories of language.
                  Text 3 (PDF)
                • 9/9 13:15-15:00, L503
                  Lecture 4: From Signal to Symbol to System: The emergence and evolution of language (PDF).

                  What distinguishes human language from other naturally occurring communicative behaviours and communication systems? The evolution of language is explored in this lecture through semiotic comparison of non-human communication systems and human natural languages. An exclusive focus on syntax tends, paradoxically, to minimize the gap between human natural language and non-linguistic modes of communication. In addition to syntactic and morphological complexity, all natural languages also display symbolic complexity (which subsumes the property named by Hockett “displacement”), cognitive complexity (in terms of conceptualization subsystems) and pragmatic complexity (linked, in the case of performatives, to symbolic complexity).
                  I propose an account of language evolution based upon the representational development of prelinguistic, intentional communication in contexts of intentional, intersubjective joint reference. The model presented is one in which intentional reference becomes conventionalized and elaborated in processes of semanticization and grammaticalization, about which we know a great deal in the context of historical language change. The logic of emergence and elaboration of signs is proposed to govern both language evolution and individual language development. Language acquisition and development is based upon evolutionary adaptations of modern humans to sign use in communities. The evolutionary and developmental concept of epigenesis is invoked to counter both nativist (innatist) and empiricist accounts of language evolution and development. I discuss the role in language evolution of the niche of infancy, and suggest that the model is compatible with a “late emergence” scenario for evolutionary modern languages.
                  Text 4 (PDF)
                • 14/9 13:15-15:00, L201
                  Lecture  5: Concept, context and extended embodiment. Spatial language and cognitive development (PDF).

                  In this lecture I argue that an adequate account of semantic development in early first language acquisition requires a theory and methodology that synthesize the insights of cognitive and cultural linguistics with a Vygotskian socio-cultural approach to human development. This involves recasting and extending the notion of embodiment, which is a central philosophical underpinning of cognitive linguistics. I discuss evidence from the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural study of spatial semantic development, focusing on concepts of containment and support. I argue that controversies regarding language-specific acquisition strategies and universal cognitive bases of semantic development may best be resolved by viewing the issue of “linguistic relativity” in a socio-cultural, as well as a grammatical, perspective.
                  As well as reviewing evidence from both my own research with colleagues, and other research, I further develop the notion of extended embodiment, which can be summed up in the slogan that “Embodiment extends beyond the human body”. The everyday artefacts used in our experiments are not “culturally neutral”, not just in the sense that they may be more or less familiar to individuals from different cultures, but also because they embody different conceptualizations or cultural schemas (in this case, of spatial relations). This “extended embodiment” does not exist in a vacuum: it is not, as it were, a property of the objects “in themselves”. Rather, it is constituted and exemplified by the participation of the objects in an entire matrix of cultural practices, some of which are linguistic (or discursive) practices, and some of which are nonlinguistic. Furthermore, cultural schemas find a further manifestation, or expression, in the lexico-grammatical structures of natural languages, and it is from this perspective perhaps no surprise that children should be so adept in acquiring the specific conceptualization-expression mappings of their mother tongue.
                  Text 5 (PDF)
                • 16/9 13:15-15:00, L201
                  Lecture 6: Meaning and Materiality. How Language Grounds Symbolic Artefacts. (Powerpoint)

                  The comparison between signs (including the signs of language) and tools has often been made. Karl Bühler), influenced by the functionalism of Prague School linguistics, proposed the Organon (Greek=tool or instrument) Model of language. Lev Vygotsky also viewed signs as instruments, not only enabling communication between individuals, but also transforming intra-individual cognition. Vygotsky regarded the analogy as resting on the fact that both sign and tool support mediated activity; but he also distinguished between their modes of mediation in that, while tools are “outer directed”, transforming the material world, signs are “inner directed”, transforming and governing mind, self and behaviour.
                  Tools, of course, are one type of in the wider class of artefacts, but whether language as a symbolic system can be considered as an artefact is disputed. Pinker, in keeping with his nativist modularist view of the language capacity, denies that language is an artefact: he regards language as a part of the natural world, and the capacity for language as a part of human nature.

                  We can counter Pinker’s view, however, by pointing out (following Laland et al.) that many species construct “artefactual” niches, and language itself may be considered as a universal (transcultural) component of the species-specific human biocultural. Language has a dual nature, as part of human species-being, what it means to be human, and as the foundational social institution in the Durkheimian sense. Treating language as a biocultural niche yields a new perspective on both the human language capacity (falsely identified with language itself by generative linguistics) and on the evolution of this capacity. It also enables us to understand the significance of language as the symbolic ground of the special subclass of symbolic artefacts. This subclass can be defined as comprising those artefacts that support symbolic and conceptual processes in abstract conceptual domains, such as time and number. Examples of symbolic artefacts are notational systems (including writing and numeric notations), dials, calendars and compasses. Cultural and cognitive schemas organizing at least some relevant conceptual domains may be considered, I shall argue, as dependent upon, and not merely expressed by, the employment of symbolic artefacts in cultural and cognitive practices.

