The Interaction of Semiotic Constraints Author(s): A. J.

Greimas and François Rastier Reviewed work(s): Source: Yale French Studies, No. 41, Game, Play, Literature (1968), pp. 86-105 Published by: Yale University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2929667 . Accessed: 07/11/2012 11:07
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A. J. Greimasand F. Rastier The Interaction semiotic of constraints

One should beware believing of that the inventive mindoperates according to chance.
-

Destutt Tracy. de

The play in question here is not to be understoodas a free activity productiveof literary objects, but as a long journey punctuated with compelling choices that leads, a through series of exclusions and of options,manifesting to personaland social phobias and euphorias, the constitution of an originaland unique work.Instead of analysing coma pletedtext,the authorshave triedto see how, starting from kernelsof meaning,fromcategoriesof meaningwhich are at once simple and basic, the creativefacultyoperates, a faculty which,proceedingfromthe simple to the complex, a fromthe generalto the particular, makes its way, through numberof determinisms, towardan exaltationof liberty. It is obvious that,in the first part of its journey,there is nothing specifically literary the play of the creativemind, in obvious thatit drawsfromthe same sourcesas the whole of meaningful humanactivity: the theoretical aim of this study is thus largelyanthropological, open oppositionto the in suspect tradition occidental humanismwhich sets forth of literature a basic datum.Thus the textto be read, while as illustrating possible semioticapproach to literary a objects, is at the same timea callingintoquestionof the literary phenomenon. we Perhaps out of a desire for intelligibility, can imaginethat the humanmind,in orderto achieve the construction culturalobjects of 86

If the meaning (the universeof meaning. colors. as Our aim is to givea roughidea of thiscourse. stylistics morphemes. in any pear in any substance. stituants deep structures of have a definable . the elementary logical status. the level of theformof the content. Any semioticsystem another whichis itscontrary: thusSi vs S2. Although ticularto any givenlanguage (or more precisely theydefinethe particularcharacteristics languages). system If we accept thatthe semanticaxis S (substanceof content) in is articulated.superficial which system structures constitute semioticgrammar a susceptible manifestaof formsthe contents arrangesinto discursive of tion.) starts with simple elementsand (literary.and. . We are concerned stage. The productsof this grammarsystemare independent the apwhichrevealsthem. cances.etc. of The Structure the Constitutional I. takenas an absoluteabsence of meaning.as a semantic on thelevel at whichit is first system)appears.Yale FrenchStudies pictural. threeprincipalstages: . well as choiceswhichit can make. in the case of linguistic language.deep structures. which describesthe human world as a to can. contradictory the termS. two contrary at semes: I. 87 . of mode of existence whichdefine fundamental the of the an individualor a society. to on follows a complex course. 1. As far as we know.the structures manifestation of produce and organize the signifitheyremainpartheycan includequasi-universals. encountering its way constraints whichit mustsubmit. The elementary of structure meaning. mythical. or to any given material. of are studiedby the superficial etc.and subsequently conditions existconence of semioticobjects.in as far as theycan theoretically expression objects.or any semiotic _ grasped. opposed to be significant whole. moreover. and axis. it is opposed to S.They of shapes.It maybe considered in to to move fromimmanence manifestation. herewiththefirst Model.

. b) Two typesof disjunction. Larousse. elementary the structure meaning of maybe represented as: S sI < a . --. afterits semic articulations have been set in place.takenseparately. can give a slightly we to the same structure. the and By taking intoconsideration onlytheform the content of different formulation only simplesemic terms..Yale French Studies SI < ------> S2 thesetwo semes.. in psychology.. Social Science Information. . > 2 Allowingforthe factthatS may be redefined. Semantique structurale. Klein group. Note: The model above is only an adapted formulation that of formerly proposedby one of the presentauthors (Greimas. VI-5) as well as to the structures the called.. .the correlation itselfbeing definedas a relationof homologized contradictions: SI 51 S2 52 88 . appears then as the correlating two It of categoriesof opposites.. Blanche (cf. Piaget group.. Claude Chabrol.. and. 1966). in mathematics. the disjunction contraries of (indicatedby the dottedline) and the disjunction contradictories of (indicatedby the continuous line). This new presentation makes it isomorphic thelogicalhexagonof R. -. of indicatethe existence theircontradictory terms: S1 < . as a complexseme uniting and si S2 in a double relation of disjunction and conjunction. in 1967. to Structures intellectuelles.> S2 52 < > 51 S This model is constructed using a small numberof unby defined concepts: a) The conceptsof conjunctionand disjunctionnecessary forinterpreting structural the relation.

