Title

Hidden Iconicity : A Peircean Perspective on the Chinese Picto-Phonetic Sign

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Semiotica

Publication Date

7-1-2005

Volume

154

First Page

273

Last Page

285

Abstract

According to Peirce, iconic interpretation is an associative inference on the basis of similarity. In that sense, nearly all Chinese characters are icons. The more obvious support for this claim comes from the pictorial nature of Chinese characters, which are either "pictographic" or "indicative". A better adjective for both is "ideographic" because they share the same interpretive movement from "graphs" to "ideas" that are similar. There is another direction in which a graph can be turned into an icon. Apart from the semantic connection to the referent, a graph is also related through convention to a particular sequence of sounds which constitute its pronunciation. This has resulted in characters that are "picto-phonetic" in nature.

DOI

10.1515/semi.2005.2005.154-1-4.273

Print ISSN

00371998

Publisher Statement

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

DING, E. (2005).Hidden Iconicity: A Peircean Perspective on the Chinese Picto-Phonetic Sign. Semiotica, 154, 173-285.