Above is the “Picture of Language” which governs many chapters to come. Language is made concrete or “iconic,” and the lower case here indicates that iconization is not derived from a word but a graphic design. The terms beginning with “Qualisign” are, however, capitalized throughout this study to signal my own adaptation of Peirce’s “Classes of Signs” (1960, pp. 146-150, par. 2.254-2.265). One basic difference is numeric, since Peirce offers ten classes and the Picture nine, for reasons to be explained. Peirce’s “formal. . . doctrine of signs” (1960, p. 134, par. 2.227) is thus not followed slavishly because logic “in its general sense” is to him only another name for “semiotic” (ibid.). By sheer definition, a Picture of Language must focus on properties of words if it is to stay “logical” in a systematic approach to this subject. Regarding the qualifier itself, Peirce (1960, p. 134, par. 2.227) traces “semiotic” to Greek “semeiotikey” (in my transliteration). Although his trinary system is followed in Europe by some (M. Bense et al.), there exists also the term “semiology,” which goes back in part to the binary division of Saussure that side of the Atlantic (Hawkes, 1977, p. 124; Wienold, 1972, pp. 11-12). Those further interested in the development of semiotic concepts might find enlightening Sebeok’s “‘Semiotics’ and its Congeners” (1976, chapter 2, pp. 47-58 ff.).
In any case, the basic nomenclature of Peirce’s signs is retained for the Picture of Language though boosted by the following additions. First, there are the insertions within the three trichotomies marked “form,”“content,” and “context.” These nouns designate the material base, conceptual essence, and semantic function of (word) meanings when wielded in the final trichotomy of context. Second, the adjectives “hyletic,” “noematic,” and “noetic” to some extent paraphrase the nouns; they denote the concrete foundation of meaning(s), the content, and the ultimate act(ivity) that is always involved in context. Next, “material content,” “formal content,” and “direction-factor” are phenomenological concepts Ingarden coined to designate facets of word meanings. At this preliminary stage, the purpose of the exposition is just to introduce phenomenology in conjunction with semiotics--if the previous effort of ontological placement with the aid of phenomenology is not to be wasted, particularly in view of Peirce’s stress on logic cited above. When the detailed specifications take over, the full role of phenomenology for the last trichotomy will also emerge. From an aspect of basic nomenclature, let me stress early that my use of “form” and Ingarden’s “formal” are not merely ways of rendering synonyms clad in a noun or adjective. If that were the case, their position would not differ as shown. Rather, Ingarden’s formal content will turn out to focalize implicit meaning, whereas the form of the first trichotomy belongs to the explicit base of language at its primary level of sonorous and visual concretion.
Now to the trichotomies: they correspond to form, content, and context in a hierarchical order of semiotic generation, reaching their maximal stage of consciousness at the “Interpretant” level, as the readings for M-O-I below the trichotomies indicate. In addition, a small triangle can be seen above the trichotomies; its purpose is mainly heuristic for localizing the M-O-I generation. When the trichotomies are taken up separately, the same M-O-I order will be added to each trichotomy. The first two trichotomies in the triangular shape will bear M at their apex, 0 at their left, and I at their right angles. Although the third trichotomy possesses three loose strands, M also commences with the strand at the top, followed by 0 and I at the lower two strands.
For the present, the M-0-I order signals mainly the triadic relation among the trichotomies. Very conspicuous from that aspect is the gradual M-0-I incline of generation, made “iconic” or visually concrete enough through the gradual climb to the top. This hierarchy is paralleled by the broken lines within the trichotomies that lead “up” to the next trichotomy from the last. Of course, in an organic, hermeneutic relationship, human consciousness alone makes any relationality possible, shaping content through the use of the form. Indeed, this aspect of organic relationality corresponds tacitly to the premise behind Continental phenomenology, which is that all objects are essentially objects of consciousness. Conversely, 1-0-M in decline marks semiotic degeneration. That is the fate of “dead” languages--and not just a “dead” metaphor which has lapsed into ordinary (“literal”) meaning. These languages “exist” merely in Qualisign form on stone tablets and equivalent materials. With their semantic content evaporated, the forms disclose only that a language once existed in full generation. However, so-called dead Classical languages, such as ancient Greek and Latin, do not belong here, since all they have lost is their viable situational context (at I). Such a degeneration is far less drastic; the same applies to the dead metaphor to be probed further in the appropriate place.
The fact that this semiotic schema projects exclusively a Picture of Language is affirmed further by the “Recipient” and “Referent” perpendicular to the trichotomies. Depicted as vertical prongs, these activities constrain the trichotomies like a vise. The terms for these two functions also stay capitalized in order to emphasize their special application to this Picture of Language. “People” as such would be too simplistic in construal. Recipient and Referent denote respectively the linguistic inception and reception entailed in interlocutory partnership. The Referent may be equated with the act of meaning the selected meanings bring forth; the Recipient marks construal of such a Referent through the meanings at hand. Essentially, a Referent and Recipient meet in a given verbal or written message. The Recipient appears at the degenerate end of the trichotomies because it confronts the form of language whereas the Referent belongs to the highest generate point where an Interpretant seeks new contents for contextualization. When following the usual left-to-right sequence in written language, the Recipient seems to come first on the Picture but does not take priority over the Referent. The latter assumption would be misleading, since the Referent is the catalyst for all expression.
To get a better idea of the depth marking the locus of the Referent, the page should be turned ninety degrees, leaving the Recipient uppermost. From that perspective, then, the Recipient hovers over the surface of language; it must penetrate form and content in order to arrive at the deep-seated Referent lodged in context for any given contextualization of contents. No less is expected here of my readers; they are not confronting discrete vocables but constituents molded to my authorial intent, be the surface plain or figurative. Indeed, had neo Aristotelians explored this depth in determining metaphor instead of poring over a lexical surface, this study need never have been written. What Referent and Recipient affirm together is the sphere of ontic heteronomy isolated in the previous chapter with the aid of Ingarden. Both stand for exclusive linguistic activity; anything connected with these trichtomies must be filtered through their function. In their way, the Referent and Recipient (in generative order of priority) safeguard against the ontological category-mistake, which causes critics to jump beyond these activities into ontic autonomy as they substantiate metaphor within language in terms of violated categories by violating the very bounds of language.
The same factor of linguistic self-determination governs the three faculties below the diagram of the trichotomies--the “perceiving,” “knowing,” and “willing” entered for each trichotomy. Though not capitalized here, these faculties must be similarly confined to the use of language and thus embody aspects of linguistic competence while anything outside of the word remains (for the present) encyclopedic knowledge. Two of the terms for these faculties were actually extracted from a passage in Peirce (there capitalized; 1960, pp. 198-189, par. 1.375). Peirce associates them with Kant’s three “departments” governing a “trisection” of the mind though tracing back their origin further to older “dogmatic philosophers.” Moreover, the only “dogmatism” I wish to eradicate concerns the affective ring in “feeling” that Peirce lists for the first of the three faculties. The reference to feeling has thus been replaced by “perceiving.” Peirce’s allusion to Kant in itself is a constant reminder of those “udders” (quoted in my introduction) that nurtured him. Such is the influence upon him of the man he revered as a “King” of modern thought and as a builder of metaphysical systems second only to Aristotle.
The above faculties thus embody some of that “Critical” heritage elucidated in the last chapter. However, a parallel historical connection does not apply to phenomenology. An exception is Ingarden’s mentor, Husserl, who wrote an essay on the logic of signs (1970; see also Sebeok, 1976, p. 49). The essay acknowledges the role of language as an “artifact” whose “artificial” (künstliche) signs remain freely “made up” or “invented” (erfunden, 1970, pp. 365-368). So Husserl certainly recognizes the conventional, spontaneous base of language while dealing with the logic of signs. Still, Husserl did not make full use of that information in the way his successor Ingarden did. Husserl explains, for instance, how “natural thought” (das natürliche Denken) keeps signs under its control (p. 367) when, actually, only that thought which language controls becomes “natural” in language. Thought, identified with the second trichotomy of “knowing” in the Picture of Language, must be derived from the word between Referent and Recipient. Authorial “willing” then makes it possible for a context to forge new semantic contiguities in a release of meaning from meanings.
Husserl reappears briefly in this study, primarily in the adjectives taken from phenomenology. For this cursory glance, however, the trichotomies in their basic triadic interaction take precedence: together with the vertical prongs and three faculties they constitute the functional requisites of reference and transference. Although the very term gives the impression that a “Referent” alone governs “reference,” the relation is not that simple. Ultimately, a Referent becomes the catalyst for an authorial will to “form” context (quite literally) by deploying elements of the first trichotomy for purposes of expressing authorial intent at the last. Transference, thus induced, causes selected constituents to shift in their reference in order to release authorial intent as new, unified meaning. That is how all content arises at the second trichotomy and becomes recorded in full activity, ready to serve once more the next recall with further expansion of content in contextualization, which is what happens right here. The chosen explicit denominations constitute “reference,” while the implicit ones arise with transference in new semantic integration. That is the processing “natural” to a natural language. Linguistic expression is always willed; knowing and perceiving arise teleologically from wielding words through authorial intent.
Despite this affirmation of cognitive independence for each language, the “universal” factor is not ignored either but is at least held in check. Otherwise my reference would hardly be to a Picture of “Language” in the singular. This Picture carries what all languages must possess in essence and faculty. In that respect, ontic heteronomy becomes one sphere. The Picture thus treats language as a single substratum just because there is not a language in the world able to flourish without the trichotomies and the activities specified. This universalism notwithstanding, semantic competence resides only in languages of specific denominations, just as wielding English remains confined strictly to its community of speakers.
That warning of separate identity has to be sounded regularly, not only to obviate confusion with a Chomskyan type of logical “universalism” but also to resist categoricians at large who fall prey to the ontological category-mistake by detecting metaphor in wrong, wholly universal, categories. Non-Aristotelian semantics instead has as its regulative, cognitive source the act of meaning which: omes from without by originating with individual speaker intent while it nevertheless reinforces language from within by involving only speech activity in one language. The act of meaning would possess no regulative prowess if it did not engender every part of semantic content in all the cognitive bounds a language can muster. This is the reason why ontic heteronomy as one semantic sphere bears entities dependent on “heterogeneous” signitive acts that mold meanings to their meaning, much as the products become “objective” once they are intersubjectively internalized and shared in their given language.
The importance of the above findings should become progressively more evident. At this juncture, the signs are to be contrasted only in their basic tasks. Beginning with the first trichotomy of form, this breaks into Qualisign material, Sinsign composition, and Legisign validation. Though last in the order of generation, the Legisign is first in importance: without its stamp of approval, Qualisign and Sinsign remain quite literally “useless” in any language. In English, “*og” or “*od” may not be deployed because they have not been validated as available vocables; their asterisk thus signals nonexistence for this language. They are unacceptable not from any lack of judgment but simply through being by-passed for validation. Strictly speaking, the above “forms” are then not forms at all, since, despite the recognizable letters, no perception may lead to authorial selection. The opposite applies to the verbs “do”/“go” brought up with the “dog”/“god” palindrome; these unstarred versions equal validated Sinsigns that accordingly bear Legisign endorsement. Since a conventional, volitional system such as language needs validation if it is to exist at all for interlocutory partners in individual languages, Legisigns foster truth in the manner explained with Cassirer, hence as disclosure of indigenous activity.
Essentially, the Legisign makes an arbitrary state absolute . That is where the (former) “M” matriarch or “Mother” dominates over native speakers, coercing these into using a “legitimate” repertoire. With conscious assent a requisite, the Legisign must be placed at the right angle that the small triangle reveals as the Interpretant corner. Put paradoxically, Legisign validation invalidates the arbitrary state which, in lingusitic skepticism, too often becomes identified with the being of language. Once a meaning actually exists as Legisign, any Qualisign idiosyncrasy is ready for projecting the material base of a word as sound or visual sign. A conspicuous case of Qualisign dimensions in what might be called orthographic “domes-dots-dashes” surely surfaced with the “cuckoo” of the former cartoon, enlarged in boldface through a generous sickle-shaped “C,” a horseshoe “U” and some rings projecting “O.”
To be sure, the optic confrontation does not exclude sound either. sound is present in transmuted form; no language can be read smoothly if its sound is not in one’s ears--a personal experience for which I can vouch when certain target languages start to elude me from lack of practice. However, what matters most at this stage of investigation is the awareness that Qualisigns congeal, forming Sinsign composites that are governed largely by the phonemic makeup of words. In the age of electronic duplication, Qualisigns stay fairly standardized, but Sinsign violation through misspelling, typographical error, and related lapses is harder to circumvent. Let me also stress early that the Qualisigns and Sinsigns validated in tactile-manual forms for the handicapped and similar unique cases will be excluded from my study.
“Up” the incline and/or broken line by the Legisign is to be found the second trichotomy of content. “Second” for this O-trichotomy between the M-I trichotomies takes on the real meaning of “middle.” The trichotomy’s first two signs, Icon and Index, oppose one another as explicit and implicit denominations of content. The Icon thus appropriates the form in explicit denominations at M-locus within this trichotomy, and it is for that reason always protected by copyright laws as the most direct, denotative reference in exteriorization of an authorial will. Furthermore, the Icon is crucial for this study because it stands for the lexicon, where neo-Aristotelians erroneously place their “metaphor.” The Index conversely arises with the transference to which the Icon is subjected time and again. Fusing inwardly with the act of meaning, the Index emits connotations relevant to that act(ivity). The Icon and Index are thus the vehicles for any contextualization of contents, irrespective of their denominational appearance. Hence they cannot, by themselves, without an altered function at context (I), give rise to a special “metaphor” of substance. Yet the later discussions reveal how even Peirce could not stay immune to an Iconic metaphor he termed “Hypoicon.”
That lexical neutrality, in fact, which governs Legisign entry into any context forces Icons to discharge their function equally once validated Legisigns are passed on to serve a signitive act, with simultaneous expansion at the level of the Index. Simple “analogies” and/or “anomalies” thus do not account for the formations of Icons and (their) Indexes; these forge instead an oppositional value system derived from the use of one language, hence of synchronic associations so vast that no narrow apples-and-oranges identity in difference could possibly apply. In that network, something like the Index “fool” in the English Icon “cuckoo” constitutes only one infinitesimal positive/privative value that has become sufficiently redundant to have reached full normalization. What is truly abnormal, however, is the way in which neo-Aristotelians turn out to subvert Icons and Indexes through proxy-tenet barter, forcing an implicit content into “denoting” for an explicit one in some imagined form of transference.
As noted, the Icon is fixed at (M) apex of its trichotomy, and the Index at (0) left angle in the small triangle. Thus, when both “cuckoo” and “fool” are rendered as explicit Icons, values differ from the seemingly identical denominations carried by an Index. From the semiotic aspect, therefore, the differing denominations “cuckoo” and “fool” have more in common as two Icons than the same denominations “fool” and “fool” when one of them is an Icon and the other an Index. Otherwise there would be no point in stressing the M-0 locus for each. In my own understanding of linguistic meaning, I am aware that my discussion of the Index “fool” forces me to exteriorize the import in a denotation--at which point the Index has actually become an Icon!
