Towards an integrated methodology of ecosemiotics: The concept of nature-text


  • Timo Maran Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Tiigi 78, 50410 Tartu



The aim of the article is to elaborate ecosemiotics towards practical methodology of analysis. For that, the article first discusses the relation between meaning and context seen as a possibility for an ecological view immanent in semiotics. Then various perspectives in ecosemiotics are analyzed by describing biological and cultural ecosemiotics and critically reading the ecosemiotic works of W. Nöth and K. Kull. Emphasizes is laid on the need to integrate these approaches so that the resulting synthesis would both take into account the semioticity of nature itself as well as allow analyzing the depiction of nature in the written texts. To this end, a model of nature-text is introduced. This relates two parties intertwined by meaning-relations — the written text and the natural environment. In support of the concept of nature-text, the article discusses the Tartu–Moscow semioticians’ concepts of text, which are regarded as broad enough to accommodate the semiotic activity and environment creation of other animals besides humans. In the final section the concept of nature-text is used to describe nature writing as an appreciation of an alien semiotic sphere and to elucidate the nature writing’s marginality, explaining it with the need to interpret two different types of texts.


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How to Cite

Maran, T. (2007). Towards an integrated methodology of ecosemiotics: The concept of nature-text. Sign Systems Studies, 35(1/2), 269–294.




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