                  To qualify as a symbolic artefact, the artefact must have a representational function, in the Bühlerian sense. All artefacts have a signifying status, inasmuch as they functionally “count as” instances of the artefact class of which they are a member, to use Searle’s expression; and their material form signifies their canonical function. However, to be a symbolic artefact, the artefact must also represent something outside itself, through a sign function materially embodied in the artefact. All such sign functions are ultimately grounded in language, although they also frequently incorporate iconic relations. The recruitment of objects as signs in interactive contexts is of great importance in cognitive development. Intentionally designed symbolic artefacts, just as much as language, are constitutive parts of the human biocultural niche, and are of fundamental importance in human cultural-cognitive evolution.
                  Text 6 (PDF)
                • 21/9 12:15-14:00, A121
                  Lecture 7: Patterns of Mapping. Distributed Spatial Semantics, cognitive typology and language development. (Powerpoint)

                  Spatial semantics has been fundamental to the enterprise of cognitive semantics. Most analyses of spatial meaning emphasize the polysemy of individual lexical items, viewing their context-bound semantic variability as a property of the word itself. This “local semantics” approach to the analysis of the meaning of locative particles such as spatial prepositions is examined, criticized and rejected. An alternative, distributed approach to spatial relational semantics and its linguistic expression is argued for. In the first part of the lecture, it is argued that spatial relational semantic information is not exclusively carried in languages such as English by the locative particle, and that “item-specific meanings plus selectional restrictions” cannot save the localist approach. In the second part of the lecture, the “covertly” distributed spatial relational semantics of languages such as English is contrasted with the “overtly” distributed spatial relational semantics characterizing many other languages. Some common assumptions relating to the universality of the expression of spatial relational meaning by closed syntactic classes are criticized. A change of perspective from “local” to “distributed” (Sinha and Kuteva) (or “holistic”: Zlatev) semantics permits the re-analysis of polysemy and item-bound “use-type” in terms of the distributed expression of language-specific spatial relational semantic types.

                  Data from collaborative research on children learning Danish, English and Japanese are presented, and it is concluded that the acquisition and development by children of spatial language is characterized by

                •    universal patterns and sequences based in conceptual development
                •    a universal learning strategy of conservative learning
                •    language specific patterns based upon the distributed spatial semantics of the target language.

                Text 7 (PDF)

                • 23/9 13:15-15:00, A121
                  Lecture 8: Space, time, metaphor and symbolic artefacts. Evidence from an Amazonian culture and language (Powerpoint)

                  It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic and cognitive organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion. My colleagues and I challenge this assumption on the basis of our research on the Amondawa (Tupi Kawahib) language and culture of Amazonia.

                  I first present a cognitive typological analysis of the Amondawa language, based on Talmy’s well known distinction between verb and satellite framing, combined with Sinha and Kuteva’s Distributed and Zlatev’s Holistic spatial semantics. I then turn first to the expression of time in Amondawa, and then to the cultural linguistic system of time interval naming.

                  The Amondawa time interval system is based not on countable units, but on social activity, kinship and ecological regularity. It does not permit conventional “time-reckoning” since the number system has only two numerals with a maximum combinatorial value of four. The Amondawa do not entertain cardinal chronologies such as ages of individuals, or ordinal chronologies such as yearly or monthly calendars.

                  Using both observational data and structured field linguistic tasks, we show that linguistic space-time mapping is not a feature of the Amondawa language and is not employed by Amondawa speakers (when speaking Amondawa). Amondawa does not recruit its extensive inventory of terms and constructions for spatial motion and location to linguistically conceptualize temporal inter-event relations. As an alternative to the Universal (linguistic space-time) Mapping Hypothesis, we propose the socio-culturally motivated Mediated Mapping Hypothesis, which accords causal importance to the numerically based construction of time-based time interval systems and to use of the symbolic cognitive artefacts that support such interval systems.
                  Text 8 (PDF)

                August 2010

                • 26/9 13:15-15:00, H428b
                  Jesper Brinck, Växsjö
                  Evidensbasering och teoretiskt ramverk för TAKK (tecken som alternativ och kompletterande kommunikation)

                May 2010

                • 6/5 13:15-15:00, H428b
                  Lars-Åke Henningsson, CCS
                  Protowords in single articulation?

                  One can assume that early language was not as complex as languages are today. For instance, it has been suggested that there was no compositional complexity, but only unanalysable, holistic protowords, comparable to holophrases. Suggestions as those from A. Wray are fundamentally unconvincing though, since they just take complexity of sound and meaning for granted, and their untenability has been criticized from  a linguistic point of view e.g. by M. Tallerman.   

                  This doesn’t mean however, that holistic aspects of language can be neglected. There are many other phenomena besides holophrases to look at, like prosody, sound symbolism, logographic languages and cognitive schemas. Even in compositionally oriented syntax there are no free combinations. The combinations of elements can not be reduced to sums of their parts. They always make new wholes. However, if holistic structures are analyzable, but can not be reduced to component parts, how should they be analyzed and characterized? This question needs to be discussed. For a start, one can look at Gestalt theory, semiotics and cognitive linguistics.
                  Holistic signs could have played a role also in early language, but with low complexity of sound and meaning, and integrated by iconic relations. That wouldn’t mean a system of double articulation, with one level differentiating meaning and another level conveying meaning, but just a “single articulation”, differentiating and conveying meaning at the same time.
                  Whether one thinks that early semiotic links between sound or gesture and meaning were important in the early development of language, or one thinks like Fitch that speech first evolved with music and met cognition later on, it must be important to elaborate more precise notions of holistic structure.
                • 20/5 13:15-15:00, H428B - INSTÄLLT, flyttat till 7 oktober
                  Alf Nilsson, professor emeritus i psykologi
                  Homo psychius två utvecklingslinjer