Originally, too, the trichotomies were in color. Considerations of cost then forced me to change to symbols. The color green formerly stood for the first trichotomy of form to suggest the very ground of language; the Icon perpetuated that chromatic identifier, bearing an asterisk of the same color as the immediate beneficiary of validated form. Ingarden’s “material content” also bore that color as part of that same foundation, in essence linguistic “matter.” Now a dot (.) must present these identifications. Next, the original color for the second trichotomy, which was red, had no significance other than to distinguish from the first. This color linked the Index to its own, second trichotomy as well as to Ingarden’s “formal content” with a matching chromatic asterisk, for which a plus sign (+) now appears. The differences in either case, color or marker, certainly sever the meaning of “form” from “formal,” as already insinuated. Indeed, anything associated with the Index can be seen clearly as the innermost middle--(0) sign of the (0) trichotomy, the object-relation of object-relation! This is the seat of linguistic competence and concept formation, giving rise to categories indigenous to signitive acts, exactly how will be explicated fully.
Beyond the Index lies the Symbol, at what constitutes the right angle, the Interpretant level of this trichotomy. In that locus, the Symbol parallels the Legisign of the first trichotomy, with a broken line similarly going “up” from its locus to the next trichotomy. The “#” marker now replaces the original identifying color of the last trichotomy, which was blue. The same identifier extends to Ingarden’s concept, the direction-factor, which now carries the same marker as the Symbol and last trichotomy. The whole middle trichotomy thus reveals a greater complexity than the first: each sign is linked either degeneratively or generatively with one of the other trichotomies, barring the Index that bears its own identifier. The generate hierarchy has Symbol anticipate new potential of context in a type of forward direction suggesting “future” in temporality, a potential all purposive domains embody in their unpredictable self-determination, as pointed out already. Indeed, the Symbol at the “gate” of context mediates between the dialectics of acquisition and new articulation in feedback and feedforward. (The latter term was borrowed from a work essentially unrelated to the study of meaning: see Koontz and O’Donnell, 1978, pp. 473-478, 485).
The role given the Symbol here is thus rather specific, certainly more so than the broad application of the term “symbol” which cropped up while discussing Cassirer, Heidegger, and Peirce. Were it not vital to preserve Peircean nomenclature for his sign classes, another term might have been chosen. To indicate that the Symbol from the Picture of Language is meant, my study will not only capitalize the term but add the qualifier “semiotic” whenever possible. How does the semiotic Symbol relate in precept to Ingarden’s direction-factor? As cursory answer I might say that the direction-factor, true to its name, “directs” signitive consciousness to assume this or that thought content in accordance with the semantic valence a meaning has formed. In essence, the direction-factor constitutes that intrinsic semantic pointer or referential vector invested with the valence meanings acquire from their use, hence in reference through transference. My much reiterated example of “fool” in “cuckoo” is a case in point; the association between the material content of this Icon and its implicit Index came into being through the dialectics of speech and not as an isomorphic genus to species classification of autonomous-ideal proportions. The direction-factor thus also turns out to be crucial for dispelling the oversimplified notions about a reference divorced from transference which plague traditional approaches to metaphor.
Although the signs of the first two trichotomies have now been introduced, one more criterion of Ingarden’s should be added because of its great importance in this study, and that concerns the “schematic” nature of the material content an Icon possesses. Ingarden’s interpretation of “Schema” (1965, pp, 64,264) applies to the natural ambiguity of semantic entities, something so often misapprehended today. To illustrate, no creature with feathers can be obtained from the word “cuckoo” even when it names the bird in some context instead of the human fool. All meanings may offer is their Qualisign dimensions. These, of course, should inform a discerning critic of the distinctiveness--that Humboldtian interposition--which sets language apart from the empirical (autonomous-real) domain. But that level was said to be so degenerate that speakers mostly ignore it even if, in their competence, they cannot do without it when they want to avail themselves of their language. Then, too, Qualisigns were seen to be so degenerate that they might continue to exist after a language has actually undergone demise by being no longer “in” the word.
The point is, however, that even when the material stays naturally connected to language in the capacity of the Legisign, a meaning cannot equal the vibrant corporeality of autonomous-real entities. The ultimate point is of course that meanings should not be compared that way; linguistic skeptics who do so obviously invite trouble by not concentrating on the issues. One of these is that the schema invests semantic entities with the requisite suppleness for their task of materializing and embodying an act of meaning without losing their self-identity, something the entities of ontic autonomy, real or ideal, cannot do. The cartoon depicting leaves as natural objects and in words surely made that point: whatever the graphic leaves gained in the vibrant zigzag of their multifarious shapes, only the English words that came in a set print of Qualisign zigzag managed to pun inimitably with the noun and verb as elucidated at the time. That is what words are for, not to imitate empirical things. Only speakers of English glean the orthographic material content which leads--or “directs”--them to “leaves” in all the significance this Icon has amassed through repeated Indexicalization, while the graphic zigzag is anyone’s game as autonomous-real counterpart.
Now to the last and open trichotomy of context. Because it is open, a closed alternative has to be added when all the requisite contacts made in the contextualization of contents necessitate a type of “closure.” A foregone conclusion of one relevant contact would be the interaction among contents selected to bring forth the signitive act that chose them, and another would pertain to the interlocutory partnership which fosters the reciprocal Referent and Recipient roles. Then language as a whole makes contact with some concrete situational or written setting when articulated anew. The open strands, however, are of special importance for the immediate discussion because they exemplify the three (nonlexical) “structures” based exclusively on units and operations natural to language.
The Rheme is the “first” structure when beginning as before with the M-sign, although this is no longer lodged at a triangular apex. My reference to the number appears in quotation marks to insinuate that order in the way of generate hierarchy does not really count here. Yet despite suspending generate hierarchy, the M-locus will invest the Rheme with special significance: as expression of lyric poetry, the Rheme draws quite literally on the pure “material” which marks the disposition the Icons of a language have to offer. My former citation from the Richards poem bore the emphasis of language as “Mother,” actually in anticipation of this discussion, since Rhemic Icons in their pristine state become the germinal ground for the intent of the poet, whom Richards relegated to fatherhood.
Dicent, which follows the Rheme spatially in a downward direction, takes its place at 0-level of object-relation insofar as it is the middle strand. Again, a change in generate hierarchy is not so much at issue as is pinpointing the idiosyncrasy of this structure. For Dicent will evolve as the sphere of fictional “objects,” hence entities forged from language with an aura of “reality” attached to them, a world consisting of simulated persons in their various preoccupations and places. Finally, below Dicent appears Argument. Though not “low” in a strictly degenerate sense, the structure does not enjoy a higher point of generation because it becomes associated with the remaining I-locus that imparts primarily an Interpretant role.
All three structures are subjugated to the great equalizer of function: it necessitates the instigation by an act of meaning whose selected meanings then Iconize and Indexicalize the act at depth, through the interaction between reference and transference. That equality is further underscored by that point of confluence which takes over from the broken line coming from the (semiotic) Symbol. No matter what the use, language must draw on extant form in order to form a new expression into meaningful content. The Symbol at the gate of the last internalized trichotomy implements that integration through feedforward, feeding back the articulated expansion of meaning for a possible, or future, feedforward. Due to that basic M-0 source at the point of confluence, language indeed always looks the same at the surface, a fact that sadly confused the critics of metaphor, who hoped some colorful surface could make the difference to their principle, perhaps to the point of disclosing a literary use, which cannot happen.
Strictly speaking, to be sure, the differing structures drawing on the M-0 trichotomies convert the signs at M-0 to a “Rhematic Qualisign . . .”and so forth. But that distinction, too, stays functional instead of lexical. Could anyone tell here from my explicit contents (or Icons) that my structure was Argument? As author I can be as figurative in style as I care to be; as critic I must operate within Argument whether my wording is formal or funny. Not reckoning with this rule caused trouble for the Ingendahl Experiment. Structure brands content no matter what the denominations. The third trichotomy is of course complex enough to require the most careful scrutiny. At this preliminary stage, I shall attempt only to elucidate basic connections with Ingarden’s findings of the last chapter which were however not entered in the Picture of Language.
First, Argument accounts for the one adequated “literal” use which operates through the acquisition of a reality-nexus in the juxtaposition between a pure and an objective referent. Conversely, Dicent and Rheme present two non-adequated counterparts that draw only on the pure referent, for which reason alone they attain their literary status as respective fictional and lyric genres. Theirs will be a difference in size of constitutional unit(y), with an extended transference obtaining for the Rheme. While transference as such logically cannot become an issue when it is always in force as indicated, the Rheme trades on a unique mode of transference. The micro-component of the Rheme subjugated to this modification evolves as a functional non-Aristotelian metaphor. Based on a special form of transference, this Rhemic constituent still remains true to the Greek origin of the term “metaphora,” denoting a transferral, yet it will have the added advantage that it cannot “destruct,” “die,” or just disappear from its context.
Although Argument seemed the “last” and “lowest” strand here, it will be taken up first when the third trichotomy is analyzed. One reason for this order of presentation is that Argument in this study accounts for the most basic origin of that mother tongue where every speaker starts, not just the fictional author and/or poet. Going “up” in what would seem a degenerate order, the exposition continues with Dicent, leaving the Rheme to the end. That conclusion returns me to the M-level and amounts to the second reason for the order of presentation since I vowed to finish with the structure harboring the non-Arisotelian metaphor. Such an approach should also benefit the final adjunct by placing the non-Aristotelian and neo-Aristotelian types of metaphors in closest proximity.
To be sure, lexical deviance in any of the structures can be retained for an ad hoc type of assessment of metaphor that critics may share with the lay public at large, for which reason the neo-Aristotelian precept stays of so little use. I, too, avail myself of this descriptive application but am forced to recognize the limitations of such a use. Indeed, the textual analyses will note any possible lexical deviance that may qualify as the traditional metaphor, but never without realizing how little can be gained in semantics by seizing on such a flimsy phenomenon. Nor does my theory have to exclude the more unconventional forms of contemporary literature, such as the experimental vignettes of Concrete Poetry. That assurance can be rendered with full conviction due to my past study of this subject matter. At the time, I posited a “Rheme” also for those types of texts, though generally explored in conjunction with a (looser) “connex” instead of a regular context (Gumpel, 1976, pp. xiii-xiv, 65-66,90-95 ff.). Still, there is nothing in that distinction which would contradict my findings here, on the contrary, they would complement one another.
With that issue taken care of as well, the theory to be presented here should bring to fruition the search for a science of meaning and fulfill the hopes of Breal and followers. As one immediate and crucial reminder at this stage, let me show here the conspicuous difference between tradition and my theory: the neo-Aristotelian metaphor is locked into the second trichotomy, at the Icon; the non-Aristotelian metaphor appears at the level of the Rheme, hence in the third trichotomy. Where the traditional principle is shown, there is no function because activity breaks out only at context. That difficulty in itself should cause instability for the neo-Aristotelian metaphor. Ingarden’s contribution of adequation certainly aided me in stabilizing my principle, even if I modified his general binary division by differentiating the non adequated use further with two literary genres.
The triadic schema of sign classes shown in the Picture of Language has thus been maintained by positing three structures I devised with Ingarden’s further help, although this was not depicted but merely elucidated above. The very fact that Peirce kept metaphor confined to an (Hypo-)Icon would prove inadequate for the functional base this study intends to bestow on this principle. Another possible problem with semiotics is that it embraces a so-called synechism. Apparently Peirce envisaged synechism in an “architectonic conception” based on the “idea of continuity” (M. Thompson, 1963, pp. 118 ff.). Peirce himself alludes to synechism in an instance (1960, p. 470, par. 4.584) that deals with the constitution of knowledge and of nature: he speaks of it as something ready to “burst in upon the mind with cataclysmic multitude and restlessness.” Yet too much “multitude” hampers consistency, and continuity must be curbed by incisive boundaries, preferably of the kind Ingarden had so wisely provided through the functional presence or absence of adequation.
One might also take a hint from Hawkes (1977, p. 128), who notes that, in the wide “complexity” of semiotics, anything fit for potential isolation and connection with something else may, in due course of interpretation, end up as a sign. A recent collaborative volume on semiotics, aptly entitled “Perfusion of Signs,” displays such an overwhelming profusion of applications that a cataclysmic multitude might not sound exaggerated. One entry there by Sebeok, “Ecumenicalism in Semiotics” (Sebeok, 1977, pp. 180-202), also offers further insight into some of that breadth. The same author in a later work (1979, pp. 61-83) goes on to discuss truly “global properties of sign systems,” not forgetting to concede that the “holistic force of semiotics” has also become its “distinctive burden.” (See additionally the collaborative bilingual work of Kristeva, et al., eds., 1971.) In Eco’s introductory study (1972, pp. 267-292), semiotics is not forgotten in its ramified advertising potential for dispensing soaps and the like--a veritable “logomachy” of “Visual-Verbal Rhetoric,” to quote from the essay by Bonsiepe (1972) in a closely related topic.
The Picture of Language thus anchors semiotics in its one exclusive application for semantics. A single example from Peirce might suffice for now to substantiate the need for such delimitation. While discussing “Degenerative Signs,” Peirce (1960, p. 151, par. 2.265) seizes on street cries that he reduces from a Symbolic to an “Indexical Legisign.” (The terms are capitalized in Peirce’s own, often somewhat erratic exploitation of English Qualisign properties.) To non-Aristotelian semantics, street cries parallel content instead of function at context. If part of everyday language, street cries go into adequation, and, if fictional or poetic, they remain conversely non-adequated, in which case their tasks change substantially. Lifted out of context, street cries project only the type of spotsighting criticised with the Ingendahl Experiment. Any lay person can recognize the mundane tenor of such lexical vestiges; only an expert of language is able to explicate where content reinforces contextualization differently, leaving Peirce’s “Indexical” qualifier quite literally meaningless for the functioning of language at depth.
The street cries only affirm what I termed Legisign neutrality with respect to lexical denominations. No content as such is barred from any of the three structures even if such prosaic vestiges as street cries hardly call up the imagery of poetry. So nothing of substance is shown with these cries beyond taxonomy of content as specific type of imagery present at the Iconic level, hence without a full Indexicalization. Indeed, the only “ground” for the “streets” of these “cries” Peirce himself had made plain quite inadvertently for this context, namely when he based his “Division of Signs” on “Ground, Object, and Interpretant” (1960, pp. 134 ff., par. 2.227). Well, the context as Interpretant of the third trichotomy alters the very “ground” that has the street cries resound.
To stress the functional aspect, I conclude with a listing of the reciprocal interlocutory roles which amount to equivalents of the Referent and Recipient interaction. Following that listing, the two basic components of language are offered though not without the trichotomies divided between them.
These roles, of course, also reflect a universal factor since no language can exist without them in a literate speech community. The same applies to the two major components of language (p. 63), above which the three trichotomies are placed. Despite the apparent division of the M-0 trichotomies to the left internalized side and the I-trichotomy to the right externalized side, a schism is not really induced. Ultimately only the acquired shared side makes possible new articulation among interlocutory partners.
These set bilateral designations may well be vertical elaborations of one another and, much as they stay vertically divided, they also belong together horizontally due to the dialectic swing which goes from articulation back to acquisition and vice versa. With the reference to “social” and, above the components--where the “roles” are--to a “public,” there is the suggestion that language is never without a natural “extrinsic” contact, an issue which crops up with some contemporary dogmatists who insist on keeping language wholly “intrinsic” without proper explanation. That point came up earlier in the defense of Ingarden against his (Marxist) opponents. Every renewed exteriorization in syntagma actually forces language into some renewed contact with the empirical world even when there is no reality-nexus as such, since speakers reside in that world as historically determined beings. This contact becomes indirectly recorded through Symbolic mediation and readied for the next recall “up” any of the three strands, permitting commonplaces to enter the next novel or poem even if made literary in the process, as just illustrated with Peirce’s street cries.