Si S2 - a relationof "contraries" articulates and S2 on the one hand. and Their definitionis formal. is the formof the achit ronicarticulation the folk-tale. of If deductiveconsiderations inductive thus encounter descriptions. the elementary articulates the structure same way the semes and the constituent instances of systematic For example.it is because the elementary structure meaningformsinto of the takenas a whole. between andSi.as a constitutional model of the in investedcontents. whichare in turn organized intoa structure isomorphic thesuperior to in hierarchic structure.findsits application. and S. Rastier This new presentation allows one to see thatwhat is first of all the structure an permitting account of the mode of existenceof the meaning. veryvaried spheres: indeed. Each one in articulates two systematic instances(negativeand positivedefinitions) which are written respectively: vs -2.the contents semioticsystems.a relationof contradiction is established between and S. another between -SI2 and S. Thus. as a semanticaxis. Life and Death embrace the whole semantic universeof Bernanos: thatis Si vs S2. Destuttde Tracy). Indeed. between andS2. It is comforting the semiotician note thata for to deductive approach encountersmodels constructed empiricallyto accountforthelimited corpora.it is the model of myth propoundedby Claude Levi-Strauss. The terms themodel: usingeach of thefourterms point of as of departure. to The relations: a) hierarchical:a hyponymic relationis established betweenSi and S2. b) categorical:. each of the systems semantic universes contentswhich it definescan. can obtainthe threeothersby the two operations: one by takingthe contradictory by takingthe contrary. The structure semioticsystems. They are SI articulated theirturnintosemicsystems. in Let us first all define formalproperties the constituof the of tionalmodel. S2 VS si. J. Greimasand F. thenwe shall giveexamplesof investments. include others. 2. and at thehierarchically S inferior level. I. -Si si 89 .Mallarme. it is also the model justifying of but a certain number particular of semantic universes (Bernanos. and anterior any investment.A.

or Note: The two operations. -i impliesS2 (and not the inverse). thelanguageof the logic of classification.si and s2 may be defined negatively -S2 and s-irespectively.The two termsof each relation inclusion of may be termed complementary. Theirrelationship thatof contradiction.a relation of implication(or simplepresupposition) established is betweenSi and s2 on the one hand. Thus we have: Constituant relations contrary Structuraldimensions S axis (complex) S axis (neutral) Semic structures Si + S1 + -2 Si S2 contradiction simpleimplication schema1 schema 2 deixis 1 + Si S2 ?2 S2 + Si + S2 + deixis2 S1 90 . S2 + -2 defineschema 2. In one can say thatsi is includedin S-2.One can distinguish: . forit can be defined neither nor S2.twoaxes. the second by s2 and the term whichthatimplies: Si. -two deixes: the first defined Si and the termwhichit implies: is by s2. it is therefore neutral -i the axis in relation Si and S2. one impliesat the same timethe presenceof S2 or si respectively. thecontradictory the contradictory s is s.In the termsof Hjelmslev.are involutive:the oppositeof the oppositeof s is s. double presupposition. S and S.it may be identified as solidarity.Yale French Studies and s2 on the other. Each of the schemas is formedby the relation of contradiction. S is the axis of the contradictories and S2 (of S2 and si). The dimensions: theirrelateddefinitions. of of .two schemas: Si + -Si define schema 1. to si by: . by If one proposessi or S2. and S2 in -Si. thatof takingthe contradictory that and of takingthe opposite. and S2 and Si on the other: `S2 impliesSi (and not the inverse). may is S be termed axis of the complex: it embracesSi and S2. In fact. semic terms By the are groupedin pairs into six systematic dimensions.

