Sign activity of mammals as means of ecological adaptation

Elina Vladimirova

Abstract


The present article discusses different basic semiotic-scientific postulates regarding mammals’ sign activity. On the one hand, there are arguments denying animals sign activity, according to which mammals are not capable of semantic generalization on the basis of conventional linguistic values. According to another approach, mammals’ sign activity can be considered as means of ecological adaptation, that is, the features of animal behaviour based on the information, received by them through their habitat characteristics without direct visual contacts with their kind. Movement elements, behavioural reactions of similar motivation and parameters of the sign field, which represents an animal’s sign-information environment, may have some numerical expression and can be calculated depending on the research tasks. Formalization of the animal activity implies simultaneous consideration of the following parameters: magnitude, intensity, anisotropy and the value of a given sign object.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2009.37.3-4.12





SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia