Sign Levels pp 19-37 | Cite as

The Methodology of Semiotic

  • D. S. Clarke
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 96)


We have seen how the modern goals of achieving truth-guaranteeing certainty, simplicity, and linear comprehensiveness are incapable of being realized. There is no foundation to which we can reduce or logically relate areas of knowledge and human culture in a linear progression from what is simple and certain to what is relatively complex and controversial. This chapter discusses the revised goals of consensus, primitiveness, and nonlinear comprehensiveness that are applicable to sign comparisons. We begin with a discussion of the concept of primitiveness, and apply it to some examples of sign levels. We then relate the problems of comparing and contrasting signs at different levels to the discipline known as “semiotic,” and contrast this to related forms of inquiry. The last section of the chapter introduces some methodological problems arising when we attempt to compare and contrast features at differing sign levels.


Ordinary Language Natural Sign Linguistic Expression Count Noun Linguistic Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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