well as the infringements its presystem as of and scriptions. also a definition whatis not of but of grammatical.say S2 and Si. Greimasand F. of We could say thatwithrespect themanifestation. S as a groupof non-injunctions. schemasof a singlemodel. and interdictions (negativeinjunctions. and S theirnegativedefinition. example. are themselves a relation opposition. I.A. Every systemcomprisesby definition group of rules. We reservefor later of studythe questionof whether thisdouble presupposition corresponds to that of linguistic consideredas the two contentand expression.say si). they a are definedpositively. The typologyof the rules. formedby relationsof contraries. and The rulesof injunction a system of describeby definition comand incompatibilities systemwithoutincompatibilities patibilities (a could not be ordered). J. non-interdictions non-prescriptions and respectively. which are. even the insufficient validity the same grammar. Rastier betweenthe different One can foreseethe relations systematic dimensions. in of We propose callingthe double presupposition the two schemas semiosis. S2).everyone For nowadays agrees that a grammarsystemmust include not only a definition whatis grammatical. themare selves in a relationof contradiction. withrespectto the manifestation. We can establishthe following table: 91 .definedby relationsof contradiction. the rules of constituent interdiction the grammar of under consideration. say Each of these two typesof rule impliesa contradictory systematicinstance. Withregardto the manifestation.appears to S as a groupof injunctions. but one can also definethem negatively by whattheyare not: so S represents positivedefinition the rules the of of the system. 3. Unfortunately the concept of agrammaticality can cover several things. these rules appear respectively prescriptions as (positive injunctions. The two axes. The two schemas.

. and the orange sometimesnonto prescription.. .' . Jakobson: for example.> S2 T S2 < . In a phonological system therewould be: phi: system distinctive of phemicgroupings. as of whatwe have said is also valid fortheformsof linguistic expression..sometimes non-interdiction. > < . and opposed also to thediffuse feature SI to S2.. employed to designate the minimal distinctive features of content. ph2: system forbidden of phemicgroupings.. 92 .. phi: system relevant of groupings realised. when it is functioning -SI alone.Yale French Studies Permissible relations incompatibilities (deixis 1) S injunctionsprescriptions t (positiveinjunctions) SI Forbidden relations incompatibilities (deixis 2) interdictions (negative injunctions) <7 . by a relation double presupposition).In traffic lights. the red interdiction proceed (say S2). u1n the same way as the term seme. like semes. are semantic by nature). the of compactfeatureis opposed to all the otherfeaturesof the phonoin logical system whichit is includedas si to -1.. when it followsthe red. SI F non-interdictions non-prescriptions non-injunctionst (negative (positive [ non-injunctions) non-injunctions) Examples: . when it followsthe green. we shall employ the term pheme to designate the distinctive feature of expression (understanding that phemes. . greensignifies the prescription (say si). not ph2: systemof groupingsof consistentredundantphemes of the phemicvariants. sometimes + S2.In as far as the two modes of semic articulation whichwe have distinguished identicalin formto the modes of phemicarticulaare tion' (at least in the description R.. .

formulated: relations Permitted (Culture) Matrimonial relations (prescribed) c1 < Unacceptable relations (Nature ) "Abnormal"relations (forbidden) > C2 7~~ c2< >ci "Normal" relations (not forbidden) relations Non-matrimonial (not prescribed) 93 . the forbidden The social model may be prescribedrelations (non-matrimonial). culturethus embraces permissible and naturethe unacceptableones. Greimasand F. of The Investment the Contents II. one hand. Rastier II. Culture (permissible relations) vs Nature (unacceptablerelations) society The permissiblerelations are codified differently: relationson the of regulatesthemby the prescription matrimonial other"normal" relations. acceptingin anotherconnection To these two types of relationsare opposed.in accordance with the description Claude that human societies divide their semanticuniverses L6vi-Strauss.considering A - The social model of sexual relations: of It is accepted. J. defined the conby Cultureand Nature. the tentstheyassume and withwhichtheyinvestthemselves. In the instancein point. The system sexual relations of We shall begin by givingan example of investments the of model as shownby the studyof the sexual relations constitutional themfroma semiotic pointof view. We have: sexual relations. second by thosewhichtheyreject.the first intotwo dimensions. a humangroup.A. of 1. in the natural relations (incest for example) and the nondeixis.

