Reference : Semiotics and Discourse Studies
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Semiotics and Discourse Studies
Badir, Sémir mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de langues et littératures romanes > Sciences du langage - Rhétorique >]
DiscourseNet Congress #2
13-15 septembre 2016
University of Warwick
[en] semiotics ; discourse studies
[en] In this paper, I would like to discuss the contribution that post-structuralist semiotics has brought to the analysis of academic discourse. The semiotic model was developed initially for the analysis of tales and myths. It has been gradually extended to various forms of fiction (novels, short stories), and then, according to "a growing degree of complexity and abstraction", to all "forms of social production of meaning" (p. 5). This is the project stated in the first pages to a book entitled “Introduction to Discourse Analysis in Social Sciences” (A.J. Greimas & E. Landowski eds, 1979). The generalized extension is based on a typology of discourses that has been illustrated by specific analyses published in the 1980s (Bastide 1981, Bastide & Fabbri 1985, Landowski 1986, Bordron 1987). One may be considered that the research project led by Greimas and Landowski is thus located at the farthest point of development and initial application of the model and it is therefore a test for the narrative hypothesis.
In doing so, the semiotic approach took the risk of being confronted with other models of analysis, such as they were elaborated in theoretical frameworks resulting from rhetoric (renewed in the 1950s by Chaim Perelman and his school ), pragmatics (cf Parret 1983 & 1987), sociology of knowledge (from the founding work of Berger & Luckmann 1966), or as they relate to other theoretical currents in the language sciences (in particular, In France, the Althusserian discourse analysis). For the discourse in social sciences, these models offer two advantages over that of semiotics: on the one hand, it seems that the theoretical postulates on which they are worked out are more directly in accord with this type of discourse; on the other hand, they can count on a solid tradition of studies to ensure the sustainability of the results.
Nevertheless, the model of semiotic analysis is original and it has also an advantage: it is general. I will put forward the benefits of this generality.
Sémiotique et Rhétorique
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Université de Liège

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