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Phenomenology and Semiotics. Crossing Perspectives.


In recent years the study of relationships between semiotics and phenomenology seems to be entering a period of renewed vitality and creativity (CADIOT & VISETTI 2001; ROSENTHAL & VISETTI 2008; 2010; PIOTROWSKI 2009; FONTANILLE 2008; BONDÌ 2012). For a variety of theoretical and historical reasons, there has been a constant osmosis between phenomenological and semiotic methods. In short, on one side, the works and investigations of phenomenologists have provided essential tools to semiotics. To give just an example: the greimasian semiotics theory refers to the process of meaning formation in terms of perceptual apprehension thanks to his original recovery of Merleau-Ponty’s perception theory. On the other, and at the same time, phenomenology is engaged in describing the activity of language and, in particular, the speaking activity (prise de la parole) of a subject which is a “beingin- the-world” (être-au-monde) and a “being-in-the-language” (être-au-langage): this is the paradigmatic case of Merleau-ponty and of his own model of linguistic gesture as emblem of expression. Furthermore, and more deeply, phenomenology and semiotics are methods rather than disciplines (BORDRON 2011). By means of the epoché, phenomenology has tried to return the articulation of the sensible and of the intelligible, and, on the other, the connections between subjectivity and intersubjectivity. Similarly, semiotics has proposed methods of analysis that are applicable to a wide range of domains:from narrative values to social identities, from textual traces to cultural practices with particular reference to their conditions of emergence. In this simultaneously archaeological and constructive orientation, phenomenology and semiotics have brought new challenges concerning the description of the phases of the meaning constitution.