Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 04 May 2022
The Development of Pragmatics in Morris’s Behavioral Semiotics: Semiotic Perspective
Min Niu, Thawascha Dechsubha
Shinawatra University, Thailand
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Keywords: Pragmatics, Pragmaticism, Semiotics, Peirce, Morris
Many pragmaticists claimed that pragmatics developed mainly from 1970s and 1980s, taking the emergence of its series of pragmatic theories (e.g., Cooperative Principle, Conversation Implicature, Relevance Theory, etc.), methodology, and the official issue of Journal of Pragmatics (1977) in Amsterdam as its marks. However, few scholars reinstate the historical truth of the real development of pragmatics by comparing and reviewing the semiotic thoughts between Peirce and Morris so as to discover the development and prosperity of pragmatics in Morris’s times (around 1930s). As one of the founders of modern semiotics, Morris’s major contribution derives from his proposal of trichotomy theory of semiosis, that is, syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics, grounded on which Morris intends to establish an all-inclusive general theory of signs. Substantially, Morris’s semiotic theory involves rich pragmatic thought which is inherited and developed from Peirce theory of signs that has logic and pragmaticism as its foundations. This paper aims to reveal the formation and development of pragmatics in Morris’s behavioral semiotics by means of comparing the semiotic thoughts between Peirce and Morris from the perspective of dynamic history. Specifically, this paper involves the analysis of the philosophical foundations of pragmatics, disciplinary classification, the establishment of pragmatics, theory of sign inquiry, the relevant specific semiotic views, and three semiotic dimensions of Morris’s pragmatics, which are conducive to explore the pragmatic origin and development from the perspective of Morris’s semiotic thoughts. As such, Pragmatics in Morris’s behavioral semiotics is established and developed in a systematic and formal way.
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