Linguistics & Semiotics

After Chomsky, Saussure!        — F. Rastier


My Research

Linguistics (aka the Semiotics of Languages), Semiotics of Cultures, Saussurean Linguistics, Corpus Semantics, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture, Internet Discourse.

What is Semiotics?

Publications, presentations, and projects

Carrasco, W. J. (in progress). “The Semiotics of a Home Run: The Instant Replay as an Intersemiotic Passage”.

Carrasco, W.J. (in progress). “Tradition as Transmission: Revisioning La llorona”.

Carrasco, W. J. (in progress) “’A Lot of Little Boy’: Intertextual Trajectories of Roy Campanella’s famous line”.

Carrasco, W. J. (in progress) “The Digital Commons as Point of View and Guarantee”.

Carrasco, W. J. “Catching up to Saussure with Text Semantics” International Linguistic Association Monthly Lecture Series, Borough of Manhattan Community College, October 14, 2017.

Carrasco, W.J. (2016) “Looking Back to See Forward: Rediscovering Saussure”. Texto! textes & cultures.  Volume XXI – n°3-4 (2016). Coordonné par Jean-Louis Vaxelaire

Carrasco, W. J. (2016) “Looking Back to See Forward: Rediscovering Saussure”. Babel: The Language Magazine. August 2016.

“Text Semantics: A Linguistic Approach to Literature.” Scholarly Teas, Lecture series sponsored by the English Department at Hunter College (March 9, 2016), New York, NY.  (Click title for audio)

Carrasco, William J. (2015) “Linguistic Creativity and Children’s Literature: The Case of Pinkalicious“. 12th International Columbia School Conference on the Interaction of Linguistic Form and Meaning with Human Behavior. Columbia University. February 14 – 16, 2015

Carrasco, W.J. (2015)  “From the Sign to the Passage: A Saussurean Perspective.Texto! textes & cultures. Volume XX – n°1 (2015). [online], Volume XX – n°1 (2015). Coordonnated byCarine Duteil-Mougel.URL : http://www.revue-texto.net/index.php?id=3612.

Carrasco, (2014) W.J.  “From the Sign to the Passage: A Saussurean Perspective. The 39th Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America: : Paradoxes of Life (October 2-4, 2014). Seattle, WA.

Carrasco, W. J. (2012) “Semiotic Practice and Internet Freedom Discourse”. The 37th Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America: Semiotics and New Media (November 1-5, 2012). Toronto, Canada.  Permanent URL at Academic Commons: http://dx.doi.org/10.7916/D85X273W

Carrasco, W. J., Fillol, V. and Mpondo-Dicka, P. (1999). “Parlons de sémiotique: Entretien avec Dr. Joseph Courtés.” La revue de l’Université de Beni-Mellal. Morroco.

Carrasco, W. J. (199Smilie: 8). “500 ans ça suffit: analyse sémiotique d’une affiche de Ronald Curchod.”  Violence et Langage. 19e Colloque d’Albi, Langages et Signification (July 199Smilie: 8), Albi, France.

Carrasco, W. J., and Fillol, V. (1997). “Du conte populaire à l’affiche publicitaire: le petit chaperon rouge et Coca-Cola.” L’image: Représentations et réalités, Actes du 18e Colloque d’Albi, Langages et Signification, pp. 197-218. University of Toulouse Press. Toulouse, France.

Carrasco, W. J. (1995). “Tres motivos de la literatura oral en España y América del Norte: el desafío, la deslealtad y el rescate.” Escritos. Revista del Centro de Ciencias del Lenguaje, Nos. 11/12, pp. 65-86. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla Press. Puebla, Mexico.

Ballón-Aguirre, E., Carrasco, W. J., et al. (1994) “Un motivo etnoliterario andino: la deslealtad.” Anthropologica No. 11, pp.155-172.

Ballón-Aguirre, E., Carrasco, W. J., et al. (1992). “Un motivo etnoliterario andino: la deslealtad.” Escritos. Revista del Centro de Ciencias del Lenguaje, No. 8, pp. 85-101. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla Press. Puebla, Mexico.

