Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (CCS)

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University



Next seminar

  • 7/11. Malgorzata Fabiszak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań). Collective memory and collective identity in the urban space.


Autumn Term Seminars 2019


September 2019

  • 5/9.  Juan Carlos Mendoza-Collazos (Cognitive semiotics, Lund): "Material agency" and "derived intentionality" 

  • 12/9. David Dunér (History of ideas, Lund): Mind in Universe: On the Origin, Evolution, and Distribution of Intelligent Life in Space.
    • Abstract: The presentation discusses the question of mind in space and the ground for an emerging research field, astrocognition, studying the origin, evolution, and distribution of intelligence in Universe. Three cognitive functions are particularly prominent in the history of astrobiology: perception, conceptualization, and analogy. The bio-cultural coevolution of cognition explains the emergence of advanced cognitive skills. An indispensable requisite for the evolution of intelligence, sociability, communication, and advanced technology is intersubjectivity. An intelligent being that has developed advanced technology, would likely have a complex social system, complex communication, and a high degree of distributed cognition. Cognitive semiotics is a key to understand the semiosis involved in astrobiology and astrocognition, such as biosignatures and interstellar communication.
    • Download paper from Calendar of Cognitive Semiotics

  • 19/9, 13-15-14.00 (Please note time). Przemyslaw Zywiczynski, (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torún, Poland). Pantomimic communication: Universal or culture-specific?
    • Abstract: A number of prominent language evolution researchers suggest that the emergence of language could have been preceded by a stage of pantomimic communication (e.g. Arbib 2012, Tomasello 2008). The assessment of pantomimic hypotheses largely depends on a multifaceted investigation of pantomime as a unique semiotic system, since despite its non-linguistic character, it allows for communicating a wide spectrum of meanings (Zlatev et al. 2017). The proponents of pantomimic conceptions agree that a key characteristic of pantomime that makes it a viable candidate for a precursor of languages is its non-conventional character (Żywiczyński 2018). I investigate whether the postulate of the non-conventionality of pantomime should lead to the assumption of its freedom from group-specificity – I summon lines of evidence present in gestural literature (e.g. Poggi & Zomparelli 1987; Kendon, 2004; Kita 2009; McNeill 2012), on language evolution, as well as present the results of a cross-cultural (Polish-Italian) study on understanding pantomimically communicated events.

  • 26/9. No seminar

October 2019

  • 3/10. Thomas Belligh (University of Ghent). Description, explanation, and objects of study in the language sciences.
    • Abstract: In this talk I aim to provide an overview of the various possible objects of study that can be targeted in the language sciences and to provide an account of how these objects of study relate to the concepts of description and explanation. After providing a short overview of the various possible ways of doing describing and explaining in the natural and human sciences, I turn to the specific situation of the language sciences and discuss how the interplay between kinds of data, ways of description and ways of explanation can lead to the creation of quite diverse objects of study. Building on these insights I present a pluralistic yet critical view on the epistemology of linguistics and apply this view by critically assessing the epistemological foundations of Cognitive Linguistics.

  • 10/10. Elena Faur (Romanian Academy, “Sextil Puscariu” Institute of Linguistics and Literary History, Cluj-Napoca). Metaphor in Motivation and Sedimentation Model (MSM) and in Coseriu's Integral Linguistics
    • The Motivation and Sedimentation Model (MSM) has been developed over the past years within the cognitive-semiotic framework. While partially influenced by Coseriu’s matrix, MSM departs from its original roots as its scope is more ambitious than the Coserian one: to account for all semiotic systems as well, and not only for language. As a result, there are naturally similarities, but also differences between the MSM and Coseriu’s theory, as expressed by his famous “matrix” of three levels and three perspectives. In my presentation I will take some metaphor examples, first discussed from the perspective of MSM, and explore the similarities and differences that emerge when interpreting them in the perspective of Coseriu’s Integral Linguistics.

  • 17/10. Aaron Stutz (Emery University and Bohusläns museum): New Paleoneurological Perspectives on the Biocultural Evolution of the Extended Mind.
    • We will discuss exciting findings from the new field of paleoneurology, and their implications for human cognitive semiotic evolution.
    • Download paper from Calendar of Cognitive Semiotics
  • 24/10. Gabriele Giacosa: Sound as the Main Goal: An Enactive Approach to Music
    • Abstract: The goal of my research is to make ground for a transdisciplinary explication of music, bridging the gap between different conceptions in levels of analysis (theory, philosophy, neuroscience, etc.). To do so, I will focus on the phenomenological experience of music, looking for the minimum features required for the identification of music in the listener. Assuming the perspective of cognitive semiotics, I disregard top-down conceptions related to order; instead, I conceive of perceived communicative intentions as the key feature. I argue that music should be studied as an intrinsically meaningful bio-cultural phenomenon.
      Considering similarities between music and language, I assume a human capacity to perceive the degree of relevance of different intentions attributed to sounds, rather than non-contextual hierarchies and categories of intentions; thus, communication of intentionality becomes the core. I suggest re-addressing the developmental notion of “teleomusicality” in intersubjective accounts of (developed) intentionality. By suggesting a higher relevance of development over pre-wiring, enactivist accounts of intentionality and agency allow for a more consistent emergence of meaning in relation to direct perception and intersubjectivity. This allows me to approach music as a study case for comparing representationalism and 4E cognition.