                  Med referens i utvecklingsperspektivet, det evolutionära, det ontogenetiska såväl som det epigenetiska, härleddes i en tidigare bok, Om Homo psychicus uppkomst (2005), den psykiska människan, Homo psychicus. Med systemteori som grund urskiljdes två motivationssystem, de medfödda drifterna/behoven och affekterna, samt fyra (instru)mentala system: reflex-sensomotoriken/handlingen, varseblivningen, kognitionen och språket. I en senare bok, Det omedvetna i nya perspektiv (2009), var fokus den tidige Freuds systematiska beskrivning av det omedvetna, systemet "omedvetet" (Omv). Huvudspåret för härledningen var fortfarande utvecklingsperspektivet. I en ny bok med arbetstitel Det främmande, det kusliga och tankens brist frångår jag benämningen "instrumental organisation" till förmån för att urskilja två utvecklingslinjer hos Homo psychicus: den reflex-operativa respektive den affektiva-föreställningsmässiga utvecklingslinjen. Härledningen, så här långt, redovisas vid seminariet.
                • 27/5 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Elena Faur, "Babes-Bolyai" University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
                  Recent trends in cognitive sciences. A view from Eugeniu Coseriu's Integral Linguistics

                  Eugeniu Coseriu's Integral Linguistics provides a broad theoretical and conceptual framework for explaining and integrating most of the recent trends developed in different scientific fields: gesture, niche construction, iconicity etc. In his general theory of speaking, Coseriu distinguishes between two levels of the human general capacity of expression: (1) the level of the linguistic competence at large and (2) the level of the activities that accompany language. There are further distinctions or sublevels within the first level: (a) the level of the physical-psychological linguistic competence and (b) the level of cultural linguistic competence with its threefold sub-domains: (i) the universal linguistic competence; (ii) the idiomatic linguistic competence and (iii) the textual- or discourse competence. The core of this general theory of speaking is represented by the linguistic competence or linguistic knowledge, which on its turn is essentially based on the understanding of language as “cognoscitive" creative activity. In my presentation, I will proceed as follows: first, I will outline Coseriu's general theory of speaking with the focus on the cultural linguistic competence and its sub-domains; second, I will present the content, the structuring and the nature of linguistics competence; and third I will attempt to identify which is the level where topics like gestures, niche construction, iconicity etc. can be studied in the Coserian Integral Linguistics.
                • 28/5 10:15-12:00 H435 (Observera veckodagen och tiden)
                  Susan Petrilli & Augusto Ponzio, University of Bari, Italy
                  Iconicity and evasion in the relation among signs and texts.

                  Abstract: 1. Per invisibilia visibilia: iconicity and evasion in the relation among signs and texts 2. Metaphor as a translative-interpretive device 3. The paradox of translation: the same other 4. Metempsychosis and transmigration across texts in translation 5. Iconicity and translation in and across verbal and nonverbal sign systems 6. Signs, significance and translation 7. The paradox of language: translating the untranslatable.

                  From a semiotic perspective the text is made of sign material. This means to say that the text, any text whatsoever, is already a translation in itself, is already an interpretation. Translation across languages is a specific case of translation across sign systems, internally and externally to the same historical-natural language. But translation across languages is possible on the basis of language understood as a modeling device, an a priori and condition for verbal language, speech which, instead, arises originally for communication and thanks to the predominance of iconicity in the relation among signs. With reference to literary translation, if we understand 'fidelity' in terms of creativity and interpretation, and not just of imitation, repetition, reproduction of the same, of the 'original' text, a literal copy in another language, the translatant text must establish a relation of alterity with the text object of translation. The greater the distancing in terms of dialogic alterity between two texts, the greater is the possibility of creating an artistic reinterpretation through another sign interpretant in the potentially infinite semiosic chain of deferrals from one sign to the next, to which belongs the so-called 'original.' With reference to Charles S. Peirce's general theory of signs, in particular his triad 'Icon,' 'Index,' and 'Symbol,' if a translation is to be successful in terms of creativity and interpretation, the relation between the text object of translation and the translatant text must be dominated by iconicity. A translation must be at once similar and dissimilar, the same other (see Petrilli 2001). This is the paradox of translation. Therefore a text is at once translatable and untranslatable. This is the paradox of language.

                April 2010

                • 7/4 15:15-17:00, H135b (Observera veckodagen)
                  John Michael Krois, Berlin
                  Picture Acts and the Body Schema

                  Pictures have traditionally been interpreted to be copies of objects and to possess a form shaped according to ideas in the artist's mind. The theory of picture acts attributes autonomy to pictorial objects. This derives from a spatial organization shared with the viewer's body: the body schema. The talk explains this theory of the beginning of depiction.
                • 8/4 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Ingar Brinck, CCS, Philosophy
                  Contexts of language diversity: a discussion of Evans and Levinson's (2009) controversial paper "The myth of linguistic universals".

                • 22/4 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Jordan Zlatev, CCS, Linguistics
                  Presentation of the paper "From Body - to Mouth and Body" (Zlatev, Donald, Sonesson) presented at Evolang8 in Utrecht, 17/22 and information about the Evolang Conference.

                • 29/4 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Paul Bouissac, University of Toronto
                  Problems in the definition and description of gesture

                  Gestures have been the object of considerable attention since antiquity but more particularly during the last century in the context of linguistic and communication research. However, while everyone seems to intuitively know what a gesture is (both technically and metaphorically), a scientific definition of gestures remain elusive. In current research, a few properties of gestures appear to be taken for granted: gestures are visual objects (mostly represented as 2-dimensional) and they can be described in the form of micro-narratives (using the subject as the source or the limbs as agents by proxy moving along paths toward goals which may be practical or symbolic). The first part of the seminar will question these assumptions by showing that gestures are necessarily multimodal, 4-dimensional objects that cannot be adequately apprehended through geometric, linguistic and narrative filters alone. The case will be made for including in the study of gestures information provided by methods which enable us to gain access to knowledge below and above the thresholds of phenomenological experience. It will be proposed that this mediated knowledge may provide a productive framework for describing and interpreting the role of gestures in face-to-face interactions. These propositions will not be presented in a dogmatic way but will be introduced as heuristic attempts to elaborate a comprehensive theory of gestures which could lead to new methods of inquiry. Objections and discussions will be welcome.

