Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Cognitive Semiotics

Cognitive semiotics is the study of meaning making writ large, as it is conveyed and simultaneously structured by all kinds of sign vehicles including language, gestures, and pictures, and as it manifests itself in consciousness, perception, and action, even outside of directly communicative contexts.

Cognitive semiotics investigates the properties of our meaningful interactions with the surroundings across all domains of the natural as well as social world. It integrates perspectives, methods, and insights from cognitive science, cognitive linguistics, semiotics, and other human sciences placing signs and sign use as well as other meaning vehicles into a wider context of cognitive, social, and neurobiological processes. In its investigations of the relations between body and mind, cognitive semiotics entertains a close relationship to philosophy, psychology, and biology. Its methodology ranges from phenomenological analysis to experimental studies, integrating first-, second- and third-person methodologies. It investigates wide-ranging theoretical issues bearing on the nature of different kinds of meaning, their connections and the way they develop through history, evolution, and childhood.

At Lund University, the Department of Cognitive Semiotics developed out of a series of collaborative projects involving representatives of the former Department of Semiotics, and others from Linguistics and Cognitive science, and several other human sciences. It has so far been mainly concerned with the evolution and development of different semiotics resources. We have contributed to topics such as gesture studies, the study of pictures, the nature of iconicity and its different manifestations, the evolution and nature of languge, the semantics of actual and non-acual motion, narratology, the structure of cultural encounters, and the epistemology and methodology of the human sciences.


• More about Cognitive Semiotics and its background in Lund

• More about the current focus points of our studies



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