In a related issue, the table below (p. 63) indicates that the left, internalized side, rather than the right, stays “free” because it is the locus where discrete vocables, and thus latent values of semantic or “semasiological” differentiation, are lodged. Conversely, the right side is the one which “fixes” constituents by fusing them to the unit(y) that coheres in any transaction between reference and transference. Such vestiges as street cries then remain fused to either a literal or literary setting in full regeneration. The argument over what stays fused or free in linguistic meaning has also been misunderstood. Ullmann, for example, observes in a context describing how language becomes “built up” that it is “language” which is “fixed” while “speech” remains “free” (1972, pp. 21-22). Yet it is the other way around if meaning is to issue from meanings. To be sure, originally the choice for speech is limitless, which is why it resides in that Symbolic “future” possibility elucidated. But the (semiotic) Symbol is still part of the second trichotomy of content. When actualized at context, meanings become set in their (chosen) meaning. That is what Ingarden will be seen to stress also by his frequent reference to “finite” expression.
|INTERNALIZED ACQUISITION||EXTERNALIZED ARTICULATION|
|CORPUS (INUENTORV)||EXPAESSION (CONSTITUTION)|
|SEHASIOLDGICAL DIFFERENTIATION||SEHANTIC INTEGRATION|
|UERTICRL ASSOCIATION||LINEAR SEQUENCE|
Paradoxically, this type of finitude causes expansion with every use of language, simply because the stricture is purposive. Where critics (Chomsky, 1966, pp. 29, 41, 52) go awry, however, is in the assumption that language offers “infinite” possibilities through “finite” means. In language, finitude and infinitude cannot be pitted that simplistically against one another. Doing just that, Chomsky and one of his cohorts, John Lyons (1970, pp. 21, 36, 51-52, 54, 58-59, 69, 99-100), then look to “recursiveness” for linguistic use. They suggest almost a mode of “recycling” language in the use of language. What they fail to understand is that the latent--leftsided--repertoire is a system held together at such a ramified level of opposition that it remains for all intents and purposes wholly inexhaustible. The more literate the speakers, the more multifarious the positive and privative values. From a certain aspect, these latent components may seem “fixed” in their antecedent positive and privative relations. But for that very reason, full semantic focalization goes on only in the newly integrated expression. And this whole issue touches on metaphor just because the oppositional network is so extensive that any simplistic assessment between analogy and anomaly, of the kind neo-Aristotelians impose on metaphor, does injustice to both meaning and metaphor either when latent or lexical in newly formed expression.
The next point also involving metaphor follows logically from the above discussion: because the leftsided vertical paradigma is discrete and loose by comparison to the linear, newly articulated syntagma, any substitution, such as the proxy-tenet neo-Aristotelians force on metaphor, could occur only within the former. Once the choice has been made, no change or conversion is possible. Again, that is why copyright laws protect the Icon which exteriorizes that choice most overtly, so speakers can probe their signitive consciousness and may even grapple with their thought for the right word, deciding at the last minute to select another. After the selection has been made, however, there is no going back, at least not without affecting the constitutional unit(y) of an act of meaning. Those persons who do that for other speakers, as suggested in the quest for deviant metaphor, inadvertently become pseudoauthors. As will be seen, only the translator is put into that unfortunate position without choice.
One can see how vital it is to understand even the most basic factor in linguistic meaning in order to come to terms with a sound semantic principle that is “metaphor.” To be sure, the above table includes many precepts of critics besides those of Ullmann and Chomsky: Humboldt’s “ergon” and “energeia,” Saussure’s “langue” and “parole” (1966, pp. 14-15 ff.), and Jakobson’s “concurrence” and “concatenation,” among others. Humboldt’s criteria were discussed already in conjunction with the “energetic” tradition and the other two recur frequently in this study. Let me add that “concatenation” will also have special meaning for one structure in this study, namely Dicent, or fiction.
The table lists in addition Chomsky’s “competence” and “performance.” But it is interesting to note in view of the above reservations about Chomsky’s idea of finitude that he (1972, pp. 19-20) mistakenly ends up criticizing Saussure’s criteria for their undue focus on “parole” rather than “langue.” This objection would be consistent with Chomsky’s abstract--essentially “finite”--universal, a monolith he regards as something of a catalyst for all “parole” or, to him, “performance.” Chomsky certainly has been taken to task for espousing his abstract universal: critics (Esper, 1968, p. 230) say he concocts “manufactured collocations . . . without context,” generated recursively from an abstract base that is logical rather than truly volitional and makes evident his belief that finite means serve infinite speech. How problematic such a theory becomes when boosted with contextless collocations in the case of a context-sensitive poetic work, one of my textual analyses should demonstrate clearly--after the trichotomies have been analyzed, a task that is next.
In calling this chapter the “Leaps of Language,” I am playing the devil’s advocate; leaps occur only when looking at language from that second circle previously marked “ontic autonomy,” where autonomous ideal classes are derived from autonomous-real objects. Then, indeed, everything that pertains to language remains “deviant,” suggesting more of that metaphorical ubiquity which causes this semantic principle to die and disappear by lapsing into ordinary meaning. These leaps are only worth maintaining to prove this very point. In my own chronology, the leaps foreshadow arguments of the neo-Aristotelian adjunct that comes up last, particularly with the metaphor caused by the Ciceronian “transilire” (1960, pp. 124-125), which is the Latin term for leap or jump. Historically, therefore, the time gap predates this leap by close to two thousand years. The fact that my work in that last part almost closes with “conceptual leaps” as a determinant for metaphor among modern contemporaries should indicate the general stagnation of neo-Aristotelian semantics one more time, especially since “concept” remains undefined in the process.
When approached from a non-Aristotelian perspective, however, the leaps of meaning have nothing to do with a special “metaphor”; they affirm merely the indigenous synthesizing powers of language which speakers--such as my readers here-take for granted as norms unless made cognizant of such oddities as this chapter will stress. Then native speakers step momentarily out of the Heideggerian house that allows them to feel at home, thus looking from the outside in, as it were. At that point speakers appear to leave the circle reserved for language, the area marked “ontic heteronomy” in my previous diagram. But since that cannot really happen to sane adults, these sensations do not interfere with linguistic competence.
These leaps can be further explained as the cause of the authorial will, stated earlier to arise from without because it corresponds to speaker impulse. Simultaneously language is made to expand from within by corporealizing and embodying this authorial intent, duly recording the activity in new connotations which serve the next recall. The dialectics of internalizing and externalizing language were said to be regulated by the mediating role of the (semiotic) Symbol as last sign of the second trichotomy before context. Every time a Referent and Recipient go into interlocutory partnership, the act of meaning at context (I) seeks out form (M) to express a unified content (0) which is then bound holistically to the expression, from first to last selected constituent. In acceptance of the Referent, the Recipient probes form until arriving at the authorial intent, the catalyst for the contextualization of content(s). This thetic I-M-0 order, which occurs with every new articulation, thus differs from the linear M-O-I hierarchy in the Picture of Language that characterized the generative incline or, degeneratively, the I-M-0 decline marking the downward triadic relation between the trichotomies.
As each trichotomy now becomes severed from this triadic continuum for purposes of closer scrutiny, an unnatural situation arises. In that endeavor, the broken lines leading to the next trichotomy also become superfluous for the illustration of each separate trichotomy. What has to be there instead is the M-O-l marking of the little triangle in the Picture of Language, with “M” at the apex, “0” at the left and “I” at the right angle of the triangles shaping the first two (M-0) trichotomies. These had both appeared above the internalized component of acquisition on a table that listed as alternative the new articulation on its right side, above which appeared further the trichotomy of context. Therefore, when the first trichotomy as internal component becomes severed from context, one consequence would be that a form may be sighted in dictionaries but hardly exteriorized in full signifying with embodiment of an authorial will, as speech must be-always. Without that full processing, the forms remain severed from the transference which causes shifts while engendering a speaker’s act of meaning. In a curious way, language is then literally rendered “speechless.”
Only in such an unnatural situation do forms lapse into something like “replicas” or “tokens,” terms that have remained popular among supporters of Pierce (see Fitzgerald, 1966, p. 63). Under normal application of language through an act of meaning, however, replicas do not arise. Peirce’s street cries are not separate “symbols” which may shed their sartorial replicas as reptiles shed dead skin. Not the word, but the wielded word, in its particular use through an act of meaning confers meaning on this act. Were it otherwise, the authorial will would be reduced to random chance, to an aleatory whim. Then meaning would not become exteriorized teleologically by an act of meaning (I) as the authorial intent which selects explicit constituents (M) and regulates import for its implicit relevance to the whole constitution (0). Only a dictionary item may be uttered or written and erased at will, just because authorial willing still remains outstanding.
For the same reason, any published dictionary listing consists of fragmented context from past usage, causing problems of choice for students of a foreign language. The interiorized oppositional network, on the other hand, is vast though dormant until recall of certain selected forms by a signitive act summons up conscious awareness of the relevant oppositional values for the entities involved. Naturally, a similar level of consciousness is in effect for the Recipient, in the process of penetrating form to reach the Referent, as explicated. In any case, the latent component in the human mind stays inexhaustible enough not to warrant a comparison with finite listings in books, for which reason Chomsky’s rather onesided idea of finite means serving infinite possibilities was disputed before.
Again, all exteriorized forms newly fused to an act of meaning are protected for their task by copyright laws. Vocables, however, remain anyone’s game as mere (dictionary) tokens. The only other cause for separate replicas or tokens would be the case of a dead language, with degeneration down to the material base itself. Language is then also diffracted at depth, with the unit(y) embedded in the signitive act evaporated from the elements. At a wholly advanced state of degeneration, the form has relinquished all semantic content, with nothing left to share intersubjectively. Such a state reduces forms to the level of skeletons or fossils that now-extinct animals left behind as the only proof of their past being.
Since my task here is to sever the first trichotomy for the heuristic purpose of its exhaustive analysis, I am aware also that, inevitably, language is robbed of “speech” by this procedure. For that reason the Recipient, lodged by this trichotomy in the Picture of Language, can be omitted here, and the same will apply to the Referent for the last trichotomy. Theoretically, of course, nothing may eradicate these two activities; they hold in the trichotomies and thus the sphere of ontic heteronomy. Beyond them there exists only “bedrock,” to borrow a Wittgenstein concept (Hester, 1967, pp. 56 57, 108; Hallett, 1977, pp. 492-513). Turning the Picture of Language once more ninety degrees (clockwise) should provide a useful reminder in concrete dimensions of the way in which the Recipient, placed right over the first trichotomy, actually dominates language at its degenerate end of form.
With these preliminary issues clarified, the first trichotomy of form is next singled out for separate scrutiny. Its base is “universal” in the manner explained previously: language must possess a form in order to exist at all, no matter in what language. The M-trichotomy thus commences at the most rudimentary semantic “matter” and provides the “means” for any possible exteriorization of a signitive act. Though a degenerate base, this very “ground” cannot be ignored, as it is unfortunately by neo Aristotelians who go straight for the lexicon at the level of the second trichotomy. With the distinctive form, language actually announces itself, disclosing some of that willful intervention discussed before (with Humboldt et al.). No sounds or corporeal shapes are intertwined in nature as they are in language. The rooster cries proved that point, despite certain onomatopoetic vestiges which erupted with each of the languages.
The first trichotomy accountable for the sonorous and visual base bore the attributive “hyletic” in the Picture of Language. Greek “hyley” is the etymology embodied in this adjective; it denotes “material” and “matter,” as well as “forest” and “timber” (Fobes, 1966, p. 294). But when the adjective was introduced, its more recent use for phenomenology was mentioned. Ingarden’s mentor Husserl, whose essay on signs was quoted earlier, spoke about the “hyletic phase,” for example, which he connected with the concrete experience of sensuousness (in his Ideas, 1958, section 97, pp. 282-283; see also Merleau-Ponty in Kockelmans, 1967 p. 362). Even language has its aura of sensuousness, though this must be traced to perceiving the form.
The material is perceived in concretion of the authorial will: that is what the heading stresses. Then the form of a language, which has been internalized antecedently in order to be shared collectively, is ready to convert into explicit content the choice of signitive intent. When normally connected, this trichotomy contributes the first sign of the second trichotomy, the Icon, sharing the identifying dot (said previously to have replaced color). While the faculty of perceiving came with the first trichotomy in the Picture of Language, the ordinal number has now been supplanted by a noun: “Firstness” is actually an ontological concept for the degenerate level of being used by Peirce, who correlates it further with a “monad” (1960, pp. 146-149, par. 1.293-1.304). Peirce says in one place (1960, p. 7, par. 1.23) about Firstness that it exemplifies a “mode of being which consists in its subject’s being positively such as it is regardless of aught else.” This “positive” type of projection beyond “aught else” affirms in essence what has been stressed all along with Legisign validation as the primary cause for a type of “truth.” Paradoxically, with its oppositional mode of being the form bears a “ positive” foundation insofar as it exists as a privative state of some other, “oppos(sing)” form. The form can only be an accepted composite insofar as it remains simultaneously a compositional opposite in association.
Motivation is barred from the linguistic form; words need not resemble anything beyond projecting their self-identity in order to provide the ground for linguistic reference. Speakers heed the explicit form because it is extant, sonorously and visually. Indeed, so inescapable are validated forms that Richards let the author become conscious of his “paternal” role as counterpart to an ineluctible “maternal” source which, for his particular poem, came in the English language. In view of the etymology of “hyletic,” replete with its several connotations, the word “tree” becomes my next choice for illustration. Those familiar with past studies may realize that this example has enjoyed considerable popularity. Husserl (ibid., 1958, section 97, p. 282 283) for one seized on “tree” while discussing the hyletic source. Saussure (1959, pp. 66-70, 111-117) is another who looked to “tree” for his binary semiology; it comprised a signifying agent as “signifiant” and a content signified, the “signifié.” One of Saussure’s French successors, Martinet (1970, p. 42), then narrowed down this dichotomy to “form” versus “meaning,” moving ever closer to the more recent etic and emic distinctions which separate sheer content from its specific context. Martinet (ibid., pp. 19-24) further listed “tree” in several languages and was followed in that practice by Eco (1972, pp. 86-87), who in the process makes his usual bid for “cultural unities.”
Now, to perceive a word may be a “cultural” enterprise in the widest sense, an issue that surfaced also with Cassirer’s “cultural” extension of Critical philosophy. Ontic heteronomy is fundamentally a “cultural” phenomenon in that it is based exclusively on acts of meaning. However, this very fact should suggest also that such a qualifier remains too broad: what about those acts of consciousness that cull symbols and emblems directly from spheres outside of language? Briefly, “cultural” is the biblical Tree of Knowledge in Genesis that precipitates the Fall, or the proud Cedar of Lebanon in Kings (1, 4:33). Yet these “cultural unities” are universals in the sense that their significance is not confined to words; they could be recognized in paintings, perhaps, and thus by speakers of any language. To be sure, the provenance of Old Testament symbols is language; these biblical trees did not grow in someone’s garden. But the words in which they come “mean” something only to the speakers of the language involved. Without the primary construal of those forms, nothing may evolve either in terms of a Judaic or Christian “culture.”
