Possible Worlds — Text Worlds — Discourse Worlds and the Semiosphere

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2017, Vol. 3. №3

Possible Worlds — Text Worlds — Discourse Worlds and the Semiosphere

For citation: Chrzanowska-Kluczewska E. 2017. “Possible Worlds — Text Worlds — Discourse Worlds and the Semiosphere”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 3, no 3, pp. 35-57. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2017-3-3-35-57

About the author:

Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, Prof. Dr. hab., Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland); elzbieta.chrzanowska-kluczewska@uj.edu.pl


This article analyses the notion of possible world, which was developed in American analytical philosophy and modal logic in the 1960s and 1970s (Kripke, Hintikka, Lewis, Rescher) but was soon adapted to the needs of literary linguistics. The adaptation, due to L. Doležel, N. E. Enkvist and U. Eco, among others, led to the emergence of the concept of text world, a much richer (contextualized) world-model. The cognitive turn in textual studies (Werth, Stockwel, Gavins) expanded the notion of text world into the most comprehensive formation called discourse world, which brings into focus the readers’ dependence on their actuality in the process of reconstructing a text world.

The author of this article argues that text/discourse worlds possess a dialogical nature and thus can be studied within the framework of game-theory. Accordingly, she postulates a typology of textual games (semantic games of the author, pragmatic games of the reader, games of the text itself, games of critics, games of translators) in order to show how the creation and re-creation of text/discourse worlds is a gamesome enterprise. Her second claim is that text/discourse worlds as semiotic construals are immersed in the semiosphere as the all-encompassing space of culture. In this way she tries to bridge the gap between the Western studies on possible/text/discourse worlds and the semiotic model of Yu. M. Lotman and B. Uspensky.


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