  • 31/10. (Note changed room: H135a). Patrizia Violi, University of Bologna: How things shape memory: The case of monuments and counter-monuments
    • Abstract: My presentation will suggest some possible ways to connect cognitive and cultural semiotics investigating the role that material artefacts can play in the process of constructing cultural memory. In particular I will analyse the semiotic strategies of monumentalisation and counter-monumentalisation.

November 2019

  • 7/11. Malgorzata Fabiszak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań). Collective memory and collective identity in the urban space.
    • Abstract: I focus on how the cultural landscape of the city of Poznań reflects and is reflected in the discourses of memory and identity of its inhabitants. In particular, I look at how cemeteries can become sites of both individual and collective memory. I have selected two places for closer investigation: a reconstruction of the Jewish cemetery in Głogowska Street and the war cemetery in Cytadela Park. The two sites were used in focus groups interviews and as keywords in searching for articles in the local newspapers. These two sets of data were then analysed with the tools developed in the Discourse Historical Approach (Reisigl 2017, Reisigl and Wodak 2009, Wodak and Krzyżanowski 2008). They reveal the complex patterns of remembering and erasure of the presence of the Jews in the city and of the memory of the Nazi German occupation and their battle with the Soviet army in 1945.

  • 14/3. Georgios Stampoulidis; Alexandra Mouratidou (students at Cognitive semiotics): Polysemiotic communication and multimodality: in street art metaphors and street art narratives — Choice Awareness and Manipulation Blindness: A cognitive semiotic exploration of choice-making and memory. Presentations of talk given at Greek semiotics conference.
    • Abstract (Polysemiotic communication): Metaphor and narrative have often been discussed (with much controversy) but rarely together (e.g. Fitzpatrick and Farquhar, 2019). As cognitive semiotics aims to integrate concepts and methods from semiotics, cognitive science and cognitive linguistics, we endeavor to offer a coherent terminology, which distinguishes the notions of sensory modalities (vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste) and semiotic systems (language, depiction and gesture) (Stampoulidis et al., 2019; Zlatev, 2019). My work focuses on street art, an often visually perceived socio-cultural medium that typically incorporates two interacting semiotic systems (language and depiction), and is thus, polysemiotic (Stampoulidis et al., 2019). In this way, we refer to semiotic systems in which metaphors (and other rhetorical figures) and narratives can be expressed avoiding terminological ambiguity. In this presentation, I discuss methods and results from two recently published studies: (a) a study on street art metaphors (Stampoulidis and Bolognesi, 2019) and (b) a study on street art narratives (Stampoulidis, 2019).
    • Abstract (Manipulation blindness): “Blindness” to choice is widely considered to be part of human cognition, designating unreliable agents who essentially lack choice awareness (e.g. Johansson et al. 2005). Cognitive semiotics (Zlatev 2015), however, suggests a variety of factors that influence choice-making and acknowledges different degrees of awareness. We propose “manipulation blindness” as a more adequate term to suggest that “blindness” is strictly limited to the level of detection, and not to the level of choice. This presentation describes the empirical study, focusing on memory, consequence, and affectivity as factors able to influence the detection of manipulation, and discusses the results, indicating that we are aware of our choices and that we have, to various degrees, access to our intentional acts.

  • 21/11 Ole Nedergaard Thomsen (Copenhagen Business School):Towards an integral cybersemiotic discourse pragmatics



  • 28/11 Piotr Konderak, UMCS Lublin: Mapping multisensorial perceptions onto polysemiotic responses - dynamic, enactive and cognitivist perspectives
    • A talk inspired by W. Allen’s film "Manhattan” (1979), in particular the first scene, where a narrator attempts to describe New York. Subsequent descriptions are accompanied by black-and-white images of NY/Manhattan and Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue"...


December 2019

  • 5/12. ?
  • 12/12 ?
  • 19/12 ?

Centre for Cognitive Semiotics Thursday seminar, 29 March 2012.

Seminars are held 13:15-15:00 every Thursday at SOL:H428b, unless otherwise indicated.

Please note that, after an experiment a year ago with moving the seminar to Fridays, we have now returned to having it on Thursdays.