As a Christian alternative, there is the New Testament phrase (Acts 5:30) which has Jesus “hanging on a tree” instead of a cross--supposedly a typically Petrine expression (Gumpel, 1971, pp. 360-361). Peter’s unique phrasing arose from ramified Greek forms for “tree,” designating a plant, timber or lumber, and a (wooden) pole paralleling the shape of a cross or a vertical (tree) trunk with horizontal branches. This odd overlapping in Greek then caused the designation “tree” to literally cross with “cross.” Such casual naming of the cross--a symbol so “charged” with inherent significance in the intervening years (S. Langer, 1960, p. 284)--could hardly occur today, least of all with the “tree” as form of modern English. In some respects, these odd and yet “cultural” values embody the world-view that came up with Humboldt, in my modification of a genuine “word-view.” Language originates as cultural phenomenon yet hardly as a mirror of an extant “Weltanschauung.”
Of greater importance for the “word-view” is what Ingarden (1965, pp. 30-38) calls the “wordsound.” As suggested by the term, a word draws sound into its semantic threshold as matter turns into meaning, and leads from oral to written (mute) transcription. Again, the former rooster cries showed how sound in each language, even when permeated by onomatopeia, forces the word into a different transcription. The problems with such conversions are experienced by all students of a foreign language. Indeed, staying in touch with a language assures sufficient exposure to the myriads of concretions arising with the mechanical manipulation of forms: the mind penetrates these differences like a laser beam, picking out wordsounds through a type-to-trait relation that eludes all scientific isolation. At the same time, since the mechanics of speech are not germane to my analysis, an “ideal” condition (Chomsky, 1965, p. 3) will be observed for the most part, leaving all lisps, stutters, and other such problems to the specialists of these particular areas.
With this reminder, I introduce the first sign: the Qualisign appears at M-apex of the M-trichotomy. The “Quali” prefix here affirms that M+M locus by denoting “quality” as material disposition. Whatever the quality appears to have borrowed in sound or contour from nature, its disposition goes exclusively into shaping the wordsound “natural” to language at its most degenerate level. Ironically, because of its degenerate locus, Qualisign material may subsist as “dead” matter, while the semantic threshold it embodies at greater generate depth stays fully dependent on it, unless meaning is to remain pure spirit. When Qualisigns stay and their meaning goes, graphic patterns betray orthographic vestiges. Nowadays, the same can be claimed for recorded sounds of a language that has died.
The Qualisign, in an orthographic rendering of English “t-r-e-e,” accounts for the bar that is crossed in the “t,” for the little hook attached to the “r” and the dome that becomes sufficiently curved in the “e.” My readers here are either native or sufficiently fluent in English to have amassed the mutual interdependence between sonorous and visual material. With appropriate (Cartesian) distance, they also notice that “tree” looks nothing like the plant in nature which the lexicon nevertheless reflects. Granted, some Qualisign isomorphism may be found in “t,” perhaps, and ordinarily one associates this with hieroglyphics or ideograms. Thus the character for the Chinese ideogram “mu” designating “tree” comes across pictorially as “” (Babcock, 1963, p. 115), to resemble loosely a trunk with branches. Any such material transparencies, however, are counteracted by the synchronic oppositional states endorsing application of, and not simulation by, a language.
The form, therefore, constitutes the first didactic step toward realizing that language never fosters representation of nature but only presentation of its own reference. This difference was not properly realized by Wescott (1971, p. 420), for instance, who discusses what he deems to be “iconic” vestiges in language, one of them the letter “A” that apparently originated inverted from the head of an ox, though offered in something that looks more like a crossed “V.” While such information remains valid when recognized for what it is, namely diachronic contact, it literally means nothing in Wescott’s case because he does not synthesize the facts other than to affirm meekly that such representational vestiges suffuse language. No expert is needed for that conclusion. A genuine expert of language recognizes Qualisign opacity, not transparency, since the priority is affirming boundaries between language and nonlanguage.
Regarded from that perspective, Qualisigns reinforce their positive being beyond “aught else,” as Peirce had it above. To borrow a concept from Saussure (1966, pp. 117-123), the forms in their complex but positive foundation stay “in praesentia”; they become “in absentia” only relationally, in their privative association with other forms. An interesting experience involving handwritten European airmail letters may well demonstrate the Qualisign power of sheer presence. When not slit open carefully in their proper place, these letters may cause Qualisigns to become ripped apart. In confronting the damaged signs, I can see nothing remarkable other than a few comminuted curlicues. Perplexed at being left with these almost illegible vestiges, I turn to the tear itself as the only guide--lo and behold!--upon restoration of the edge and its zizag tear, the “t” is crossed once more, the “r” has its hook back as the form assumes shape, perhaps in the Qualisign dimensions of written “tree.” “No-sense” or “non-sense” has been restored to a wordsound containing a semantic threshold of “sense,” although not as mere replica or token but consonant with the authorial will of the letter writer.
My next experience appears to prove an opposite problem. While the above example demonstrates the power of Qualisigns, this one shows off also the neglect of the form. To my surprise, I discovered that I by-passed the conspicuous differences in German Qualisign concretion between the older “Fraktur” print and the modern Latin version--until some nonnative individual, barred from the “Fraktur,” drew my attention to this difference. In my case, the type-to-trait conditioning was so complete that even such conspicuous changes could be overlooked whereas to that other person the language “died” with the older forms. A Referent was present but the Recipient failed the Qualisign dimension and thus could not respond. Yet in my case, semantic redundance had wrought a kind of “deadening” effect very detrimental to the M-base in literary use. Regarded from one aspect, Qualisign efficacy was complete, regarded from another, it was damaged, had been stunted from overexposure. Whatever swift perception accomplishes for speed reading, it has ultimately also a dulling effect upon the finer sensibilities needed for the enjoyment of lyric poetry and the like. Indeed, that is one “pedagogical” role literature can play-reviving Qualisign interest for its own sake, something that the postwar movement of Concrete Poetry accomplished by stressing the sheer, intermedial disposition of language from every imaginable facet (as discussed throughout my work on this trend, Gumpel, 1976).
Now, semiotic (synechistic) continuity is such that in discussing the Qualisign, the Sinsign was tacitly ever present; Qualisign contours become welded into Sinsign composites at 0-level, at the left corner of object relation for this trichotomy. There, words start to cohere in their phonological and lettristic idiosyncrasies, through positive and privative oppositional values, by the very singularity each composite projects. That is exactly why for students of a foreign language words run together in dictation, for instance; the mind misses the bounds enclosing each composite.
On the Sinsign, Peirce (1960, p. 142, par. 2.245) has to say the term denotes “‘being only once’. . . single . . . simple,” associating this further with Latin “semel. The old Greek prefix “syn-,” of course, has associations with English “con-,” even if this goes back more directly to Latin. The Sinsign thus affirms distinctiveness through a validated composite. In this task, the Sinsign actually opposes any such loose serialization as that of the alphabet, whose “a. . .b. . .c” sequence does not compose words. In a particular use of English, “abc” can be applied to signal “alphabet,” for instance, as when persons are said to “know their abc’s.” In this rare instance alphabetic sequence becomes a Sinsign invested with special sense.
An alphabet prevails in “t-r-e-e” insofar as the Sinsign has drawn on it if not in any alphabetic order: the “t” would constitute the twentieth, “r” the eighteenth, and “e” the fifth letter in the alphabetical serialization which obviously does not match the word’s sequence. Moreover, the intricacies involving just one language are such that the names of Sinsign vestiges permit separate punning: there is the “tee” for a golf course setting or, in pure sound, that British brew called “tea,” and so on. How inimitably a competent speaker of English can play with these Sinsign ramifications in relation to their possible names, the following “ABC” cartoon from Peanuts (Minneapolis Tribune, August 12, 1979) should illustrate.
In this flawed communication among the Peanuts interlocutors, an alphabetic repertoire is tossed around and made to coincide with the particular names of letters that belong also to other words of English. Mute sound reverberates through orthographic parallelisms. Rarely does English seem more endowed with strange concoctions than in the alignment of these forms! Their connecting points as wordsounds make evident the various regulative adaptations to the written signs. Encased in the second panel (after the title) is the “Y,” which in serialization of alphabetic repertoire comes second from last but whose corresponding name coincides with the interrogative spelled out as “Why?” The “O” is used similarly though preceded by its name, which is the exclamation “Oh”; and then one “I” and “C” yield respectively the pronoun and verb “I see” in brief syntagma. On to the “G” for yet another exclamation, “Gee!” Then to the final “U”--actually more than one--precipitating by implication the “you” that erupts in the response containing “me.”
Very clever, as well as wholly irretrievable beyond the oppositional framework of English! Paraphrasing would merely ruin the pointe and thus the very semantic sting weaving in and out of these concocted associations. I capitalized the letters, although that orthographic factor does not emerge too clearly from the cartoon. English capitalizes the first-person pronoun “I,” of course, thus demonstrating something like that disputed “world-view” brought up before (with Humboldt) but hardly a genuine “Weltanschauung” projecting deliberate egocentricity. In fact that might apply more to the euphemism “Gee!” which circumvents taking the Lord’s name in vain-yet cannot become the other side of “dog” in Sinsign dimension.
To be sure, the seemingly flawed conversation is in itself a screen for the real communicants, the interlocutory partners which comprise the cartoonist Schulz and his readers: they get the gist of the humor in their decoding simply because they share latently the Qualisign and Sinsign idiosyncrasies of English with this encoder. So the cartoonist’s authorial intent comes through perfectly even if his cartoon mouthpieces appear thwarted in their efforts and forced to engage in a travesty of speaker competence. For, certainly, even less than ideal conditions that make interlocutors go awry through some speech impediment or interruption from the situational setting could not misfire this badly. If anything, this setting in ostensive usage should obviate and not increase misunderstanding, with the concrete objects (such as the letters) immanently present between the interlocutory partners.
These “children” have mastered and simultaneously confused the oppositional leaps of language which are natural to the positive and privative values English harbors. Few examples could show better how language jumps from one thing to another and remains “normal” for speakers of that language. In evidence are the vast strides that lead English from nouns and verbs to pronouns, from interrogatives to exclamations, and so on. A zany zigzag by any other standard, one might say, it certainly differs from that graphic zigzag the leaves of the earlier cartoon displayed; theirs was a concrete dimension and thus hardly confined to the perception of English forms. Here, language in a language celebrates another victory of new completion; no mere tokens compose these language-bound puns since they have become fused to the intent of this cartoonist.
In a way, the interlocutory partners exist at two levels. One partnership stays concrete within the panels, with the female character who writes paralleling a Referent and the confused male character who does not follow her functioning as her (erring) Recipient. The other, major partnership involves the unseen but genuine constitutive consciousness belonging to the cartoonist Schulz and his anonymous readership in their Referent and Recipient relation. The former partners are sheer content, derived from and thus dependent on, this cartoonist’s intent. As with the other cartoons, there is ontic autonomy in graphic form and ontic heteronomy in orthographic form, the former aiding presentation of the ostensive usage, the latter projecting only itself--to its own speakers.
The structure is also in evidence as nonliterary use. But since the first trichotomy is the main object of investigation here, the concentration is on the disjointed Sinsigns that collide variously with the full composites identified above. What the example should also prove categorically is that there can be no synonymy among languages, indeed even among forms in one language, inimitable as each entity is in Sinsign composition and possible contextualization. Synonym, antonym, and homonym are terms to be plied as descriptively as the traditional metaphor, but structurally, in mode of function, they cannot be upheld. Homonymy, indeed, will loom on the horizon of neo-Aristotelian metaphors, where the lexicon is believed to harbor dual meaning under one form or explicit content. Synonymy, on the other hand, may be ruled out right here. For instance, German possesses the interrogative “Warum?” to match English “Why?” but hardly lends itself to playing with a loosened “Y” Sinsign bearing the name of this letter, proving positively that “meaning” exudes from the very pores of every facet governing the linguistic form. Accordingly, the apparent nonsense of the Peanuts cartoon emerges as very precise “sense” by exploiting English oppositional values residing in wordsounds to the hilt. Though arbitrary by any other measure, the ramifications involved rely on careful, conscious planning.
Ultimately, however, the conscious part remains outstanding in this analysis until the Legisign, located at the right Interpretant corner as the most generate locus of the first trichotomy, has been introduced. In the Picture of Language a broken line emphasizes that generate input by connecting with the next trichotomy, specifically the Icon, Now, a Sinsign in itself has no power to ward off the “*” asterisk assigned to nonvalidated compositions as unacceptable wordsounds. Only a Legisign legitimizes the Sinsign Object-relation within this hyletic trichotomy, affecting starkly the oppositional relation of semantic thresholds. To illustrate, English “tree” forsakes just one Sinsign at the sonorous and visual level--and there appear such validated wordsounds as “three” or “free,” to name just two. In phonetic transcription the result might look thus: “/ɵri/,” “/Θri/” and “/free/,” with Greek theta transcribing “th” in the second example to serve the wordsound of English here. Each Sinsign composite is what the other is not in oppositional wordsound. When the Legisign (I) thus stamps each meaning with self-identity, Qualisigns (M) start to shape Sinsign (0) composites, creating linguistic designs.
In the above example of the added words spun hyletically from “tree,” English Qualisigns and Sinsigns have thrust together these forms. As much as they are kept apart, their hyletic base nevertheless preserves a mnemonic tie through the closeness in sound and visual contour. With their Legisign backing, the names comprised in each form become propitiously standardized, no matter how odd by standards of logic or of that empirical existence that classifies the tree as plant, the number three as a quantitative factor, and the freedom contained in the adjective as abstract idea, leaving every association “deviant” or “metaphorical” by any nonlinguistic determinant. Again, language in a language manifests its power of leaping from one entity to another, committing a Ciceronian “transilire” in combination of further “odd couples” to be added to those my illustrations had contained before--if the wrong, extralinguistic vantage point becomes adopted. When it is not, the Legisign partakes of that curious “neutrality” already mentioned in that, no matter how plain or prosaic, no entity is barred from authorial selection on the grounds of its lexical oddities, once it has been validated.
Legisigns thus reinforce the Sinsign connective in unbiased fashion when not wrested from deviance cults, just as my choice here could fall on the most figurative preference. All autotelic, purposive domains rely on Legisigns, forcing speakers to consent through an intersubjective consensus of sharing. “A Legisign,” says Peirce (1960, pp. 142 143, par. 2.246), “is a law that is a Sign. This law is usually established by men. Every conventional sign is a legisign (but not conversely).” To rationalize Peirce’s capitalization in this passage might be a validating task all by itself. But the “law” he cites is made explicit enough in the “Legi” prefix of the Legisign. Sebeok (1976, p. 7), in a brief chronological survey of Peircean thought, discusses how “laws” gradually became correlated with the “imputed character” Peirce had reserved for the symbol. The (semiotic) Symbol of the second trichotomy is not at issue as yet, but a basic connection between Legisign and Symbol has to be the Interpretant locus within their respective trichotomies, as the Picture of Language showed. Certainly, the Legisign, too, upholds imputed contiguities, validating a composite such as “tree” without special motivation.
At least the three alternatives above are valid for English while the same cannot be said for the vestige “*ree” that seems to unite them all in sound and spelling; no Sinsign composite, no connective yielding a word, may arise from its Qualisign foundation. Such a vestige thus eludes the “law” embodied in the Legisign and remains an “alien” element within English. Tradition, of course, has recognized oppositional Sinsigns sufficiently well in so-called distinctive features. In that case, “ree” may present a phoneme or morpheme without the asterisk. Then two of the above three composites align as “minimal pairs,” designating literally that minimal switch of sound or letter that is capable of inducing a total change in meaning.
