William J. Carrasco (Hunter College, CUNY)
From the Sign to the Passage: A Saussurean Perspective
Abstract : This presentation traces the development of Saussure’s concept of the sign (or kenome) to the notion of passage proposed by François Rastier. This way of viewing semiosis substitutes the two-faced monadic sign with an open-ended and fully contextualized relation between two planes of language. While a sign is an artifact of interpretation, a passage is a moment of ongoing interpretation, a praxeology. The passage thus participates in a rhetorical-hermeneutic problematic based on a deontology and a non-realism, instead of a logico-grammatical or representational problematic. Although it has been developed within the semiotics of natural languages, the passage offers us a new way of looking at other semiotic performances and thereby contribute to the development of the semiotics of cultures.