From Interaction to Symbol

A systems view of the evolution of signs and communication

ISBN 9789027243447 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027288905 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
Google Play logo
Against the background of jargon-ridden and often obscure semiotic literature Sadowski’s book offers a reader-friendly yet rigorous account of human communication and its evolution from animal and primate behaviour. What is specifically human about the way we exchange information with other people, and to what extent are our facial expressions, body language, and even emotive elements of speech still indebted to our pre-human ancestors? Why can the chimpanzees, smart as they are, not interpret animal tracks in the ground; why did religions often ban representational art; why is photography perceptually more powerful than painting; how have human syntactic speech and combinatorial grammar enabled the “explosion” of culture; and why do otherwise rational humans often strongly believe in the objective existence of unempirical, virtual entities such as religious and philosophic concepts? These and many other fascinating questions are addressed in the book within the methodological framework of systems theory and evolutionary psychology.
[Iconicity in Language and Literature, 8] 2009.  xxi, 300 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 9 other publications

Assaadi, Mashael
2022. The iconicity of emotive Hijazi non-lexical expressions of disgust. In Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 18],  pp. 389 ff. DOI logo
Chang, Melanie L. & April Nowell
2020. Conceiving of “Them” When Before There Was Only “Us”. In Archaeologies of the Heart,  pp. 205 ff. DOI logo
Flaksman, Maria
2020. Pathways of de-iconization. In Operationalizing Iconicity [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 17],  pp. 76 ff. DOI logo
Krech, Volkhard
2018. Theory and Empiricism of Religious Evolution (THERE): Foundation of a Research Program (Part 2). Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 26:2  pp. 215 ff. DOI logo
Mooijer, Hans
2011. Interactivity and Its Effects on Iconicity in Digital Environments: The Case of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Gregory Weir’s Reading Game Silent Conversation. SSRN Electronic Journal DOI logo
Ogourtsova, V. S. 
2017. The Border between Reality and Fantasy in the Works of N. V. Gogol and V. I. Dal. Izvestiya of Saratov University. New Series. Series: Philology. Journalism 17:4  pp. 413 ff. DOI logo
Sadowski, Piotr
2020. In the kingdom of shadows. In Operationalizing Iconicity [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 17],  pp. 232 ff. DOI logo
sarhaddi, Reza
2024. Legitimation of governments by renaming of everyday things and places: a comparison of the Pahlavi and Islamic Republic in Iran. Social Semiotics 34:2  pp. 180 ff. DOI logo
Wijngaards, Aloys & Esther-Mirjam Sent
2012. Meaning of Life: Exploring the Relation between Economics and Religion. Review of Social Economy 70:1  pp. 109 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies



Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009028547 | Marc record