example. the or. Whateverthe investment the model. Z2 incest.The description Claude Levi-Strauss confined of is to socialized heterosexualrelations (schema 1) which define the relationship. sometimesnot forbidden (among the Bororo). Schema 1 of the model seems reservedfor socialized sexual relations(definedin relation marriage). of We shall now study the relationsof the social model of sexual values with the semioticsubstructures susceptibleof interaction with it. by etc. adultery the man (over and above conjugallove).homosexuality sometimes is forbidden(New Zealand). social values (and not of of the rejection natureoutsidemeaning). schema 2 is only defined in negatively.If we accept that profits and prescription. theyare always situated. systemof economic the values maybe formulated thus: 94 .Yale French Studies Note: In traditional Frenchsociety.we have the followfor ing equivalences: Ci C2 conjugal love. losses a kind of interdiction of (the consumption wealthseems to be a ritualtransgression).in of the case of natureas in thatof culture. B - The economicmodel of sexual relations: The system economicvalues is also a social system of which are a kind of regulatessexual relations.forexample. however. which in heterosexuality alone is permitted. by c-l adultery the woman (over and above homosexuality. whether"anti-social" (forbiddenrelations). moreprecisely.homosexuality. it is a question. non-socialized. on the otherhand schema to 2 embraces "natural"relations. or withoutdirectconnectionto the social structure (permitted relations otherthan matrimonialrelations).). of The termsof the social model have no "objective" content: thus. connection with the prohibition incest. an axis otherthanthatof matrimonial on relations.

e2 (profitable) (harmful) (non profitable) (non harmful) (profitable) (harmful) (not profitable) (not harmful) Non matrimonial relations: cl ..A. However. ei Non-harmful sexual relations (not forbidden) sexual relations Unprofitable (not prescribed) In as far as they are socialized sexual relationswhich give rise to the exchange of goods (dowry.. J.. in a way analogous to society.e2 cl / el ci . cl . defining eightotherpossible combinations.el c. the assumption contents which by of in 95 . the economic subis structure in relationto schema 1 of the systemof social values. Eightpossiblerelationships may be specified: relations: ci . C - The model of individual values: Let us take as a hypothesis thatthe individualis defined. Balzac's Rabouilleuse has with her masternon-prescribed profitable and relations. etc.el Matrimonial ci .)..in thiscase thereis no conformity betweenthe social system sexual values and of its economic substructure: theirprescriptions in a contradictory are relationship. Greimasand F. e2 cl Z.For example. Rastier Permitted relations sexual relations Profitable (prescribed) el < Unacceptablerelations Harmfulsexual relations (forbidden) z>e2 7/~7 e2 < .e2 Note: One can also foreseethatrelationsof typec2 and -C2 combine withthe termsof the economicsystem.

.let 96 .Yale French Studies his and he investsand whichconstitute personality.pi (not desired) c-2 ... desiresare includedin the first group.This individual cultureand this ingof othercontents and forbiddenrelaindividualnature definerespectively permitted tions. giving eightfurther possibilities. The system individual values could thusbe written: of Personality (permitted relations) Desired sexual relations (prescribed) "Non-personality" (forbidden relations) Feared sexual relations (forbidden) . facingone another.. > Pi Sexual relations not feared (not forbidden) Sexual relations not desired (not prescribed) The termsof thissystem withschema seem to be articulated 2 of social values.P2 Relationsnotforbidden: (desired) C2 ? P2 (feared) C2. We shall now attempt define to more accurately structure the of the combinations about by the interaction the different brought of Let A and B equal the two systems systems.. > p2 PI < P2 < . by the disclaimwhichhe rejects..phobias in the second.in as faras theindividual appearsoutsidesocialized relations.. have eightmorepossible relations: We Forbidden relations: c2 C2 ~ - p1 (desired) c2 Pi C2 p2 P (feared) (not desired) (not feared) C2 .P2 (not feared) ~ pI We can also foreseecombinations withthe termscl and cl.

(A) + pr. Rastier Several typesof and pr. (B) . . equal the prescriptions i. we obtain four typesof possible marriages: Formulaof the combination Ci + C2 Structure the combination of balanced /1/ conflictual /5/ conflictual /7/ ci + pi C. (A) + L (B). Let us take the case of socially permitted sexual relations. (A). (B) + i.relationsbetween non-homologous termsbelongingto a homologousdeixis: /3/ pr. i. if we considerpermissible ci marriageas invariant and C-2 as being to of submitted the substitutions individualvalues. of The relations groups/1/ and /2/ maybe termed of and therelations groups/3/ and /4/ compatible. (A) + nonpr. (B) . noni. (A) + noni. (B) + non i.A. (B) + noni. Greimasand F. /4/ i. tionsor the axis of non-injunctions: (strong conflicts) /5/ pr. pr. (B) .+ p2 (desired) (phobic) (not desired) c- +pi C] +p2 (non phobic) compatible /3/ 97 . (A) /6/ non pr. (A) + noni. (B) . pr. (A) + non pr. (B) (weak conflicts) terms according and two types of conflicts between contradictory or to whether is a questionof a schema of interdictions prescripit tions: /7/ pr. (B) . (A) + non pr. nonpr. (A) + i. (B) + noni.relations betweenhomologousterms: /I/ pr. (B) + non pr. . pr. relations can be forseen: . (B). J. (B) . (A) + non i. the interdictions. /2/ nonpr. i.relations to terms belonging nonbetweennon-homologous relations. (A) /8/ i. (A). (B) . (B). (A). (B) + nonpr. conflictual homologousdeixes may be termed betweenopposing termsmay be disTwo typesof conflicts it according whether is a questionof the axis of injuncto tinguished. balanced. (A) + noni. i.