                March 2010

                • 4/3 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Göran Sonesson, CCS
                  Hur mycket innehåller en hällristning? 

                  Om semiotiken som metakritik av arkeologin. Arkeologer verkar ofta se lite för mycket i förhistoriska bilder - som om de trodde att vi delade väldigt mycket värld med våra gamla artfränder. Några principer för att undvika övertolkning.
                • 11/3 15:15-17:00, H428B
                  Mikael Ranta, Stockholm
                  Berättelser i och genom bilder - och övriga ting – Reflektioner utifrån ett narratologiskt och kognitionsteoretiskt perspektiv.

                  Narratologiska studier har ofta varit fokuserade på lingvistiska strukturer som bedöms vara paradigmatiska exempel på narrativitet, medan bildtecken (som t.ex. ikoner eller indexikala tecken) har rönt mindre uppmärksamhet. I min presentation avser jag däremot att lyfta fram några grundläggande och vanligt förekommande former av (åtminstone implicit) narrativitet i såväl bilder som icke-bildmässiga objekt. En utgångspunkt i min framställning utgörs av hypotesen (influerad av kognitionsteoretiska överväganden, t.ex. av Roger Schank) att kognitiva processer på ett fundamentalt plan inkluderar mental lagring och återvinning av handlingsscheman (m.a.o. narrativa strukturer) som kan förekomma på olika abstraktionsnivåer. Dessa mentala scheman inkluderar dels mer eller mindre stereotypiserade handlingssekvenser, dels inventarie- och spatialbaserade sceniska representationer. Som förberedande läsning är följande tänkbart:

                  1. Abstract på engelska:

                  2. Föredrag 15th Internat. Congress of Aesthetics, Tokyo 2001:

                  3. Göran Sonesson:Mute narratives. New issues in the study of pictorial texts. In Interart Poetics. Acts of the congress “Interart Studies: New Perspectives”, Lund, May 1995. Lagerroth, Ulla-Britta, Lund, Hans, & Hedling, Erik, (eds.). Rodophi, Amsterdam & Atlanta 1997; 243-252

                • 18/3 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Alf Hornborg, Arthur Holmer, Junichi Toyota & Love Eriksen
                  Reconstructing pre-Columbian ethnolinguistic processes in Amazonia

                  This CCS subproject combines anthropological theory with linguistic and geographical methods to examine how linguistic data from Amazonia can reflect processes of ethnic identity formation (ethnogenesis) in the pre-Columbian past. A point of departure is that the use of language is a sign or marker of ethnic identity in ways similar to the use of material culture. By tracing geographical patterns of distribution of different linguistic features, the project hopes to reconstruct prehistoric patterns of interaction leading to the expansion and differentiation of the Arawakan linguistic family. It will look at properties of Arawakan and non-Arawakan languages within given geographical areas, hoping to identify (1) cases where geographically close languages appear to diverge more than would be expected from random change, and (2) cases where they converge due to areal influence. In both cases, it would be possible to relate linguistic change to ethnogenetic processes.
                • 25/3 15:15-17:00, H339
                  Brady Wagoner, Åhlborg/Cambridge
                  Striving after meaning: how psychologists have struggled to put culture in mind.

                  This talk will explore what psychology can contribute to our understanding of meaning and its relationship to psychological processes.  To do this, it will draw heavily on a number of pre-WWII holistic psychologies --including those of Sir Frederic Bartlett, Lev Vygotsky, and Ganzheitpsychologie-- as well as recent work in cultural psychology.  The argument will be made for a situated concept of meaning that synthesizes personal and collective ways of relating to the world.

                February 2010

                • 4/2 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Göran Sonesson, CCS
                  From Mimicry to Mime by way of Mimesis. Reflections on a General Theory of Iconicity (Part I)

                  Within the framework of Peircean philosophy, iconic signs have always been taken for granted. In other quarters, on the contrary, their existence has been called into question: by philosophers such as Bierman and Goodman, as well as semioticians such as Eco and Lindekens. In a series of works, starting with Sonesson (1989), I have tried to rehabilitate the idea of iconicity, at least in the case of pictures, without identifying it with “tautology”, as Barthes (1964) did, or with “frozen mirrors”, as was recently suggested by Eco (1999), in a work which constituted a radical volte-face in relation to his earlier views. In the rresent article, I will refrain from spelling out my criticism of Goodman, Bierman, Eco, and others (Cf. Sonesson 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000a), but will instead formulate my findings as a positive theory, and then go on to consider some further problems.
                • 11/2 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Göran Sonesson, CCS
                  From Mimicry to Mime by way of Mimesis. Reflections on a General Theory of Iconicity (Part II)
                • 18/2 13:15-15:00, H428B
                  Felix Ahlner and Jordan Zlatev, CCS
                  Cross-modal iconicity: A cognitive semiotic approach to ”sound symbolism”

