, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 63–72 | Cite as

Typical Cyclical Behavioural Patterns: The Case of Routines, Rituals and Celebrations

  • Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira
Original Paper


The dynamics inherent to the life activity of all living systems presents itself in the form of regular patterns viewed by the observer as taking place in an extended timeline. Routines, rituals and celebrations, each in their own way, are defined by the typical cyclical behavioural patterns exhibited by individuals embedded in specific semiospheres. The particular nature of these semiospheres will determine the distinct patterns of behaviour to be adopted in different life contexts so that existential functions are fulfilled. The restricted and protected family circle normally provides the initial learning environment where the definition of the individual’s Umwelt (von Uexküll 1909, 1934; Ferreira, Biosemiotics 3(1):107–130, 2010, 2011) his/her meaningful world, starts to take shape. This learning process comprehends the progressive identification of distinct physical entities, the development of basic patterns of physical and social behaviour- the incorporation of basic routines and the assignment of meaning to particular events.


Regular patterns of life activity Semiosphere Existential functions Typical cyclical behaviour Routines Semiotic objects Rituals Celebrations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Language, Mind and Cognition Group, Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de LetrasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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