The individualand society.and non-profitable. theyare 98 . perfect of groups/1/ or /3/.The integrated substrucand substructures the correlated tures: of The system economicvalues and thatof individualvalues.If we consired as an invariant C2 and cl as beingsubmitted variation(with economicsubstitutions) to we obtainfourtypesof possible sexual relations: Formula of the combination C2 + C1 c2 + C2 + Structure the combination of ei e2 c2 + e2 c2 + e2 (profitable) (harmful) (not profitable) (not harmful) compatible /3/ conflictual /8/ conflictual /6/ balanced /2/ A generalized combinatory the termsof the threesystems of would producesixteenpossible situations the sociallypermissible for sexual relations. This combinatory could. however. regulatenot only sexual relations. shall see. we noticethat in in generalthe situationof the protagonists dissymetrical: exis for ample therelations FatherRigou withhis servant of girlwill be nonwithFather forbidden.Yale French Studies Let us take another example. Thus. thereis a thus conflict whatever manifestation the relations.The non-homolthe of ogy of the semioticsituations unmay serve to define"the romantic the love is the manifestation relationsfrom satisfaction". A . II.and non-harmful. secondwith the preferentially.in other respects. we canthatall the combinations not be equally manifested. if we are describing sexual relations the novels of Balzac. 2.they combine the withsocializedsexual relations. thoseof the servant Rigou are non-permissible. for example. for These two substructures must be distinguished. feared. first non-socialized relations. desired. furnishan organon adequate to describeinterpersonal relationsin narrative.

The conjunctionof the two culturaldeixes (social and in99 .A. the system individualvalues does not of to and relations necessarily appear integrated the social system. 1 of the individual schema system may be consideredindividualized.the injunctions the one being combinedwiththe non injunctions the other. Greimasand F. J. to The economicvalues are integrated thetotalsocial system into (althougheconomicegoismdoes exist): forexampleit would be difficult imaginethatincestcould be profitable a societywhereit to in is forbidden. B .such as thoseof group/5/ could not appear.forexample. from group/5/ are possible: theymay. in in so faras the individual invests If we studythe compatibilities betweenthe two systems(relations between non-homologousterms situated in homologous deixes) we obtain these correlations: Pi cl (desires are non-forbidden) (social prescriptions non-feared) are things not desired) are -Pi~ c2 (forbidden Z things feared) are P2 (non-prescribed C2 jp2 deIn otherterms. neutralaxis of the social system complexaxis of theindividual system. Schema 1 of theindividual and schema2 of the social system system of overlap.The Human world: As schema 1 of thesocial system includessocializedrelations. The individualsystemmay be said to be correlatedto the social system(moreoverpersonality includessocialized instances). himself his desires.appears as transgressions. axes of the two systems are correlated the withthe neutralaxis of thus: the complex axis of the social system the withthe the individualsystem. In this situation.likewiseforschema2 of the individual of system and schema 1 of the social system. On the otherhand. Rastier not in the same relationship the social system. schema assumedforthe social system the fines negativelythe schema assumed for the individual system.certain theoretically possible combinations.