                  Is the relationship between the expression and content poles of the linguistic sign fundamentally arbitrary, as it is typically claimed, following the famous dictum of the “father of modern linguistics” (cf. Lyons 1968), Ferdinand de Saussure, or is there some kind of ‘natural connection’ between the two? This question dates back to antiquity, but – we would claim – is still not satisfactorily resolved. Even the most committed proponents of the arbitrariness dictum recognize the existence of onomatopoetic words, but tend to regard these as ‘primitive curiosities’, existing outside and alongside the language system proper. The alternative viewpoint, commonly known as ‘sound symbolism’ (Hinton, Nichols and Ohala 1994), has gained ground during the last few decades. For example, a result that has been replicated a number of times is that when both adults and children (without autism) are given two fictive words like bouba and kiki and asked to decide which one denotes a roundish and which a pointy figure, they agree up to 95% that bouba suits best the roundish one (e.g. Ramachandran and Hubbard 2001). How are we to explain this, and is it possible to find a dialectical synthesis that could help resolve the debate between ‘arbitrariness’ and ‘sound symbolism’? This is the main question that we address in this article.
                • 25/2 2010, 15:15-17:00  H135b
                  Ludovic de Cuypere, Ghent
                  Linguistic iconicity: What is is really?

                  In the wake of John Haiman’s pioneering research on linguistic iconicity (Haiman 1980, 1983, 1985), there has been a vast accumulation of studies arguing for iconicity in language. Indeed, iconicity has become a popular explanatory concept in different subfields of linguistic research, ranging from phonology to morpho-syntactic constructions and language change. Despite this growing empirical “evidence”, however, no overall consensus exists on what is the exact place of iconicity in linguistic theory. Opponents of iconicity maintain that iconicity merely in the eye of the beholder and that iconicity has therefore no explanatory value (cf. Bouissac 2005, Haspelmath 2008). In this talk I want to explore why it appears impossible for proponents and opponents of linguistic iconicity to come to unequivocal conclusions. Based on a close reading of Charles Sanders Peirce’s theory of semiotics, in particular his triadic division of signs into icons, indexes and symbols, I argue that one of the main reasons for this lack of consensus has to do with metatheoretical problems related to the concept of iconicity itself. Following Göran Sonesson’s work in pictorial semiotics (e.g. Sonesson 1993), I suggest that a distinction be made between similarity and iconicity. An iconic sign is then defined as a sign whose functioning is determined by a similarity relation between the sign and the object it refers to. But the question is then how to know that it is actually the similarity between the sign and its object that determines its functioning? Maybe, as is claimed by the opponents, iconicity is merely coincidental? If not, then how is iconicity related to language? I contend that iconicity may indeed be involved in language, but only on a secondary level. Linguistic signs or constructions are are accordingly defined as fundamentally symbolic (i.e.arbitrary or conventional) signs. Iconicity is involved when a similarity relation between a sign and its referent adds extra meaning to the sign. The notion “extra meaning” will be elaborated by means of E. Coseriu’s (1985) theory of linguistic competence. Furthermore, building on E. Coseriu (2001 [1983]) theory of language change, I will additionally argue that iconic language structures are actually the result of iconically motivated language use.

                  Bouissac, P. 2005. "Iconicity or iconization? Probing the dynamic interface between language and perception". In Outside-In - Inside-Out. Iconicity in Language and Literature 4, C.
                  Maeder, O. Fischer and W. J. Herlofsky (eds.), 15-37. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
                  Coseriu, E. 1983. "Linguistic change does not exist". Linguistica nuova ed antica, I: 51-63.
                  Coseriu, E. 1985. "Linguistic Competence: what is it really? " The Modern Language Review, 80 (4): xxv-xxxv.<
                  Haiman, J. 1980. "The iconicity of grammar: isomorphism and motivation". Language, 56 (3): 515-540.
                  Haiman, J. 1983. "Iconicity and Economic Motivation". Language, 59: 781-819.
                  Haiman, J. 1985. Natural Syntax: Iconicity and Erosion, Cambridge: CUP.
                  Haspelmath, M. 2008. "Frequency vs. iconicity in explaining grammatical asymmetries". Cognitive Linguistics, 19 (1): 1-33.
                  Sonesson, G. 1993. "Pictorial semiotics, perceptual ecology, and Gestalt theory". Semiotica, 99 (3/4): 319-399.

                January 2010

                • 21/1 15:15 - 17:00, H428b
                  Frederik Stjernfeldt, University of Århus
                  Diagrams as signs of cognition

                  Diagrammatical reasoning plays a central role in the mature version of Peirce's semiotics and pragmatism. This lecture outlines Peirce's doctrine of diagrams as a theoretical framework, also for current cognitive semiotics.<
                • 27/1 15:15-17:00, H428b
                  Peter Bakker, University of Århus
                  Differences between young and old languages

                  In my talk I will discuss two types of young languages, and contrast them with “mature" languages. Creole languages are phylogenetically young, as all known creoles have developed only within the past few centuries. And twin languages are ontogenetically young, as twins are sometimes reported to create their own private languages. Both groups show striking similarities, and both types differ systematically from mature languages.

                December 2009

                • 10/12 10:15 - 17:00, H435
                  The Mental Lexicon
                  Guest speakers include Jean Aitchison, Oxford University; Kai Alter, Newcastle University; Véronique Boulenger, CNRS, Lyon; Michael Fortescue, Copenhagen University; Alan Paivio, University of Western Ontario, Gabriele Scheler, Stanford University; Yury Shtyrov, Medical Research Council, Cambridge.The symposium is open to everyone. For purposes of planning, however, it would be appreciated if you could send a message to Merle Horne (
                • 17/12 13:15-15:00, H428b
                  Suspending Disbelief: A Multi-Level Approach to Film and Emotion
                  Daniel Barratt, CBS
                  Why are film viewers capable of engaging with disembodied patterns of light projected onto a screen? And why are film viewers capable of responding emotionally to fictional characters and events? In this presentation, I will sketch a possible solution to the so-called paradox of fiction. The general framework of the solution will be based on a modular account of the mind/brain, while the more specific framework will be based on a multi-level approach to the emotion system – an approach which (working from the bottom up) refers to neurobiological systems, associative networks, cognitive appraisals, and simulation/empathy. In addition to this theoretical discussion, I will talk about an ongoing empirical project on investigating the link between visual attention and emotion. This project uses reaction time paradigms and pictures of faces as emotional stimuli.

