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Author(s): Ekaterina Velmezova
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Semiotics / Semiology
Published by: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus

Summary/Abstract: Historically, semiotics and linguistics, on the one hand, and linguistics and biology, on the other, are so closely connected (via borrowings of models and metaphors, the use of similar or even the same schemes, concepts and terms, etc.) that it would be tempting, beginning ab ovo – that is, from the very first basic thesis – and following one of Jesper Hoffmeyer’s definitions of biosemiotics, to define biolinguistics in a similar way. Therefore, if biosemiotics is “a science concerned with the signs of life” (Hoffmeyer 2011a: 80), biolinguistics could be defined as “a science concerned with languages of life” – rather than “the study of the biology and development of language”, as it was declared, in particular, at the very first “biolinguistics conference” (1974), the participants of which manifestly understood biolinguistics differently… It would be particularly captivating, in the study of different “languages of life”, to put human “intellectual” language on a par with other “languages of life”, including, among others, the emotional (or the affective) one(s). As, however, almost every seemingly new concept is in fact an old but well-forgotten one, in the history of ideas, one can find the word biolinguistics in this very meaning.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 271-272
  • Page Count: 2
  • Language: English