Agreed. by The rare attempts studyusage have been carriedout by to means of problematical calculation: it has been pointedout for example. thatof thetwonaturaldeixes defines dividual) defines thenon-human world.p2. the enjoyment values of is defined the compatibility the social and individualsystems. that an Indian community two hundredmemberscannot of exhaustthe possibilities a matrimonial of systemwhich permitsof millionsof combinations. by of so thatcl _ P2 . and conversely. there is homologationof the two systems.for example. to equally possible 100 . in a studyon thisliterary form. we have b).but that does not mean that the are effected random.pi. giving definition a fullysocializedindividual.p4. of social culture nature.in the case of balanced relations. of The conjunction individualculturewith social naturedethat withindividual finesthe space of transgression. But then. that Note: It has been pointedout. the ones.Yale French Studies humanvalues. We shall attempt definethishistoricity. 1. and C2 ? pi. in the semanticuniversedescribed. TowardsManifestation III. in the Russian folk-tale transgression alienationare correlative. we mustalso have a). and -C2 P a) cl p2. we mustalso have: b) C2 .the space of alienation. it is probable that the historic at marriages and not of other situation determines choice of some marriages. The interaction semioticsystems. of The concept of usage was introduced Hjelmslev to acby in count for the closure of manifestation relationto the possibilities defined thestructure. if These reflections could be extendedto balanced relationsor conflictual relationsbetweenthe individualand society. and cl .therecannotbe transgression without alienation. and That is. we have: if . the of III.

the manifestation by its permitted quite simplythe productof rules of type si and S2. of would be relations:in such a case. Rastier It mustnot be concludedfromthe preceding conjectures on thatthe manifestation a systemis definedsolely sexual relations. the deixis of the permitted defined relationto thatof is the excluded.it is possible.Absence of permission the two systems in concerned:we have the combinations /1/ b) . M. J. It would seem that therecan be no manifestation. economically harmful phobicto the individual. Langages." 101 .but it is not certainthat it will appear. p.or of the systemof individualvalues of each of the protagonists. This seems unfor in likely. -Permission in one systembut interdiction the other: we have in 2Cf. but create for theirown use nongrammatical corporawhichmanifest "hidden"rulesof typeS2 and the it One thingcan guide us: whether is a questionof words or of marriages.and one in sixty-four. 5: "In an article of modern linguisticsthere are as many non-grammatical examples as acceptable examples. any non-forbidden sexual relation.a sexual relationwhichis sociallyforbidden. a term of the threesystems that of the social model will appear in a balanced combination. It can not coincidewiththepermissible relations the of economic systemin question. nothingpermitsan assertionthat a semioticmanifestation dependenton only one system. /2/ a) . Take. Greimasand F. One can see that numerouscombinations foreseenabove cannot appear: for example. for example.A.its closurecan be attributed the interaction on to of the different systemswhich produce it.And in as far as it is is dependent several. That is doubtlesswhy certainAmericanlinguistsdo relanot choose corpora (conforming hypothetically the permitted to tions in the systemdescribed). Several typesof interaction foreseeable: are . 9. Gross. and We propose giving the term usage to the interaction of semiotic structures whichis responsible manifestations fornonfor as manifestations. /4/. the case of therebeing a free comIn binatory. there is one chance in eight that the permitted relations will coincide.

It remainsto be seen what determines the hierarchy the of systems. 102 . Will a marriage conforming the social prescriptions both phobic (or non-deto but sired) and profitable takeplace? There are severalexamplesin Balzac of "businessmarriages". economicsystem stages the and the individualsystem. /7/ . /3/. we know of no scientific study of them. The manifestation take place. doubtless the phonologistshave preferred eliminate to the non-injunctions from the systemsthey have studied.Yale French Studies the combinations /5/ . different of the systems question in are in a hierarchical relationship:in relationto the manifestation. the interaction betweenthe social axiological system and the phonologicalsystemappears clearlyhere3. /6/ . (prostitution. /8/. /2/ b) . Here is an example of usage: in the Frenchphonologicsystem the variant/R/ of the phoneme /r/ is non-forbidden the in working classes and non-prescribed "politesociety".It is connoted in by the content"rusticity". /6/ . The functioning usage must be describedprecisely.) 4. We cannotsay whether the manifestation take place. each content thesocial system values appears mediatized two of of by or substructures. will thus appear or not accordingto It social classes. has a significance: hierarchy thesystems This problem the of allows one to decide. /7/ and /8/) if therewill be a manifestation. It even dominatesthat of social sexual values etc.In of our presentation sexual relations. may The inventory combinations of which can bringabout the manifestation further is restricted we accept the hypothesis if that at least one prescription needed forit to take place: thereremain is only /1/ a) and /3/. 41n the French Civil Code. will -Permission in the two systems:we have /1/ a) . in the case of conflictual combinations(/5/. We proposecallingthe structure whichdefines hierarchy the of the semiotic in systems questionepistemy (here.thismeans thatin the societywhichhe inventsor describesthe system economicvalues dominatesthat of of individualvalues. bourgeoisor bal3Althoughfacts of this type are frequentlycited in Jakobson's Phonological Studies. the firstparagraph of the chapter Des moyens d'acquerir la proprietg(On the means of acquiring property)is entitled: "Le Mariage".