                November 2009

                • 5/11 13:15 - 15:00, H428b
                  Elainie Madsen, University of St. Andrews, UK
                  Gaze-following and direction of conspecific attention to novel objects in bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans
                  Humans prolifically and conventionally use referential gestures, such as pointing, to direct others' attention to aspects of the environment. The use and understanding of declarative pointing have been linked with cooperative motivations and sophisticated cognitive capacities, such as mental state attribution, and the paucity of declarative communication in non-human animals has led to the suggestion that it reflects a defining criterion for humankind. I investigated if bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans, who were presented with an ambiguous stimulus, predicted to evoke interest rather than want, would lead a conspecific to detect it using signals, that might be meaningful to the apes, though not necessarily correspond to the canonical human index finger pointing gesture. While the design did not eliminate the possibility of a social referencing motive underlying the attention directing ('social referential pointing', “look and help me decide how to respond"'), the coupling of an auditory attention-getting component followed by a stimulus directed component by bonobos and some chimpanzees, is consistent with a declarative interpretation. The results suggest that the paucity of observed pointing behaviours in Pan owes to the inconspicuousness and multi-faceted nature of the signals.
                • 12/11 13:15-15:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Gerd Carling, CCS
                  Iconicity and beyond: towards a new model for understanding fossilized and reconstructed language resources
                  The seminar will deal with the problems connected with the everyday work for a philologist and a comparative historical linguist: How reliable is my data? How reliable is my reconstruction? Does my material reflect a spoken language or is it completely artificial? The seminar will try to look at the methods of philology and comparative linguistics in the light of theories of language structure and language development as initiated by the Prague school and continued by linguists and semioticians dealing with iconicity. Basic questions discussed will be arbitrariness of signs, definition of linguistic iconicity, types of linguistic iconicity, iconicity and language change, necessity of etymology, reconstruction of iconicity.
                • 19/11 13:15-15:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Mats Andrén, CCS
                  Transparens i ikoniska gester?
                  Gester beskrivs inte sällan som ett "universellt språk", med potentialen att t.ex. möjliggöra kommunikation med människor som bara talar språk man inte själv behärskar. I allmänhet är det då ikoniska (och indexikala) aspekter hos gester som avses, snarare än de konventionella ("symboliska", enligt vissa terminologier) aspekter som annars är centrala för de många existerande talspråken. Idén är att de ikoniska gesternas "avkodning" kommer "naturligt" – genom blotta likheten mellan uttryck och innehåll. Frågan är dock vad denna "naturlighet", eller transparens, ligger i? I litteraturen om gester finns två huvudsakliga ståndpunkter då det gäller vad som möjliggör ikoniska gesters begriplighet. En som betonar kognitiva "spontana" aspekter och en som betonar konventionalitet och praxis. Jag vill argumentera, utifrån mina analyser av barns gester, att båda perspektiven fångar värdefulla insikter. Ett viktigt klargörande är dock skillnaden mellan frågan om en och samma gest kan ha både ikoniska och konventionella aspekter, och frågan om ikonicitet per se är reducerbart till något annat (konventionalitet). På dessa två frågor svarar jag, i korthet, ja respektive nej. Föredragets tema är utformat för att stimulera till en diskussion om semiotiska grundfrågor med seminariets deltagare.
                • 26/11 13:15-15:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Paul Bouissac. University of Toronto, Victoria College
                  Semiotics and the assumption of rationality: the evolutionary turn
                  In spite of widespread ideological resistance rooted in religious cosmologies, Darwinism is now coming of age and the impact of its theoretical implications is felt in many scientific disciplines and beyond. Semiotics and linguistics have been slow in coming to grips with the implications of evolutionism for their heuristics and epistemologies. The tentative claim of this presentation is that evolutionism leads to questioning the assumption of rationality on which semiotics (or semiology) is grounded. The purpose of this approach is to examine the consequences it may have for a paradigm which ultimately derives its legitimacy from philosophy rather than science, and to suggest ways of overcoming the deep epistemological crisis the evolutionary turn is bound to create. The presentation will start with a discussion of the case of Saussure whose main ideas were formulated in reaction against the first wave of Darwinism that rippled through the nineteenth century’s epistemologies (e.g., Haeckle, Schleicher, Baldwin), and will endeavor to show that the inability of Saussure to produce a satisfactory theory of language was caused by what he considered to be the fundamental irrationality of language (and by implication of all semiological objects). This will lead us to consider the ways in which contemporary semiotics has been elaborated during the twentieth century on the rational basis of systems of categories that were derived from the traditional discourse of philosophy. The presentation will conclude with a semiotic research agenda for the twenty first century, an agenda that will require the development of an operational interface between the problems raised by semiotics and the methods of inquiries offered by the contemporary biological and formal sciences. This semiotics will necessarily bring into focus both the evolutionary and developmental points of view, a conciliation that remains a thorny issue in contemporary thinking and will constitute a stimulating challenge for semiotics itself.

