Haladewicz-Grzelak and Lubos-Koziel “Semiotic value in advertisements in Silesian Catholic Periodicals”

Haladewicz-Grzelak, Malgorzata and Joanna Lubos-Koziel (2012) “Semiotic value in advertisements in Silesian Catholic Periodicals from the second half of the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.  Semiotica vol. 2012 no. 192 pp. 381-425.

Abstract: The paper studies semiotic values in advertisements appearing in German Catholic periodicals in Silesia in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The study is grounded in the Tartu School of Semiotics and shows shifts and hierarchies in the semiotic valuations of particular commodities. Collected advertisements were classified into four main groups: (1) books, (2) church art, (3) church and devotional accessories, (4) everyday life commodities. We motivate the claim that the group (2) of the advertisements in the Catholic press we analyzed was the driver for the introduction of the remaining two categories of ads, hence the study of this group is pivotal for our analysis. The parameters of center, periphery, and “border,” as between the sacred and the profane are also taken into account, within the structural interrelation of Sr (religious system) (cf. Zaliźniak et al. 1975 [1962]) and Sc (commercial code). Assuming the usefulness of explanatory mechanisms, in conclusion a heuristic interpretation is provided in terms of the relations of semiotic primes.

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