The Road Forms in Walking: Linguistic Conventions and Conventionalization in a Peircian Perspective
Ole Nedergaard Thomsen (Roskilde)
Language is seen deontologically either as static precondition, in the ‘Saussurean’ trend, or as dynamic guidance, in the ‘Peircean’ trend. The former is bound up with ‘substance’ ontology, the latter with ‘process’ ontology. Endorsing Peircean-pragmaticism, it is proposed that language, on the level of practice, be viewed primarily as an inter-individual, bio-cultural, telic, creative, context-sensitive, we-intentional semiotic process of symbolization, guided by symbolic conventions incessantly negotiated and created on an integrated meta-level of tradition and on the basis of the universal level of the language institution. Convention is thereby an emergent result of conventionalization. Linguistic symbolization is further a reciprocal triadic communicative semiosis, targeting semiotic reference by signs as well as their interpretants, created by the interlocutors.