                 October 2009

                • 8/10 13:15-15:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Föredrag från semiotikkongressen i La Coruña
                  Anna Redei, Sara Lenninger
                • 15/10 13:15-15:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Föredrag från semiotikkongressen i La Coruña
                  Gunnar Sandin
                  Iconic and indexical ground in the semiotics of culture. On American influences in contemporary architecture
                  Göran Sonesson
                  The phenomenological road to cognitive semiotics
                • 22/10 13:15-15:00 H428b
                  Lars Kopp, CCS
                  Datoriserad scenanalys med inspiration från Husserls fenomenologi
                  Jag diskuterar olika nivåer av anticipation av tingens rörelse. Rum- tid modeller förankrade i en kontinuerlig förändring av omvärlden  beskrives. Sådan modeller förutsätter en förmåga att "föreställa  sig" olika objekts framtida position och rörelsebana vid en  given tidpunkt. Föredraget illustereras med en video av ett system för  scenalys som opererar i realtid.
                • 28/10 16:15-18:00, SOL centrum H428b
                  Dan Zahavi, Centre for Subjectivity Research, Department of Philosophy
                  Naturalized Phenomenology
                  Whereas 20 or 30 years ago one might have been inclined to characterize the development of 20th century philosophy in terms of a linguistic turn, a turn from a philosophy of subjectivity to a philosophy of language, it might today be more apt to describe the development in terms of a turn from anti-naturalism to naturalism. But insofar as naturalists consider the scientific account of reality authoritative, a commitment to naturalism is bound to put pressure on the idea that philosophy can make a distinct and autonomous contribution to the study of reality. In the following, I will discuss the question of how phenomenology ought to respond to this challenge. What sense can we make of recent proposals to naturalize phenomenology?

                September 2009

                • The Evolution of Human Language, Culture and Consciousness
                  The renowned cognitive scientist and cognitive semiotician Prof. Merlin Donald from Queens University, Canada will spend the whole month of September visiting the Centre for Cognitive Semiotics at Lund University. On this occasion, Prof. Donald will give a series of four 3 hours lectures that will focus on the evolution of the human mind and culture, and the evolution of language specifically, which Prof. Donald has discussed extensively in his two books and many other publications. Prof. Donald’s four lectures will be preceded by lectures by Prof. Göran Sonesson, Department of Semiotics and Dr. Jordan Zlatev, Department of Linguistics), presenting cognitive semiotic background to Prof. Donald’s theories.
                • 2/9 2009, 14:15-17:00, SOL, H339
                  Göran Sonesson
                  A few missing links on the way to human beings
                • 7/9 2009, 15:15-18:00, SOL, A121
                  Jordan Zlatev
                  A framework for semiotic evolution
                • 8/9 2009, 14:15-17:00, Kungshuset, 104
                  Merlin Donald
                  Mimesis as a species-defining cognitive trait
                • 11/9 2009, 14:15-17:00, SOL, A121
                  Merlin Donald
                  Theories of the evolution of language
                • 16/9 2009, 15:15-18:00, Kungshuset, 104
                  Merlin Donald
                  The impact of material culture on brain, cognition and consciousness
                • 18/9 2009, 14:15-17:00, SOL, A121
                  Merlin Donald
                  Cognitive governance and cognitive-cultural networks

                  The series of 6 lectures can also be taken as an intensive course for PhD students (7,5 ECT), with active participation and course paper as requirements. To register, contact:< Course literatureFor 2/9: Sonesson, G. (in press) Semiosis beyond Signs. On Two or Three Missing Links on the Way to Human Beings. To be published in the Acts from Missing Links Conference, Copenhagen, November 22nd-23rd 2007 For 7/9: Zlatev, J. (in press) The Semiotic Hierarchy: Life, Consciousness, Signs and Language, Cognitive Semiotics, #4. For 8/9: Mimesis For 11/9: Protolanguages For 11/9 and 16/9: Hominid Enculturation + Material culture For 16/9: Memory Palaces Background literatureDonald, M. (1991). Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Donald, M. (2001). A Mind so Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness. New York: Norton.
                  For other articles by Merlin Donald, see:
                • 7/5 2009, 10:15-12:00, H428b
                  Arthur Holmer, CCS
                  Interfaces of music and language: a new face of typology?
                  Based on Patel's (2008) book Music, Language and the Brain, certain typological parellels between language and music will be presented, with particular focus on (tentatively) proposed implicational tendencies: e.g. the relation between word order and rhythmic perception, and between linguistic rhythm type (stress-timed vs. syllable-timed) and certain rhythmic patterns in music. This will be followed by a discussion of how these hypotheses can be tested on a wider scale than has hitherto.

                • 18/5 2009, 15:15-17:00, H428b
                  Kristian Tylén, Center for Semiotics, University of Århus
                  Written in bodies, action and objects
                  I discuss some of the ways different kinds of matter are experienced to take on a mediating function in intersubjective encounters. Special attention will be put on the way that static configurations of everyday objects like chairs, flowers and vacuum cleaners can be employed as signifiers of intersubjective meaning-making. This happens for instance when chairs are put out in the street to reserve a parking lot, flowers are arranged in bouquets and left on a doorstep to express a declaration of love, or old vacuum cleaners are lined up in ranks at a lawn to make a conceptual piece of art. It will be argued that the recognition of a special ostensive quality of such scenes motivate a shift in the perceiver’s attitude from a private ‘episodic’ to a ‘public’ and semantic style of perceptual exploration. While in the first case (‘private perception’) the perceiver’s experience is primarily regulated by an associative style of contextualization brought to the encounter by herself, in the second case (‘public’ perception) the scene is recognized as intended for a special kind of semiotic exploration: in a very literal sense the context has been constructed to regulate intersubjective meaning-making. The sense-making efforts of the perceiver are thus implicitly informed and regulated by another (absent) agent responsible for the composition of the scene: meaning is co-constructed. Consequently, in these cases the perceiver is not only relating to the world as a single autonomous agent, s/he also become subpart in a larger system as a participant-addressee engaged in triadic interactions. Central points will be supported by reference to a number of recent empirical, cross-disciplinary investigations (including functional brain imaging studies) targeting the cognitive foundation of our understanding of the intended signifying function of objects, bodies and action.