Most theorists of language know what Jakobson and Halle (1956, pp. 20 ff.)--later joined by Fant (1965, p. 40)--contributed to the study of phonemic features, with some of those critics the heirs of the Prague Circle founded in 1926 (particularly Trubetzkoy). Interest in the phonological base of language was focal to these groups as their members came to realize that phonemes were not in meanings but rather the cause of their difference. Their “Conclusion” (ibid.) ended with twelve binary oppositions, beginning with the vocalic versus nonvocalic, consonantal versus nonconsonantal, and so on. Saussurean opposition also played a part in positing the phoneme, as Jakobson (1956, pp. 4 ff.) concedes. Perhaps it is true, furthermore, that the binary focus of these critics foreshadowed the “bit” principle in computer communications theory (Ivić, 1971, pp. 210-212). Whatever the case, the binary theories will turn out to be insufficient, for reasons that evolve shortly.
With the Legisign, the linguistic “design” has reached completion at the level of form-ready for the full-fledged designation of the next trichotomy. In the above examples, the “*/ri/” or “*ree” connective among those three validated designs may well present something like an “analogy,” if hardly the kind supported by logic. This heteronomous difference can be proven by the fact that German and French, for instance, would not even match the phonetic transcription for the double (or even single) “e” as “/i/,” let alone the “*ree” or “*/ri/” association between their Legisign equivalents. Actually, any of the illustrations, including those from the cartoon, are so infinitesimal within the vast oppositional network of a linguistic corpus that my above reference to an analogy becomes almost a joke.
Now, Legisigns validate designs that are in every respect words, as suggested already with Ingarden’s concept of the wordsound. But issues of minimal units will require further consideration. Crystal (1971, pp. 187-191) has rightly pointed out, while dealing with controversies surrounding the “smallest unit for grammatical analysis,” that morphemes do not possess the substance of such function words as definite articles, even, as made evident with the “*ree” above. Also, a noninflected, so-called analytic language like English permits “tree” and “three” to function respectively as noun or verb as well as noun or adjective.
Clearly, Legisigns in their synchronic state remain impervious to the kind of diachronic motivation that was illustrated by Searle in a discussion of “regulative” versus “constitutive” rules (1970, pp. 41-42). There the author contends the reason why the “/g/” phoneme in “finger” is absent in “singer” often becomes discovered by chance, when it is realized that “singer” has this phoneme because it is a derivative of the verb “sing.” This information, which I did not possess either, is totally irrelevant to a native competence at the synchronic plane. Were it otherwise, speakers would have to be cognizant of it. No rule intrinsic to linguistic competence can be missed and is thus neither truly constitutive nor regulative for speakers--outside of philologists, etymologists and the like.
Legisign validation is therefore purely synchronic, affirming language states and not developmental stages. Only with those indigenous states may a speaker of English trade on a poster or commercial jingle aimed at the sale of Christmas trees through “Three Trees” . .. “Trees in Threes,” and related versions, one of which no doubt could add a fourth tree “For Free.” What do these words have in common? Why combine the number with this plant? The reason may not be logical but linguistic if advertisers want to trade on their native language with its Qualisign and Sinsign identities. The German “drei Bäume” or the French “trois abres” will not equal the effect and sales may suffer, oddly enough. As with the humor of the cartoons, paraphrasing would not help to coax consumers into a buying spree.
That-is to say, advertising trades on the hyletic base of language, taking accidence right out of Legisigns. The above example reflects the kind of hyletic connection termed equivalence since Jakobson’s “Closing Statement” for “Linguistics and Poetics” (1960, p. 358). To cite partially from that essay, the “axis of selection” reinforces the “axis of combination,” here the internalized sonorous and visual Qualisigns. That such a use can do little for “poetic” language my illustration of a commercial should reveal right here. In fact, this study pointed out early that structure rather than the lexicon is to be emphasized because the literary style may be sober and the commercial alternative ornate. At any rate, since Jakobson first introduced the concept, some critics (Plett, 1975, pp. 346 ff.) now apply equivalence to almost every area of use, in phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic manifestation. To be sure, some advertisers may let their greed conquer their delight with the language and by-pass this equivalence by going for five or six trees, not without success either. This result, however, does not detract from the hyletic power of language when in force. After all, the mnemonics of nursery rhymes have traded on equivalence long before its use in commercials--which are now harming young speakers: jingle and jargon hurt linguistic programming in areas where Qualisigns and Sinsigns should impinge on consciousness to let the M-trichotomy take root through active intervention on the part of young speakers.
Take something as fundamental as number: the plural alternatives in my commercial touch on intricacies which even seem to disrupt the oppositional values contained in definite versus indefinite and singular versus plural in a language such as English. Certainly, these bounds seem transgressed in some generic use for definitions, as when speakers realize the closeness of meaning between “The tree is a plant,” “A tree is a plant,” and “Trees are plants.” Indeed, the past decade witnessed a new interest in number to combat sexism through use of the plural. The linguistic “modalities” brought up while discussing Cassirer here demonstrate how something as mechanical as number comes to touch on issues of human bias.
No matter how the hyletic leaps of the M-trichotomy surfaced above, their ultimate purpose is to show how language in a language makes and breaks bounds, sometimes even undoing in certain contexts what generally applies to others. Metaphor would reign supreme in every facet of language, fit to absorb meaning. In yet another “tree” example, the Legisign may validate “family” and “tree” in the compound “family tree” but not isolate the difference which separates the plant in some family’s backyard from the genealogical chart so designated, an example cited in an essay by Bruzina (1978, p. 193). However, this critic does no better by the difference than the Legisign itself. In the typical traditional view, he considers the first reference to the plant literal and the second to the chart metaphorical. In essence, what the critic has is validated meaning ready to perform under the “neutral” conditions set forth.
The autonomous-real family tree in one’s backyard consists of wood, the one that is a chart, of paper, containing a graphic design. Whatever the similarity shaping those things, the language can pick them up--or by-pass them, as the Richards poem had it. Now, the English Legisign for “wood(s)” is also extant, if not as the substance of a trunk holding up the real plant. Indeed, the Legisign covers an area lined with many trees, although there is also a plural form for the word “tree”--”trees.” The jump to that other form seems far afield. So does what might be called the hyletic doubling which has English “wood(s)” cover the substance and the area: the composition of the plant and its distribution on the ground coincide illogically when the hyletic ground that is language is not considered. At the same time, to analyze such phenomena as these apparent hyletic doubles necessitates ascending to the higher trichotomies, if something less simplistic than the traditional homonymy is to evolve.
Hyletic doubling for now proves mainly what disparities--by any other standard--language forces together. Another reminder should be that, were English to die out, this doubling could not be explained but would merge in one form, just because the Qualisigns and Sinsigns stay the same without revealing differences in wordsound, the semantic thresholds. The limit of Legisign potential has thus been reached, even if there is no going on--or “up” in generation--without Legisign approval since “reference” begins with Qualisign form. That is also the limit for such traditional precepts as phonemes, since their opposition does not explain hyletic doubling. Now, just as hyletic doubling superficially reflects homonymy with the identical Legisign, hyletic differentiation may reinforce synonymy, as in “woods” versus “forest.” But the moment overt compounding is attempted the synonymy evaporates: “firewood” counters starred “*fireforest,” and “wood fire” does not yield the wordsound or semantic threshold equal to “forest fire.” All these vast ramifications of values thrust together and driven apart foil notions of simple similarity or difference, including the “nymy” precepts (homo-, syno-, and anto) along with simplisitc construals of “metaphor” over meaning.
What the above forms mean is not elucidated further, since no one, if that deficient in English, could read my work here. No reader has to be told either about the adjectival opposition between “wooden” and “wooded” for respective substance and area. When spinning these adjectives further, one may encounter “wooden” in reference to human stiffness or intransigence. Metal may have done better by such a person than wood, but motivation cannot be thus applied, since what a language provides a speaker owns. Now, tradition may easily consider a use of the “wooden” person a “metaphor” since the sense referring to the substance has shifted overtly from matter to mind, one might say. The adjunct later shows how popular such notions were-all the way back to Cicero’s and Quintilian’s natural or necessary metaphors which, derived from semantic paucity, amplify a linguistic inventory by trading on extant forms. Today, certain such vestiges are called personality metaphors. Beardsley (1961/1962, p. 304) cites this type of metaphor while mentioning further the contributions of such contemporaries as Asch, Taguiri, Petrullo and Brown. Although the more common examples list “warm” or “hard,” the “wooden” person belongs here too.
Another peculiar use of English “wooden” seems to head in the opposite direction, engendering what Curtius (1963, pp. 136-137) has called a “corporal metaphor,” because parts of the body become thrust on the environment or on certain abstractions. There is the “knee” of genuflexion to corporealize humility; there is the “foot,” long the traditional favorite, to designate the base of a mountain. (See Brown, 1958, pp. 140-141, more recently, Lakoff and Johnson 1980, p. 472.) Even some of those metaphors recur in later analyses, but for the present, I pick my own corporal vestige: it is not the “wooden leg” of an amputee or a stiff dancer but that curious “prosthesis” which transported the extremity of live beings to such an inanimate quadruped as the “leg” of a table.
To be sure, English preserves the furniture provenance in part by requiring either the compound or genitive link shown respectively in “tableleg” and “leg of a table.” German possesses the equivalent compound “Tischbein,” but cannot “mean” the same thing when its Legisign belongs to the oppositional values of this language. Whatever the similarity of perception between the (autonomous-)real human extremity and the support for a piece of furniture, such a naive realist stance cannot support semantic identities. Theoretically one would then have to examine all other analogies to justify this usage on the basis of motivation, a task as unpractical as it is impossible. Rather, the linguistic form stands its own ground. Yet attempts at motivation have never died down, least so in the case of the popular “foot” example as (Curtius’s type of) corporal metaphor for the base of a mountain. Since this analogy occurs in several languages, it keeps critics preoccupied. Back in the nineteenth century the Psycho-Comparatist Wundt claimed that the mountainous “foot” was not truly metaphor because perception outside of language caused its formation within language (Esper, 1968, p. 72; Meier, 1963, pp. 25-26 ff.).
Meaning, however, cannot be involved directly if perception occurred antecedent to the form of words, hence in a purely extralinguistic application. Semantic perception begins with inception and initiation into synchronic planes, with the Qualisigns of English “foot,” or whatever. Only the form extant in a language enters an oppositional value system and occupies an unparalleled oppositional locus at the synchronic level. From a diachronic: aspect there is one final observation which deserves comment: those personality and corporal metaphors reflect what Cassirer stressed often (1972, I, pp. 159-160, 206-207, 215-216, 227-228): the human body (Körper, Leib) became the first semantic, deictic pivot around which revolved all reference, going out to and drawing from the setting in primeval use.
But that truly corporeal origin pertained to the development of meaning and not some special metaphor, if at times doubling up in the manner illustrated, particularly with the swift use of the vernacular. Martinet (1970, pp. 19-20 ff.) shows with his “tree” example cited before how a modern language such as French also linked “bois,” the equivalent form of “wood(s),” to signify substance and area. In addition, similar background is provided with Eco’s chart (1972, p. 86-87), for his cultural unities. Interesting as those examples are, they require the type of deeper investigation my next chapter provides, now that the form has been identified. While leaving the hyletic ground to climb via the broken line up that generative hierarchy in order to reach the next trichotomy, I may as well call the M-trichotomy a degenerate “base” or “foot” of a curious “hill” in more or less deviant language. Ultimately, though, my authorial intent has found the forms it sought through the processing of reference and transference, as required of meaning if it is to arise from meanings.
The hyletic design has been treated and the full designation follows next. Qualisign disposition yields to intrinsic content once a form has been validated through a Legisign bearing outwardly a Sinsign composite and inwardly the semantic threshold termed wordsound. The purpose of the previous chapter was to show how Qualisigns exude “meaning” in a live language. Yet the discussion reached its limits with the hyletic doubling, since the divergence of such “doubles” at depth could not be explained via the first trichotomy. How do competent speakers deal with “wooden,” a seemingly identical Legisign that nevertheless signifies as varied a content as a substance and personality trait? What happened to that curious “wooden” protuberance taken from the extremities of live beings that it should become validated also as “leg” for pieces of furniture? Certainly, the traditional phonemic features of recognizable opposition fail here.
A performance of the Red Riding Hood story, for example, might be described as a “wooden” portrayal of the fairy tale character, who goes into the “woods” or a “wooded” area with a “wooden” basket hanging from a handle that is accordingly composed of “wood.” With the identical designations for a human performer and an inanimate object like the handle, language makes evident more of those leaps illustrated before. Yet the sensation of oddity is countermanded by familiarity: redundance has done its work through the prowess of signitive acts. Competent speakers recognize either use of “wooden” as commonplace, perhaps, in the case of the personality trait, as “dead metaphor”--turned into semantic “deadwood,” in a manner of speaking.
Ironically, the “live” powers of a language account for that very demise. Moreover, the only “death” non-Aristotelian semantics recognizes is the degenerate kind, either when a language has lost its viable context at the level of the third trichotomy or when it has simply evaporated to the point of mere Qualisigns. Ancient Classical languages exemplify the first and engravings on stone tablets the latter type, at which point all powers of redundance have ceased as well. Beyond an encoding Referent, a decoding Recipient may encounter degeneration or demise. When confronting a foreign language without adequate competence, the construal transcends Legisign perception.
That is to say, consciousness cannot penetrate to the conception governing deeper content whose level is the second trichotomy. Going “up” the incline of generation formerly depicted in the Picture of Language curiously requires descending into greater depth, as was seen when this Picture was turned ninety degrees, with the first trichotomy uppermost. At this added depth hyletic doubling becomes forced apart, leaving such traditional precepts as “homonymy” also redundant in the suggestion of “one” (homo-) cover for two differing contents. All “nymy” tenets, be their prefixes of the “syno-” or “anto-” variety, this study has repudiated already for a too descriptive approach. What the second trichotomy still shares with the first is its dormant state of latent availability for context. The table with the two components of acquisition and articulation kept the M-0 trichotomies over the former, and the I-trichotomy over the latter: form and content are stored for renewed context.
The second trichotomy in the Picture of Language was also seen to occupy the 0-locus of Object-relation between the first and last trichotomies. This middle position emerges as a curious type of “opposition.” Peirce himself hints at this: in contrast to the “self-contained” positive state of monadic Firstness, Secondness embodies dyadic polarity, with “Feeling” replaced by “struggle” (1960, p. 146, par. 1.293; p. 149, par. 1.308; pp. 161-167 par. 1.322-1.33, including “Monads, Dyads, Triads”). Pierce alludes further to “Ego and Non-Ego” (ibid., p. 166, par. 1.332 ff.), a useful connection for the noematic factor, the adjectival qualifier taking over from the hyletic one. However, this time the noetic alternative of the third trichotomy is discussed simultaneously, just because content and context remain so interdependent.
As with the “hyletic,” the root of these two adjectives is Greek: “noema” once meant “what is thought” or, simply, “concept”; “noeo” or “noeso” denoted “to think” or “apprehend” (Fobes, 1966, p. 284). These readings for “noema” affirm cognition, albeit here of signitive provenance, and the issue of the manual or mental grasp connected with such modes of “apprehending” is something that will have special relevance for one of the modern studies on metaphor. Close in significance also is Ingarden’s tenet of pure-intentionality: the apprehending noetic factor equals an act of meaning that “intends” its target, German “Treffpunkt” (1965, pp. 122-123), by reaching out to it, converting the target simultaneously into an intentional object. In its “pure” state, this object bears only the content of the act which constitutes it. As a consequence, heteronomous, pure-intentional entities depend on their acts and are derived (abgeleitet; ibid.) from these even if, once formed, they transcend the constitution as such by retaining their significance within an expression.