of that is. As each termof a semioticstructure defined relations is by of conjunctionand disjunction. must specify we how these contentsappear in manifestation. a limitednumberof choices.We shall take onlythemostsimplecases. social componentappears as common sense. Within it is possibleforhimto make it.A. and thus not only the closure of of the manifestation (negativedefinition usage by the non-manifestations) but the natureof realized manifestations (positive definition of usage). 2. contentsendowed with valencies (possibilities relations). The statusof manifested contents. the movement and fromdeep to superficial structures. III. it definesthe combinations which may appear. Note: The termchoice can be givento the processeswhichproduce the realized manifestations and defineusage positively: and conand to straints the processeswhichcause the non-manifestations deor fineusage negatively (the constraints determine asemanticity. which is an axiological and dialectical systemimmanentin all the semioticstructures the societyunder consideraof tion. J. can appear on the mode of the it conjunctor on themode of the disjunct. Greimasand F. can now define littlemore accurately a natureof the semioticmanifestation. implicitor not.whichhave as an initialresultthe investment organizedcontents. which is the resultant his individuality of and the in society whichhe is situated.In this case. a We have just seen underwhat conditions contentcan apthe We pear in manifestation. An author. In otherterms. incompatibility the interacting of termsof the systems).operateswithin an epistemy. epistemy takesinto accountthe historicity of its the manifestations. of of Without goingso faras to prejudgethe structure semiotic grammar. a) The mode of the disjunct: each contentof a semiotic structure may appear: 103 . Rastier zacian epistemy. whichever one prefers). producerof any semiotic a object.

of negativedominance. S1 VS 1 . forexample: Si possibilities manifestation the same structure si vs S2 S1 VS of are: of S2 . manb) The mode of the conjunct: to the six immanent ifestations the constitutional of in structure correspond the mancan ifestation binaryconjunctions six which definewhat are called the complexterms.for example).Yale French Studies disjunctof the other three terms. be It is uncertain whether what is called a balanced complex termis the conjunctmanifestation two contraries of two conof or tradictories. of These exploratory reflexions could be extended in two directions: The study mustbe made. example. S2 VS S2. They account for the syntagmatic aspect of - 104 .withthe superficial a second level of constructures. S2). We must also envisage the problemof extension:Bryndal and one does come across.could in reality the complex (s.of how theproduction a semiotic of object meets. The neutralterm. Thus thereare six possiblemanifestations. The other position. we can understand efficacity the of the descriptionof semic structures. si VSS2. straints and choices: it is a question of discursivestructures (narratives. Whateverthe case.it enterswithin distinctive a opvs S2 . thus for thereis one manifestation possible for each of the fourterms. . since an elementarystructureis theoretically susceptible a numberof manifestations to equal to the square of the number its terms. we have: S (vs S2.complextermswitha positiveor defines. and ("white" + "non white"). whichis a simpletermin the description of Brondal. two complexes of contraries. + S2). S1.it is then isolated in the manifestation. limited the experiment thedescription allowedthe of has identification the complexes of the two types. Our ignorance theselast threepointswill onlylessenafter on numerous descriptions.theyare perhapsproducedby the interaction hierarchically unequal systems.disjunct another of term. of the type of ("white"+ "black").we have. and two complexesof contradictories. Therewould thusbe two deicticcomplexes.

J.to establishthe calculationof theircombinations. The studymustthenbe made of the relationsbetweenthe system grammar and of form deep structures therulesof the semiotic could. once their structures. and of "archifunctions" (contentsof the functions). 105 . the manifestation. at of the contents the level of superficial logical statusis described. Greimasand F. Rastier like They impose the choice of certainoperations. forexample.A.definethe orientaemployed:the deep structure tion of dialecticalgorithms. of of theplaying roles (contents theactants). the it But first. would be as well to define mode of existence and.

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