                May 09

                • 25/5 2009, 15:15-17:00, H435
                  Chris Sinha, University of Portsmouth
                  Language as a Bio-cultural Niche and Social InstitutionExtended abstract

                April 2009

                • 1/4 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Arthur Holmer & Junichi Toyota, CCS
                  Discussion of Chapters 5 and 6 of Heine & Kuteva (2007): The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction (OUP)

                • 15/4 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Gisela Håkansson, Linguistics
                  Discussion of Chapter 7 and sum up of Heine & Kuteva (2007): The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction (OUP)

                • 16/4 2009, 14:15 - 16:00, A121
                  Junichi Toyota, CCS
                  Ancestor worship and transitivity

                • 23/4 2009, 13:15-15:00, H429b
                  Gunnar Sandin, CCS
                  Arkitekturens semiotik
                  En genomgång av olika synsätt på hur materiella och spatiala kvaliteter kan analyseras i semiotiska termer, närmare bestämt hur begrepp som aktant, affordance och uttryck används i relation till design-, arkitektur- och stadsutveckling.

                • 30/4 2009, 13:15-15.00 H428b
                  Tomas Persson, CCS
                  Simian semiotics - visioner om primatstudier inom CCS Att jämföra djur och människor är en metod för rekonstruktion av evolutionära förlopp. Presentationen är en sammanfattning av Perssons studier av bildförståelse hos apor, samt förslag på framtida studier av betydelsemedling hos apor.

                March 2009

                • 11/3 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Jordan Zlatev & Lars-Åke Henningsson, CCS
                  Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2 of Heine & Kuteva (2007): The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction (OUP)
                • 12/3 2009 15:15-17:00, H428b
                  Alf Hornborg, CCS
                  Culture "Types", Cultural Evolution, and Socio-Ecological Processes in Ancient Amazonia
                • 19/3 2009 15:15 - 17:00, H135b
                  This seminar will address language change, population movements, and social processes in two very different settings:  Renaissance Europe and Pre-Columbian Amazonia. We shall begin with two presentations, to start the discussion:
                  1.    Junichi Toyota:  Language contact and social movement in Europe in the Renaissance and Age of enlightenment. The language situation within Europe saw a dramatic shift from the 16th through 18th century. How can we account for such a radical shift within the same geographic area?  As argued in Heine and Kuteva (2005; 2006), language contacts may be responsible.  Some languages in Europe (e.g. Celtic and Slavic) have preserved archaic structures better than other language families. These languages were not influenced by the Renaissance or Age of Enlightenment. Such social movements accelerated people's movements, which resulted in more contacts than before, which may in turn account for changes in certain languages.
                  2.    Love Eriksen: Developing a GIS database for correlating material culture, linguistics, and geography in prehistoric Amazonia.This presentation explores the spatial distribution and historical relationship between ethno-linguistic groups belonging to the language families Arawak, Carib, and Tupi in northeastern Amazonia. It examines the spatio-temporal distribution of material culture in the region, seeking correlations between defined ethno-linguistic entities and the distribution of specific elements of material culture in space and time. The main goal is to investigate the historical processes that generated the distribution of ethno-linguistic groups recorded at the time of European contact, and to more fully understand the nature of these processes.
                • 11/3 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Jordan Zlatev & Lars-Åke Henningsson, CCS
                  Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2 of Heine & Kuteva (2007): The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction (OUP)

                • 25/3 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Tomas Persson & Gerd Carling, CCS
                  Discussion of Chapters 3 and 4 of Heine & Kuteva (2007): The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction (OUP)
                • February 2009
                  11/2 2009 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  G. Sonesson & J. Zlatev, CCS
                  Diskussion av "SEDSU: Theoretical Summary" (från 2.2.2 Intersubjectivity and joint attention)
                • 12/2 2009 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  Gerd Caling & Anna Redei Cabak, CCS
                  Gerd Carling talar om språket som hjälpmedel i tolkningen av tidig (för)historia och Anna Redei Cabak om kultursemiotiken, såsom den användes i hennes avhandling om Mme de Stael - och vidare utvecklingsmöjligheter
                • 19/2 2009 15:15-17:00, H428b
                  Håkan Lundström, Musicology
                  Håkan Lundström talar om musikalisk typologi, dvs olika parametrar som kan användas i en typologisk studie av musikaliska system.
                • 25/2 2009, 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  G. Sonesson & J. Zlatev, CCS
                  Diskussion av SEDSU: Theoretical Summary": fokus på en studie från varje del av Section 4: active perception, imitation, pictures, conventions + avslutning (Section 5+6).
                • 26/2 2009 13:15-15:00, PC  Datasal,  Humanistlabbet (B054)
                  Jordan Zlatev och Mats Andrén, CCS
                  Vi presenterar artikeln "Stages and transitions in children's semiotic development" och vi diskuterar metodologiska frågor och planerade studier. Texten kan laddas ner härifrån.

                January 2009

                • 21/1 2009 16:15-18:00, H428b
                  G. Sonesson & J. Zlatev, CCS
                  Diskussion av G. Sonesson & J. Zlatev "SEDSU: Theoretical Summary"