The nomenclature itself goes back to Husserl rather than Ingarden. “Noesis” and “noema,” or the adjectives “noetic” and “noematic,” appear in his Ideas, a work devoted to “Pure Phenomenology” (1958, pp. 255-281, 282-356). The correspondence between a conscious act and its resulting content suggest further Husserl’s emphasis on organic “Korrelation” (Die Idee der Phanomenologie, 1958, pp. 12, 22, 32, passim). The noesis/noema dichotomy in a subsequent essay by Kwant (1967, p. 379) is further couched in a terminology that approximates Pierce’s: ego and nonego surface as respective “l-pole” and “counter-pole.” Next, an essay by one of Husserl’s Gallic successors, Merleau-Ponty, (1967, p. 363), seems almost to paraphrase Peirce by separating “Ego” from “Alter,” in the “understanding how/become the Other”(his underlining). The wording itself thus helps to bring semiotics and phenomenology (outside of Pierce’s phaneron cited in my introduction) closer together. Beyond the formulations, however, their gist stresses only organic interaction between a conscious act and its content, a message which, when heeded, could extirpate the ontological category-mistake once and for all. With this hope in mind, I introduce the second trichotomy.
As with the presentation of the first trichotomy, the faculty, here of knowing, heads the triangle and is followed by the plus (+) sign that identifies the “0” locus with the ontological state of Secondness. In one of Ingarden’s few trinary divisions, his criteria manage to complement the semiotic signs: material content by Icon, formal content by Index, and direction-factor by Symbol. His terms thus share markers with the signs (replacing my previously explained colors). Accordingly, “.” goes with the material content and Icon at M, with the formal content and Index at 0, and “#” with direction factor and Symbol at I. Each marker except the second belongs to a degenerate or generate trichotomy. Such are the dyadic polarities within this triadic setting. M-0 is at the degenerate and 0-1 at the generate end. Only the Index amounts to Object-relation of Object-relation, sitting at the very core of the triadic hierarchy.
A parallel dyadic relation is made explicit by Ingarden’s material and formal contents as italicised, differing in terminology from the (generate) “direction factor.” The semiotic signs reflect a parallel linkage. At M apex, the Icon equals the semantic name, thus the explicit content or lexicon consisting of a material base. The Picture of Language showed how the broken line moved from the Legisign “up” to the Icon in the second trichotomy, for which reason this sign shares the “.” identifier with the first trichotomy. The Index, conversely-and in that sense as polarity-bears the implicit content which yields the crucial linguistic concept or signitive category grounded only in meaning. The Index harbors the thought evolved from language, realizing Humboldt’s premise of language as very “Organ” of (its own) thought and, in a particular expression, remains the most context-sensitive component by retaining as import only what is relevant to the constitution, with the rest suppressed.
Despite their polarity, these two signs remain conjoined: the Icon is the centrifugal denotation, the Index the centripetal connotation. An Index has only a range of implicit meaning and thus depends on the denotative core of an Icon. Every Icon becomes invoked through what might be termed a “natural selection” process of speech. Only then can material contents of Icons corporealize an authorial will. The Index enters with the selection of the Icon as its adhering implicit periphery, releasing connotations pertinent to an authorial will.
How Icons amass Indexes in their wielding is to be explicated shortly under the “crests and troughs” composing the title for this chapter. Let me stress first that the Index has a subsuming role, holding its implicit or formal content together. So, as stated before, Ingarden’s “formal” here does not refer to a concrete “form” but rather to a “formalizing” or inner “focalizing” process. By depending on an explicit core, the formal content becomes signified “along with”-”mitvermeint”-the material content, asserts Ingarden (1965, pp. 69-70). Icons and Indexes obviously present synchronic language states, arising through the agency of the Symbol. The Symbol is that motile factor which, placed at the Interpretant corner, parallels the locus of the Legisign at degenerate level of the first trichotomy. That is why the Picture of Language also featured a broken line extending from its Interpretant corner to the next generate trichotomy of context. Since it is the immediate antecedent of context, the Symbol shares the “#” identifier with the last trichotomy. In all respects then, the Symbol constitutes yet another polar opposite to the explicit and implicit polarities. No longer content, it is the immediate catalyst for naming and norming at the degenerate level of Icon and Index. In this active capacity, the Symbol presents an “ego” opposing “an-other” (“non” or “alter.”) ego in the two contents, to trade on some of the terms from Peirce and the phenomenologists.
The implications of these findings are crucial for any study of linguistic metaphor. The traditional metaphor is sought essentially at the Icon since that sign approximates the lexicon, or rather its explicit deviance. Consequently, the prevalent notion of content expects an Icon to mirror extralinguistic transparencies which, when juggled, spell metaphorical transference instead of standard reference. Yet all linguistic categories have their ontogenetic ground in the Index attached to its Icon from indigenous deployment, while this type of transference lies embedded in a proxy-tenet trading on semantic barter which has one meaning stand proxy for another, an Index mostly for an Icon. Obviously, this cannot happen in view of the distinct, polar M-0 locus for respective Icon and Index. Since the Index is devoid of a denotative core, it may not even become explicit without erupting as an Icon. That happens unfortunately when I discuss import. Even then the Index remains elusive: the description of a “stiff’ personality for “wooden” would be only a loose paraphrase of a sense that could be rendered variously. Once articulated, though, the paraphraser equals a pseudo-author, an artificial Referent instead of natural Recipient who has made one connotation explicit.
The “wooden” in the Red Riding Hood example does not take its cues from outlying entities and their analogies. Whether implying a substance or personality trait, it is traceable to one cause, the signitive act; in each case, the Icon and its relevant Index come to the fore. Within each meaning is encapsulated that accumulated valence composing the natural pointer, Ingarden’s direction factor, which shares the “#” marker with the Symbol as the product of norming through the activity of linguistic naming.
Peirce’s definitions for the Icon, Index, and Symbol can be found in his listing of sign classes (1960, p. 150, par. 2.264). He has the Icon (mainly in the attributive “Iconic”) confined to the “Rheme” (“Rhematic”), which would not work for me. An Icon is only material content, not context. While Peirce also says about the “Iconic Sinsign” (p. 147, par. 2.255) that it is “a sign by likeness purely, of whatever it may be like . . .,” non-Aristotelian semantics accepts only the induced “likeness” wrought by context through the act of meaning. Instead the tradition treats the Icon like an isomorph in material content, confusing lexical representation with reference. Peirce says also about the “Iconic Legisign” (ibid.) that it embodies “a definite quality which renders it fit to call up in the mind the idea of a like object.” To “call up” meaning to bring within consciousness is indeed an apt way of describing the role of the indigenous pointer Ingarden called pure-intentional direction-factor.
Peirce’s own problems with the Icon nevertheless surface in his description of the Hypoicon which supposedly accounts for metaphor. The very idea of placing metaphor at the Icon has Peirce fall in with the tradition. Of Hypoicons Peirce says that those Iconic signs which “represent the representative character of a representamen by representing a parallelism in something else, are metaphors” (his underlining, p. 157, par. 2.275). And (p. 285, par. 1.541) he defines a “representamen” as the “operation of a sign or its relation to the object for the interpreter of the representation,” adding (just before the definition of Hypoicon) that it refers to “that which represents,” while the “act or relation of representing” would be equivalent to the “representation” (p. 155, 2 par. 2.272).
In Peirce’s rather circuitous description of a Hypoicon, the representation itself becomes “re-presented,” one might say. But no matter which paraphrase one chooses, the above definition bears all the traces of clinging to a traditional view of metaphor. Obviously, his “parallelism” circumscribes standard analogy and his “something else” the anomaly to be bridged by an analogy in metaphorical transference--disclosed here as representing the representation-between contents. Indeed Aristotle’s definition of metaphor (in my adjunct) will be so close to Peirce’s that the traditional connection can hardly be missed. And that the Hypoicon remains inadequate for language at least is made apparent when next (p. 184, par. 2.320) Peirce illustrates his Hypoicon with such visual artifacts as a portrait, where perception hardly begins with a word.
Max Bense (1971, p. 29), the German semiotician who was influenced by Peirce, preserves the latter’s ideas on metaphor as Hypoicon, replete with a proxy-tenet barter which has his”Iconicity” trade on “another” (ein anderes) Icon. His example (ibid., pp. 53-55) demonstrates an “adjunctive” relation made conspicuous through terms of endearment, all of which go back to the person so described-“Johanna, turtledove. . .” and so on. A series of epithets thus reinforce one another in unique object-relations that are spun off from and refer adjunctively to the same individual in her Hypoiconic description. But that is exactly what the words are, sheer descriptive epithets at the level of content taxonomy. Ultimately this “Johanna” may grace any poster, proverb or poem, leaving “her” literally rendered “use-less”; “she” is kept context-insensitive and veers on collapsing with any meaning when probed in such localized spotsighting-fit for another inconclusive Ingendahl Experiment. The fact that Bense traded on this single example again a couple of years later (1973, pp. 62-63) leaves his illustration more suspect; it stays traditional enough to become invested further with the standard lexical and/or localized transference that Germans generally call “Uebertragung”--literally a “carry-over”--of proxy-tenet barter. (The term came up with Nietzsche and recurs in the neo-Aristotelian adjunct.)
So much for the “Icon” gracing the Hypoiconic metaphor for Peirce and a modern Teutonic follower. Peirce says of the Index that it is “a sign which refers to the Object that it denotes by virtue of being really affected by that Object” (p. 143, par. 2.247). The “real effect” of this “Object” will be demonstrated in my discussion on the indentation linguistic activity causes, with the Index as its ultimate result. Perhaps even Peirce’s claim that “Icons and indices assert nothing” (p. 165, par. 2.291) can be accepted, at least insofar as “asserting” belongs to context at the level of the I-trichotomy. Next, the Symbol becomes for Peirce a “sign which refers to the Object that it denotes by virtue of a law,” additionally a “general law” (p. 143, par. 2.249). In the exposition, one gets the impression of some of that traditional dogmatism clinging to Peirce’s “symbol,” a dogmatism which used to consider it the “artificial” or abstract counterpart to a “natural” sign (Sørenson, 1963, pp. 32-40).
Peirce’s statement that the Symbol equals a “Representamen whose Representative character consists . . . in its being a rule that will determine its Interpretant” (p. 165, par. 2.292) is opportune. Symbolic determination, indeed, makes Icons and Indexes what they are as material and formal contents, through the mediation discussed. The Symbol maintains a cumulative impact on the Interpretant of the last trichotomy, much as the Interpretant precipitates Symbolic motility. Icon and Index then contain the “reference” which “directs” consciousness accordingly, be it the “person,” the substance in the Icon “wooden,” or whatever.
An Interpretant sign leading into the last trichotomy, the Symbol does indeed become what Peirce describes as a “law, or regularity of the indefinite future” (p. 166, par. 2.293). Feedforward as part of Symbolic mediation in itself makes explicit a progression in terms of the future through the last “ forward” segment. But the future must accompany all purposive states in their inexhaustible potential, here at the corner that leads from Symbol to the last trichotomy of context. That is where meaning expands to the possible achievement of ever new integration through an act of meaning. The scope for the new completion of language is provided by speaker impetus (I) marshaling form (M) to release the relevant import (0) in the thetic order described. These parenthetical signs are the universal constants, but content denominations vary with one language and its particular application. The act of meaning as such is not internalized but arises with the mature speaker’s ability to wield the shared, latent, and differentiated (oppositional) components of the inventory one language harbors. Indirectly the act is recorded, of course: the content of its past use becomes stored through Symbolic feedback and constitutes the potential feedforward for the next externalization.
Peirce’s idea of the future additionally touches on the Symbol’s imputed nature which might be termed adjectivally as “putative.” “A reference to a ground,” he says (p. 295, par. 1.558), “may be such that it cannot be prescinded from a reference to an interpretant,” a condition he then labels “an ‘imputed’ quality.” If followed through logically, this factor disqualifies arbitrariness in language, unless viewed positively as a trait that lends “existence” to signitive entities only through their “ground”: putative contiguity is either all or nothing. Let me indicate what happens to the contiguities in supposed hyletic doubling at the level of the second trichotomy when still vertical paradigma and thus in a dormant state.
No latent state can be made perfectly concrete, of course, since nobody can enter the mind and its neural impulses. There is nevertheless the foregone conclusion that the hyletic doubling which depicts only one triangle in the first diagram must begin to bifurcate with added generate depth in the other figures belonging to the second trichotomy, as the signs reveal. Icons are thus no longer identical when their Indexes differ through Symbolic mediation of context, whether summoning up the Iconic-Indexical pair “wooden” as “substance” versus “wooden’as “personality” or, in the other example, “leg” as “human” versus “furniture” extremity--in my loose paraphrasing of the left-sided Index. Because dimensions as such do not exist for the latent “vertical” stage antecedent to any exteriorized, linear syntagma, the last diagram may also be valid in its curious antigraviational connections. It shows the Symbols driven apart, like wings, and that distance is apt since Symbolic mediating power separates content in accordance with context. That is also precisely the reason why one cannot confuse Iconic material content with real, classified materiality in the manner of the neo-Aristotelians.
Exact contiguities in their precise locus may be hard to gauge, but not the assurance that they are extant within signitive oppositional values, from the hyletic leap of “tree” to “three” to other unique analogies and privative differences at depth. Certainly, no unilateral relation of some analogy in anomaly equal to extralinguistic autonomous classes can be foisted on these heteronomous semantic vehicles of (one) language. These entities are not stand-ins for. . . things in the world--a “theory” so beautifully expressed in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1952, II, ii, 43-44, p. 484). Juliet appears to project the traditional stance on reference in an implicit analogy which correlates a semantic with a proper name, here of her lover Romeo, a Montagu, whom she, a Capulet, is not permitted to love:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other means would smell as sweet.
Juliet has a perfect right to question the name in her situation; in this analogy she expects the semantic name to personalize the object in the manner of proper names for people. Last names are inherited and first names chosen at random. Icons, of course, are passed on to new, young speakers but never arise from aleatory whim since they are not mere labels standing in for (autonomus-)real objects. Instead, they become themselves the exterior (explicit) portion of pure-intentional objects that exist only for materializing acts of meaning. Unlike the rose in the world, the Icon “rose” of the English word has no smell to make an olfactory appeal to the senses. Rather, its Qualisigns yield the soft sound in the liquid “r,” the gently rolling “o,” and the “s” sibilant. Any “scent” has to arise as implicit meaning or relevant Index, here obtained in conjunction with the Icons “smell . . . sweet.”
This Shakespearean “rose” stays indissolubly linked with the other Icons to the authorial will of Shakespeare. The signitive intent would be impaired, the poetic texture suffer the equivalent of a tear if any Icon were added or removed. That applies equally to the dramatic character and the object of her love: Juliet and Romeo are not “people” who exist by any other name. Indeed, so indissolubly fused to the context are these figures that when wrested from their text, a whole aura of context is removed with them. A critic (Nieraad, 1977, pp. 1,65) therefore considers the idiomatic adaptation of proper names to a limited contextual relation (knappen Bezugskontext) one of the most fundamental types of metaphors-to wit, any romantic fellow alluded to as “a regular Romeo.”