Current Projects:

NOTE: The following projects are all part of a book in progress: Textual Diversities: A Praxeological Approach to Language and Culture.  (see Research Statement for details)

(1) “From the Sign to the Passage: A Saussurean Perspective”. ABSTRACT: This presentation traces the development of Saussures’ concept of kénȏme into its current form as passage. This notion of semiosis substitutes the two-faced monadic sign (or plérȏme) with an open-ended and fully contextualized relation between two planes of language. While a sign is an artefact of interpretation, a passage is a moment of ongoing interpretation, a praxeology. The passage thus participates in a rhetorical-hermeneutic problematic based on a negative ontology and a non-realism, instead of a logico-grammatical or representational problematic. Although it has been developed within the Semiotics of Natural Languages, the passage has strong implications for non-linguistic semiotic performances. Most importantly, it invites us to question the role of signs in semiotic description and unravel some paradoxes along the way.

(2) “The Semiotics of a Home Run: The Instant Replay as an Intersemiotic Passage and Topos”. A textual analysis of the NBC broadcast of Carlton Fisk’s 12th inning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. This home run is known as the home run that was “willed” fair by Fisk, as though by magic. I want to study how this story is re-told through sports-writers, fans, and players, with a special focus on how context, interpretive situation, and intertextuality contribute to shaping its meaning. [Soon, I will also begin collecting personal narratives/recollections of Fisk’s home run as part of my “Game 6 Project“].

(3) “Tradition as Transmission: Revisioning La llorona”. This study is a contribution to an important discussion in current folklore theory: the question of “Tradition”. To understand how the legend of La llorona is  transformed in seemingly contradictory ways from one content to another, we must understand how it participates in a tradition, or several traditions. I am using Francois Rastier’s Cycle of Transmission to explain how revisioning folklore is actually part of tradition. I will also present a way of understanding the role of  intertextuality in the perpetuatoion of a tradition. This paper is an extension of my doctoral dissertation.

(4) “’A Lot of Little Boy’: Intertextual Trajectories of Roy Campanella’s Famous Line”.  To complement my study of the “Fisk moment” (see “The Semiotics of a Home Run” above), I will describe the use of Roy Campanella’s famous line by the NBC broadcasters during Game 6 of the ’75 World Series: “You gotta be a man to play baseball, but you have to have a lot of little boy in you too”. While this line is activated several times during the broadcast, it never means the same thing. At the same time, it participates an intertextual path that is specific to baseball discourse (For example, this line is also used in the film “The Natural”Smilie: ;)

(5) I am finishing up a paper entitled, “”Linguistic Unity and Creativity in Children’s Literature: The Case of Pinkalicious.” This is a semantic description of the semantic forms and backgrounds that  shape the story of Pinkalicous. Taking into account the norms of the genre of childrens’ literature, particularly its intersemiotic form (text-image), I want to demonstrate how certain passages from the book can be extracted without losing their “inseparable oneness” with the text as a whole. This falsely paradoxical stance is an example of how the deontologization of meaning offers us a way to describe parole and  better appreciate linguistic creativity, which is one of the raisons d’etre of children’s literature. A version of this paper was already presented at the 12th International Columbia School Conference: The Interaction of Linguistic Form and Meaning with Human Behavior, (February 14 – 16, 2015). Columbia University, New York, NY.

(6) I am also working on a follow-up article internet freedom: “The Digital Commons as Point of View and Guarantee”. This paper will focus on identifying the characteristics of the textual genres involved in WordPress’ role in this struggle. I will look at how  the Digital Commons serves as both a point of view that determines the objects of values (i.e., texts) and a guarantee that legitimizes them.

Curiosities

This Ngram of word occurrences in Google books should give you an idea of how relatively unknown  interpretive (or interpretative) semantics and text semantics are in relation to other fields of linguistics in English. Corpus semantics and Praxeological Linguistics showed know results at all. I doubt I would get that many more hits if I did it in French. So, I guess I have my work cut out for me. FORTUNATELY, corpus linguistics is on the rise: that is where a textual, interpretive and praxeological approach will be most useful. (Just drag the cursor over the term on the right to see the corresponding line) :

This next Ngram is indicative of the challenege I am facing with my projects which adopt deontological approach to linguistics and semiotics. The ontological tradition goes back to antiquity, but this chart only goes back to 1700:

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