Language, Gestures and Pictures in the Perspective of Semiotic Development

Research Projects at Lund University, financed by the Faculty of Humanities, as a collaboration between the Department of semiotics, the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Cognitive Studies, started in Autumn 2002


The purpose of the project “Language, Gestures and Pictures in the Perspective of Semiotic Development“ is to elucidate the manner in which three basic semiotic systems: language, gestures and pictorial representations relate to one another, with special focus on both ontogenetic and phylogenetic development. By putting together the deep theoretical insights of semiotics, the interdisciplinary perspective of cognitive science, where evolutionary and neuroscientific studies of signification can be combined with computer modelling, and detailed empirical studies in different cultural environments from linguistics, we hope to reach a better understanding of how these three meaning systems – language, gestures, and pictures – which are fundamental to human beings differ from each other as well as interact, especially in development.

The project is a cooperative initiative between the Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, the Department of Semiotics and the Department of Cognitive Science, sponsored by the the Faculty of Humanities and Theology at Lund University. It aims to provide a framework for future joint research involving domains in which investigations have until now been carried out independently by the three departments. As part of the project, a new seminar series on semiotic evolution will be initiated,with the participation of leading scientists in the field.

More information about the project (in Swedish) and eight working papers in English available for download:


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