Non-Aristotelian semantics, of course, does not acknowledge a metaphor that switches from esthetic to everyday use on the basis of Icons, because the source stays lexical and the approach too descriptive. Moreover, to consider briefly the Icon “rose” in its latent opposition for modern English, it projects a positive value in mnemonic linkage with the color “rose” as well as the past of the verb “rise” as “rose” and, sonorously, the plural “rows.” The obvious differences in meaning and syntax any native speaker recognizes; they amount to privative values, with the Icons trading on one material content while their Indexes harbor various formal contents. Those oppositional values spell potential “reference” for a language, as availability for a future speaker. Although German possesses a similar “Rose” (capitalized as shown), this Icon cannot fit even into the modest presentation of English opposition offered here.
Shakespeare is left the “father” of that matriarch, Elizabethan English, with Juliet not exactly his “daughter” but a “sibling” of that progeny the poem itself constituted for the “family” in the Richards piece. Even if this “rose” were “rose-colored,” the shade is not “in” the meaning any more than is the aroma. Autonomous and heteronomous materials are thus two different things. Ingarden stresses that difference with his important principle of the “Schema” (1965, pp. 66 ff.): it designates the natural ambiguity of material contents (Gumpel, 1971, pp. 111-113, 377, in reference to Ingarden’s “Essentiale Fragen”). A generic code, the schema in a sense equalizes, not unlike the Nietzschean “Begriff,” yet not at a rational level. Rather, the schema holds together what Icon amasses at Index through linguistic naming and norming.
Despite its generic quality, the schema remains supple, its ambiguity dynamic. Were it not for their schematic width, meanings could not incorporate an act of meaning--for which reason precisely the apples-and-oranges mentality of proxy-tenet substitution a tradition equates with metaphorical “transference” has rio place in language. So the corporeal material of a rose is vibrant in color and scent when compared to its heteronomous, signitive counterpart, the Icon “rose.” Such comparisons of states, however, result in ontological category-mistakes-on which the tradition unfortunately thrives. For example, Ullmann, whose work on semantics includes a chapter on “Words with Blurred Edges” (1970, pp. 116-119, 124-125), evaluates “generic abstractness” as a “shortcoming” of language. Ricoeur (1975, trans. 1977, pp. 113-116) concurs with Ullmann while dealing with the general vagueness and “indeterminacy of semantic boundaries.” Had greater attention been paid to the forms of language instead of comparing the materiality of one sphere with another, the very distinctive “edges” and “bounds” of language would have been realized.
Qualisigns, indeed, need to be most precise if that semantic threshold, the wordsound to Ingarden, is to be gleaned. Linguistic prowess reigns supreme if viewed less skeptically than the above critics did. A rose-colored rose in words comes across in any colored ink or print and still the Icons remain true to their meaning, because Qualisign curlicues have the priority here, not degenerate print as such. Language transcends any basic color and still conveys color. This chromatic difference prompted the German poet, Stefan George (1868-1933), to speak proudly of his “Dark big black flower” (Dunkle grosse schwarze blume; 1958,1, p. 47) which, unlike the real flower, consists of somber ink or print and thus grows in a garden needing neither warmth nor air, as the text goes on to express. Indeed, how distinctive his flower is George makes known, as one of the first poets who broke with the German syntactic rule of capitalizing nouns. Curiously, while the flower or “blume” stays uncapitalized, the darkness borne by the adjectival Icon “Dunkle” is capitalized because the poet still follows the rule of traditional poetics that requires capitalization at onset of line.
George’s linguistic flower, like the Shakespearean “rose,” is fused to the text forever, bestowing immortality on its author. Unlike the plant which needs warmth and water, the Icon never wilts. George was a poet who remained keenly aware of his linguistic medium, a cognizance which seems to supersede that of some of the theoreticians in the actual understanding of language. His flower is fused to its text just because heteronomous entities depend on the signitive acts that generated them. Elizabethan English may be “dead” insofar as its context has degenerated through lacking any live situational setting today, but texts such as the Shapkespearean ones keep the language alive in orthographic dimensions.
Not surprisingly, Ingarden (1965, pp. 62-63, 64-68) treats his schema while dealing with the material and formal contents and their direction-factor. He must show how they coincide in reference: the more schematic the material contents, the more indeterminable or “polyvalent” (mehrstrahlig) their direction-factor will be and, conversely, the less schematic this content, the more “actual(ized)” and focalized the meaning. Added to these distinctions are some technical details regarding “variable” or “potential” facets of contents in their impact on the direction-factor. While his exhaustive analysis is justified on the grounds of the intimate correspondence between content and reference as “directed” by the indigenous pointer, it may well defeat its purpose when too excessive in the area of describing content.
A better solution is therefore to aim for functional determinacy, since every transaction between reference and transference stabilizes content by making it point through its denominations at a specific context: meanings become focalized in engendering an act of meaning, with their direction-factors signifying the authorial intent. Although a schema may never be quite exhausted in connotative potential, the teleology of new semantic integration narrows the ambiguity to the immediate relevance of the constitution. Conversely, polyvalent or variable states obtain only for the discrete, latent vocables at best sighted in dictionaries when exteriorized. Yet contents fully signified through an authorial will become as much “final” as “finite” by being fused to a specific contextualizion, to an act of meaning as its chosen meanings. Actually Ingarden also affirms such a functional difference: he notes that the description of isolated words serves only the heuristic purpose of examining basic characteristics (pp. 62, 94). He then adds in a footnote that single words in their discrete status duly possess a variable and potential direction-factor (p. 73). So he goes here beyond sheer content denomination.
In a way, the very fusion becomes substantiated by Ingarden’s language-bound examples: they are the vehicles for speech in German. I thus return to my own illustrations. The Icon “rose” may seem less schematic than “flower,” as does the compound “tableleg” in contrast to the “leg” segment alone. But one may well be locked into surface content and identify the Iconic “rose” as a flower species of the plant genus, which is tantamount to stooping to the ontological category-mistake. Context has such an impact on content that the “leg,” for instance, may end up being as specific as the whole compound. In some bizarre setting, perhaps, the “tableleg” as the “wooden” prosthesis of some amputee oddly enough could signify a “human” extremity after all! Who knows?
What a critic should know is that an act of meaning constitutes the determinant of meanings or, the other way around, that meanings function as determinables first and foremost for an act of meaning, resulting in a concomitant schematic contraction. That is also the reason why non-Aristotelian semantics proscribes switching between Icons and Indexes, a thorny issue with proxy-tenet substitution in so-called metaphors. The ramifications of this problem extend to the dichotomy generally termed “in absentia” and “in praesentia” (alluded to briefly in my discussion of Saussure). Presumed deviant meaning in a lexical metaphor is not considered “present” (in less fancy Latinized terminology) due to proxy replacement (Ricoeur, 1977, pp. 166, 184). Then a “denotation” is torn from a “connotation” through a cleavage that would split meaning from the “meant,” reference from its requisite (structural) transference.
In non Aristotelian semantics, “presence” is not in dispute: first, Icons must be “present” in their centrifugal, explicit material contents, no matter what the lexicon displays since this cannot even appear without an Icon; Indexes as centripetal counterparts attain an implicit “presence” in accordance with their relevance to the act of meaning that regulates them; any implication not relevant to the transaction between reference and transference becomes suppressed, is in that sense “absent.” So “wooden” as part of the Iconic stretch in the Red Riding Hood example may elicit the subtance of the basket handle at one point in the syntagma and the stiff personality in another. The latter use seems deviant to tradition, suggesting that “wooden” in any shape or form is not really “denoted” and thus not wholly present. Were these theories based on fact, no meaning could issue from meanings (including mine here): every articulated Icon must be “present” or leave a gap in semantic texture. Indexes, though hard to pin down just because they possess no denotative core, must then release the relevant connotations. My various heuristic attempts to disambiguate Indexes exemplified the role of a pseudo-author by forcing Indexes into the strait jacket of Icons, indulging willfully in paraphrasing through artificial “parallel phrases.” Only then do Indexes assume an outright, if unnatural, “presence.”
The third sign of the second trichotomy, the Symbol, is even more recessive than the Index, and thus less present. As polar alternative to Icon and Index in material and formal contents, the Symbol was said to be their catalyst. The Symbol, standing in generate relation to these contents at the Interpretant corner, guarantees the existence of the explicit Icon and implicit Index. In its latent role of mediation between the trichotomies of context and content, the Symbol leaves Icon and Index language-bound: English “wooden” is tied conspicuously to this language when connoting the personality trait, for example. Symbolic mediation, not the representation of analogous things in the world, forge semantic identities, although die-hard categoricians would have it otherwise. By standards of an empirical isomorphism, the durable quality of metal might seem closer to human intransigence than does wood. Yet feedforward and feedback have ascribed this meaning to “wooden.” Because Icons are fused with the relevant Indexes to their particular constitution, they do not record changing but register only changes resulting from latent Symbolic mediation.
The issue of presence over absence preoccupying neo-Aristotelians in search of metaphor also has Fregean roots. In yet another unfortunate dichotomy, Frege’s famous yet overrated essay (1952)--particularly in the Anglo-Saxon community--posits a potential split between “sense” and “reference.” To non-Aristotelian semantics that cleavage is as unacceptable as the one between transference and reference. Frege envisaged this schism in literary language, the modern neo-Aristotelians in metaphor, as suggested above by the “nondenoting” of the Icon “wooden” when used as personality trait. Frege (ibid., pp. 62-63) makes matters worse by leaving the sole “sense” relegated to literary use unexplained, other than stooping to a gross affectivism which causes him to lean on the sheer emotional appeal of “feeling.” Is that a scientific analysis of anything? Since by coincidence he seizes on the same Homeric works Aristotle cited in his exposition of metaphor, there is indeed a fortuitous “Aristotelian” connection on which to trade.
With half of Frege’s dichotomy left unexplained, the other half cannot succeed either, for which reason my study will be forced to include a couple of corrective Fregean “sequels.” That decidely “positive” root which has meaning exude from Qualisigns would be contradicted if reference could be severed from sense. Frege, of course, as the logician incarnate managed to do well by the rational concept termed “Begriff,” from his “Begriffsschrift.” But my study has discarded that type of concept for meaning already. Not surprisingly, Frege’s ideas on “truth values” (ibid., p. 63) also fall short of the mark where language is concerned. The primary “truth” in language belongs to the “values” Legisigns validate for Icons and their Indexes through Symbolic mediation. Verification via the lexicon only equals trading on a crude representational verisimilitude.
To illustrate Frege’s dichotomy is his own famous example of “Venus” (1952, pp. 58 ff.). Frege realizes that the planet Venus has been verbalized additionally by the terms “evening star” and “morning star”; the alternatives are said to bear the same reference by pointing at the planet so designated while they differ in sense. This is a neat conclusion, but grossly oversimplified! Every extant Icon bears “reference” in material explicit content and so does every Index as implicit counterpart. Any expression containing different Icons changes in both sense and reference, affecting the contextualization of contents; any paraphrasing alters Iconizations of an authorial will, with a concomitant transmutation of import.
Frege’s dichotomy, replete with the Venus example, nevertheless spawned a plethora of critical responses: Quine (1964, pp. 9, 21, 62) cites it in a modified nomenclature, using “term” and “meaning”; Ryle (1971, II. p.354) speaks of “two descriptive phrases ‘the Morning Star’ and ‘Evening Star”’ and considers them “different ways of referring to Venus”; Eco (1972, pp. 73, also 75, 80, 90) inevitably leans on his cultural unities which set the alternative versions apart; Kripke (1972, pp. 269-270, 306 ff.) adds further names such as “Hesperus” and “Phosphorus” to the Fregean ones as he aims for “rigid designators,” although their rigidity is made vulnerable by having to operate in vague “worlds”; finally, Katz (1971, pp. 86-87), of transformationalist affiliation, lets the alternatives “refer to the same object” though they “differ in meaning,” while he recognizes dimly that “achievement of empirical astronomy” needs to be distinguished from “achievement of lexicography or semantics.”
I say “dimly” because, as happens so often, one point is made and another denied in what should have been an identical case, here concerning achievement in lexicography, as Katz puts it. The fact that the problem goes unrecognized in just another illustration leaves any clear-cut realization of the issue rather questionable. Katz (p. 93) insists, for example, that “synonymous words” such as “bunny” and “rabbit” beyond “certain social conventions . . . have nothing whatever to do with meaning.” Yet whatever “social” means here, the signitiue “conventions” borne by these two Icons constitute “meaning.” As with the astral versions above, separate Icons yield separate Indexes, hence distinctions in reference and sense. A speaker ignorant of their disparities would sound immature, indeed retarded at levels of linguistic competence guiding performance: in the language-game of a biology class “bunny” would sound ridiculous while in a Playboy setting “rabbit” might be erroneous.
Equal to Katz’s “social conventions” are the “ways” and “worlds” of Ryle and Kripke, respectively, while Eco’s cultural unities have been taken to task already: all fall short of coping with language. There is no separation of ways or worlds from the semantic grooves meanings leave behind and come to own. In this ownership, Icons amount to “rigid designators,” not of other “worlds” but of their own words, for which reason they cannot be dislodged from an authorial will once chosen to exteriorize it. Ways and worlds become the very codes guiding signitive consciousness in ontic heteronomy while real animals or planets exist in ontic autonomy. So, in fact, does the goddess Venus after whom the planet may well have been named; she is perceived directly on tapestries or similar artifacts. The Icons of words, however, come with the language; their sole referential purpose resides in that language.
True, without the planet or animal the words may not exist, but, once coined, they reside in their own world. A minuscule portion of such a world which is also thematically close to the above examples I found in a newspaper article (Minneapolis Tribune, May 19, 1979, p. 8A) that describes a (British) political scandal involving homosexual lovers. The language is speckled with such idioms as “(poor) bunny . . . frightened rabbit” in reference to one doting and one apprehensive partner. Another political context in dubious metaphors fit for an Ingendahl Experiment, or more hypoiconic terms of endearment added to Bense’s adjunctive “turtledove” Johanna? Whatever the case, the Icons in their varied anthropomorphization have parted ways because the “bunny” and “rabbit” no longer can be switched to make sense for these persons as if used in their sheer reference to a hare as one animal. The same would apply if, in a heterosexual relation, that “bunny” had been the turtledove Johanna as “starry-eyed Venus” of perfection.
Just one more popular example is worth adding, especially since two of the above critics also seize on it, and that is the unicorn. Its mythological base resembles the Venus deity and the fact that it is a creature mirrors the rabbit example above. Eco (1972, p. 71) naturally views the unicorn as yet another cultural unity. Ryle himself is “misled” in his essay on “Systematically Misleading Expressions” (Flew, First Series, 1963, p. 16) by asserting, “‘Unicorns do not exist’ seems to mean what is meant by ‘nothing is both a quadruped and herbivorous and the wearer of one horn’ (or whatever the marks of being an unicorn are)”-his italics. This unicorn, despite its mythological identity, assumes like Venus a recognizable shape on any painting or tapestry, which is a form of existence, if not of the empirical kind. The English Icon “unicorn,” from whose form all linguistic competence proceeds, “exists” only for that goal. True, the “world” outside caused the diachronic contact to be kept transparent in the compounded “one” “horn” as “unicorn” characterizing this creature, as also reflected in the German compound “Einhorn.” But each of these Icons stays attached foremost to its oppositional inventory.
