The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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that the science of signs of Morris is a behavior theory. The three uses of languageinformative, valuative, and
incitiveprovide for thinking, feeling, and doing. And systemic language is the means by which to organize these various signs, thus to organize the responses of interpreters. Like this:
I hope I have not given you the impression that signs are "pure" designative, "pure" appraisive, or "pure" prescriptive. They are not, of course, as Morris points out. We use signs, sometimes, hardly knowing what we want. And, as for the responses of a recipient, how can we know the eSect that our signs will have upon him, exactly? We cannot know, of course. I am remembering now the mountain drive up a canyon road outside of Colorado Springs. Shuddering, I said to my companion at the wheel: "This road is icy" What was my intention? Were these informative signs? Did I want my companion to take cognizance of the characteristics of the frozen water under the wheels of the car? Or, did I want him to experience something of my apprehension (thus to prepare him for desired behavior)? Or, was I being implicitly incitive? Did I want him to stop and put chains on the tires, or find a possible spot to turn around and go down? I hardly knew. The words came. And when he said: "Nuts!" what was he