Deep Sea Semiotics

One of the current frontiers of science is the geology and biology of the deep sea. Glimpses of the ocean floor show dramatic landscapes of mountain chains, profound valleys, tumultuous volcanic vents that are teeming with puzzling forms of life which have evolved in these extreme, photonless environments. […]

Semiotic profile: Andre Helbo

The writings of many semiologists are often dogmatically linked to the particular schools of thought to which they relate. By contrast, Andre Helbo has demonstrated in his publications a remarkable open-mindedness, a kind of fluidity […]

Scott Simpkins (1958-2010)

I worked with Scott as an academic colleague since the mid-90s in my capacity as editor of The Semiotic Review of Books. Scott was an engaged member of the editorial board and his participation made […]

Three “Musts” on Gestures

The Anatomy of Meaning: Speech, Gesture, and Composite Utterances. By N. J. Enfield. Cambridge University Press, 2009 (252 pages). It would be enlightening for the reader of this book to first peruse Nick Enfield’s brief […]

Gesture studies: a show of force and maturity

The 4th conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS: http://www.gesturestudies.com/ ) was held this year in Frankfurt / Oder (Germany) at the European Viadrina University, July 25-30.  It attracted over 400 participants representing […]

Rethinking Language Origins

So often, in language origins discussions, the ‘target to be explained in evolutionary terms is ‘language’ in the sense of the highly abstracted and idealized system that typically constitutes the object analyzed in linguistics. Although, indeed, an account of the development of such a system is needed, if the circumstances and manner of utterance production by actual human beings in concrete occasions of interaction is overlooked, important pieces of the puzzle we are trying to understand will almost certainly be missing. Two issues of importance with respect to this are outlined in what follows. […]