None of these conditions for existence can be reduced to Ryle’s simplistic empirical data above; as long as they are espoused, no critic can succeed with language. That problem is also made apparent by the Fregean approach to meaning in assessment of metaphor, brought up in conjunction with the traditional view of the “icon.” Henle (1966, p. 177), foremost among these critics, invests his “iconic” metaphor with the negative role of “non-denoting” as he singles out one word, “enwrap,” from a Keats verse in typical spotsighting-like picking a raisin out of a cake! The verb is considered a “non-lexical” type of “icon” because it imparts in its context thoughts of gloom; there is no mention of a garment, some “person with a cloak.” How patently absurd! Henle might have probed his native competence and realized that plain English lingo has people “wrapped up” in their thoughts or words “clad” in certain contents. If standard use can produce that much, surely no “lexical” denoting has to get lost.
Yet so traditional is Henle’s resort to a sartorial cover, ironically for an image depicting such a cover, that it harks back to a Renaissance ‘“Garment’ of Style” poetics (see Tuve, 1965, pp. 61-78). Underlying this sartorial postulate is the proxy tenet, of course, with its apples-and oranges mentality, suggesting that the prosaic reference to emotion has been glossed “cloaked” or “covered” (“clad”?)--over by the deviant garment image which, because no garment is “meant,” stays nonlexical in reference. In a parallel with the visual arts, one might as well posit that the famous blue horses by Franz Marc (of the early nineteenth-century Blue Rider movement) become “nonchromatic” because the color does not represent live horses in empirical reality. In a nonskeptical view, however, the vantage point stays with the artifact instead of seizing on conformity to facts. Then the color or the linguistic Icon forges its own counter-reality from within the composition or unique context, affirming its function instead of confirming empirical states in the world.
Apparently Henle took his “icon” from Peirce, a connection substantiated by Ricoeur (1975, trans. 1977, pp. 188-189), who himself tries to explain how an “icon” is “not presented but merely described.” Yet what all non-Aristotelian Icons are required to do in their “positive” nature is to “present” themselves in their Legisign validation, through which they lay the explicit foundation of an authorial will. So unless “describing” is systematized as specific semantic function, it remains itself a “descriptive” term signifying nothing. If that is what Peirce’s “icon” accomplished outside of the hypoiconic metaphor discussed, the need for anchoring content in the non-Aristotelian “Icon” should prove more than justified.
Moreover, it hardly seems fair to bring up the traditional “icon” without at least mentioning the Verbal Icon (1967), a work co-authored by Wimsatt and Beardsley. In this work, “icons” are believed to exemplify “counterlogical” rather than “logical” styles--equal to the “texture and polish of the verbal structure” (ibid., p. 217). Since ontic heteronomy is counterlogical anyway, these distinctions would not serve my purpose. In a loose reminder of my own examples, I cite the one offered by these authors (ibid., p. 202). The passage is from Pope and describes in “iconic” circumlocution a door as “wooden guardian of our privacy” (ibid). The door as inert “wooden” barrier has been anthropomorphized into a watch or guard, in the process exhibiting a style these authors would deem unique in “iconicity” (p. 203). The imagery betrays odd concoctions, to be sure, yet this iconicity is not barred from a commercial selling doors and thus remains a purely descriptive term for a figurative style.
The analysis has now arrived at its own two figures of the crests and troughs, which convey the functioning of language in its ontogenetic origin. They were taken from a standard translation (1961, I, pp. 285 286) of Cassirer’s “Wellenberge” and “Wellentäler” (1972, I, pp. 258) that appeared in the first volume on language of the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms cited before, specifically from the crucial chapter on linguistic concept formation. Skimming the Icons yields the literal translation of “waves” for the “Wellen--” segments of both compounds, while the second segments of each go into “mountains” or “peaks” for the “berge” and “vales” or “valleys” derived from the “täler.” In either translation, these compounds designate mental undulations or convolutions which evolved from linguistic activity. The troughs are essentially the indentations caused by Iconic wielding, leaving behind the imprint of an Index filled with implicit meaning. What prompts Iconic wielding is the act of meaning which, through Symbolic feedforward and feedback, leaves its traces behind.
The “convolutions” are modeled after the perceivable physical convolutions of the grey matter in the brain. Exclusively signitive, these convolutions equal only infinitesimal impulses, undetectible to the eye. So these are the very “grooves” speech leaves behind, the “ways,” “worlds,” or “conventions” within one language the above critics placed somewhere outside of language. Inhering these grooves are concepts or categories of lingiuistic competence in the “knowing” required of a language. This form of cognition is indigenous to linguistic activity, and not logical, deductive processes. No effective performance is possible without these convolutions; speakers share them latently with their speech community. My attempt below to draw a dormant state looks crude but still serves its purpose. First, a tabula rasa exists at the tangential plane, showing the smooth line, with the impact of the first indentation recorded as mental imprint. The other figures depict the indenting in progress with the resulting convolutions, with the final transverse section manifesting mental categories or compartments in the slightly rectangular shapes. (See diagram, p. 93.)
In these concrete dimensions, the arrow in the first figure could as well go up as down to suggest reciprocal hearer and speaker roles. No doubt young speakers hear before they speak. But Recipient and Referent interlocutors take over so swiftly in the dialectic flux of speech that sheer chronology is hard to measure. The Icon is extant for one individual because of the convolutions shared by other speakers. Yet no Icon becomes successfully wielded without a context sensitive Index which, at 0 in thetic 1-M-O generation, attains relevance only within the specific use and the forged contiguities, as discussed. The second figure thus has arrows going both ways, with the Symbol at right angles to them, suggesting its task of mediation. In the last transverse diagram, the Symbol is essentially the adjacent space between the two categories or concepts, in their imputed contiguity. The arrows in conjunction with the Symbol also present the direction-factor as indigenous pointer that has the mind assume the content of the meaning(s).
The inductive programming that is in evidence makes concrete the metalinguistic contiguities encompassing one system: the deeper the indentation, the wider the implicit radius, shown peripherally in the transverse diagram by surrounding the denotative core. So this is how meanings depend on their act of meaning, here the arrows; this is how noetic activity and noematic content stay intimately linked.
Considering the complexity of the oppositional system, the adjacent category in the last diagram appears far too neat. The many mnemonic layers of positive/privative values can hardly be drawn in without causing havoc. Still, the point is that a purely linguistic concept is being illustrated. As stated, it replaces Ingarden’s concept, the “idealer Begriff” (1965, pp. 88-89, 386-387, 390); the attributive “ideal” contradicts his otherwise clear-cut ontological division between real or ideal autonomy and pure-intentional heteronomy. Ingarden himself sounds unsure: while defending his ideal concept on the grounds that it averts the “danger of solipsism” (Gefahr der Subjektivierung), he adds weakly that he “believes” (glauben) it will provide the ontological ballast for the seemingly volatile essence of meaning. Yet Ingarden has anchored the “ontic” foundation of meaning effectively enough in the intersubjective base of wordsounds not to require the aid of the ideal concept as well (1965, pp. 385-390, 391-400). Intersubjectivity is the very “objectivity” which keeps language suspended among speakers: it provides the “ontic” ground of conventionally based systems, once interlocutory Referent and Recipient partnerships honor the validated Legisigns.
How well Cassirer’s linguistic concept fits into ontic heteronomy emerges clearly enough in the following statement appearing near his mention of crests and troughs. Here Cassirer describes how the signitive mind becomes imprinted exclusively by meaning in the process of what he calls naming (Benennung):
die neue gedankliche Prägung, die der Inhalt erfährt, ist die notwendige Bedingung für seine sprachliche Bezeichnung, (the new imprint of thinking upon the content is the necessary condition for its designation in language.) (1972, I, p. 255; 1961,1, p. 284).
A standard translation is offered along with the original because the phrasing is as crucial as it remains complex in rendering. No initial capitalization is in evidence since the passage follows a colon, elaborating on the very possibility or potential (Möglichkeit) for naming, hence involving that futuristic aspect cited before as requisite for purposive domains. Cassirer’s “designation” produces a “new” mental imprint, and yet the imprint itself is needed to provide the effective designation for a naming activity. Seemingly circular, the argument is nevertheless that a hermeneutic relation like this forces mind and meaning into mutual determination. The two-directional arrows on my diagram conveyed that same circularity: the arrow downward deepens the indentation and the one pointing upward permits further wielding of the Icon as it burgeons in the area of its periphery, the linguistic category.
Cassirer’s “imprinting” and my indenting process thus affirm that no explicit content like an Icon becomes effective without at least a vestige of accumulated import, hence an Index. In the dialectics of acquiring and articulating language through reciprocal hearer and speaker roles, children begin to establish their competence. Their first active attempts remain holophrastic (Gumpel, on “‘Reality’ as a Construct of Language,” 1974, pp. 172-174). An Icon is wielded as a whole phrase in the manner of imperatives and in the process becomes a language-bound, contextual vehicle. With different contexts, moreover, Icons move apart, as might apply to “wooden” in either of the senses shown. Then two Icons arise essentially, attached to their polar, implicit Index. To be sure, the explicit (hyletic) identity serves additionally the mnemonics of wordplay, as revealed by the earlier inimitable cartoons.
Just because the Icons separate, speakers may not be immediately conscious of the hyletic doubling: instead of being dual, the Icons seem to differ at depth. Indeed, I amazed a rather literate person by drawing attention to the “leg” for use in the human limb and the furniture support. Instead of explaining, I might have evoked that awareness through a pun, in the manner of the cartoons. That is why traditional homonymy, suggesting one (homo-) cover for two meanings falls short of the second trichotomy. Symbolic mediation has done its part. The diagram below should demonstrate that Iconic divergence rules out simple doubling or homonymy. Although the Symbol has been omitted here, its place would parallel that in the earlier depiction.
Since this figure is modeled on the prior diagram, it needs little elucidation. According to experts, onset of puberty at around eleven to twelve years is about the right age for gleaning metalinguistic contiguities of this nature (Nieraad, 1977, p. 115). Interestingly enough, children younger than that know how to wield the separate Icons of each “leg” or “wooden,” for example, but miss their mnemonic potential for punning (ibid., pp. 115-116, 118-119, 123, 128 on Ash and Nerlove, also Leondar.). Rather significantly, critics in this context cite also the work done by Jakobson and Halle on aphasia: lesions at the speech center result in a type of atavism by loss of metalinguistic--to these critics “metonymic”--connections. No doubt overexposure to commercial jingles that impinge upon the young mind may have the same effect on the forming indentations, even in otherwise healthy young speakers.
With insufficient redundance at the level of normal indentation, moreover, other forms of programming can easily encroach on the linguistic one. Then, in a momentary sensation, that “collision” noted before between two forms of programming occurs: semantic contiguities appear “odd”-lo and behold!-the lexical metaphor has occurred. However, since only linguistic activity and not sensation can govern meaning(s), there is no genuine interference with intrinsic competence; the signitive convolutions are accordingly unaffected--as they are by the movement of the earth around the sun no matter how “real” the path of the sun is to the senses.
Unfortunately, there is confusion about even the presence or absence of a diachronic metaphor, just because critics are not clear on where language begins and ends. One minute this metaphor is considered an early and the next a late phenomenon (ibid., p. 118, on Leondar). A favorite example of early children’s metaphor appears to be “moon” as “ball.” None other than Ingendahl of the Experiment cites this example in that very essay (1972, p. 268), though he was not the first (Landmann, 1963, p. 136). The case seems transparent enough: children are familiar with such round toys as a ball but less likely to encounter the moon when keeping a regular bedtime. Should they perceive this round stellar object one night, they might form their own analogy and call the moon a “ball.” Fascinating as the example is for revealing a child’s imagination, the young speaker in question is not in language. To be so, the child must know the accepted Icon and wield it. Otherwise no indentations will form, no intersubjective sharing be possible.
The “shape” of the English Icon “ball” will eventually lead a child to glean the Index “dance.” Though this diachronic connection may be opaque, the synchronic state is extant and shared and thus securely anchored in signitive convolutions, irrespective of round shapes or anything else. To be sure, sophisticated speakers can wield “ball” also to mean “moon,” or vice versa; within a particular constitution of thetic I M-0 generation anything is possible. But that is hardly a child’s game. Indeed, where the child’s perception of the moon itself started, primitive humans once began. By coincidence, Cassirer’s chapter on linguistic concepts also includes a moon example (1972, 1, pp. 256-257). This stellar object became perceived as either the “measuring one” (Greek “meyn”), still present in the English-German Sinsigns “moon”/“Mond,” or as “the shining one” (Latin “luna,” from“luc-na”: “light”), which French “lune” still manifests. Once the original percipience has become language-bound, the Icon, no matter what denomination, serves speech.
If there is any chance to salvage the neo-Aristotelian metaphor from its solipsistic sensation by straddling bounds of language and the extralinguistic forms of programming, I advocate a quantitative rather than qualitative approach. That is to say, if the sensation described in the collision could be measured on the basis of frequency and familiarity, the “life” or “death” of an Iconic, lexical metaphor might be gauged. At what point, in other words, does redundance block the encroachment of other forms of programming, as it seems to do with my former example of the “working” machines? Normalization has been so perfect here that only a bilingual awareness reveals the oddity of this verb in its nine-to-five job connotation.
This quantitative remedy might be applicable to the findings of W. Köller’s work, Semiotik und Metapher (1975), particularly the chapters dealing with cybernetics and communication processes (pp. 75-83, 187-206). Although Köller’s basic idea of metaphor does not transcend lexical “Anomalie” either, he offers some interesting pointers governing a regulative “disturbance-factor” (Störgrosse) that balances Is Values with Ought Values (1st-Wert/Soll-Wert, pp. 78-96). Any discrepancy between these values causes a sensation of metaphor, although the real “disturbance” here remains the encroaching extralinguistic programming that should belong to ontic autonomy in any perception of. . . which is outside of words.
These values perhaps could be measured, that is, by numerically determining the discrepancies between Ought-Values and Is-Values. When these values reach confluence at zero point, the Ought-Value essentially disappears, metaphor dies and meaning takes over as all-absorbing Is-Value, with any disturbance-factor removed, as applies to the working machines cited. Perhaps one might look additionally to the studies of Breuer (1974, pp. 121-128) on the self-regulatory processing of language, where set “algorithmic” nodes counter the unique “creative-heuristic” expressions of poets. But Breuer exhibits that common penchant for describing metaphor with metaphor when he goes on to contend that metaphor conquers deviance, German “Abweichung,” by forming a “bridge” between the “already-known” and “not-yet-known” (pp. 133-134). He fails to realize that linguistic competence in the use of any meaning is always known to be used but stays relayed in the unpredictable future of potential manipulation insofar as the act of meaning selecting meanings remains an unknown until it becomes articulated through reference with transference.
What this chapter tried to prove can be summed up best by Edie’s essay on “Expression and Metaphor,” particularly the section on the “Arepresentational Structure of Language” (1963, pp. 540 ff.):
Thought and meaning are fully incarnate in language; the thematization of meaning does not precede language but rather language makes such thematization possible
Edie himself is interested in the seventeenth-century Italian thinker Vico and his influence on modern phenomenologists, particularly Merleau-Ponty. Vico realized that “minds” are formed by language, not language by “minds” (Edie, 1969, p. 488). That view is of course also espoused by the Humboldtian tradition to which Cassirer was still seen to belong. The signitive convolutions, formed by Iconic indenting, surely embody that “mind.” When this source is known, one no longer needs to raise the questions Ricoeur asked with respect to the presence of metaphor (1977, p. 137): “First deviation from what?. . . Next, what does one mean by ‘deviation’?” The point is that nothing may “deviate” from the convolutions where Icons have left their Indexical traces, and any metaphor that does is not even a truly semantic phenomenon.