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Cross-cultural communication and the art of sign-making

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Traditional western linguistics portrays language as a fixed code and the language user as a code operator. Accordingly, knowing the code should guarantee the ability to communicate well. Yet asymmetrical cultural backgrounds in communicating agents can be seen to compromise or enable communication in ways that are not explainable based on this view. I suggest that we can move beyond this anomaly in our current understanding of language and communication by changing our minds on human perception so as to encompass the individual contribution. I describe sign-making as an act of perception that helps the perceiver find the interaction potential in a situation, and look at how such an account can better accommodate an understanding of what happens during cross-cultural communication.
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Keywords: communication; cross-cultural; enactivism; integrational linguistics; perception theory; pragmatism; sign-making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: independent scholar, Dubai

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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