Laboratory for Linguo-Semiotic Studies (School of Philology, Humanities Department, NRU “Higher School of Economics”) deals with development of linguistic research methods for various aspects of culture and cross-cultural transfer.
The basic principles of research conducted in the Laboratory inherit traditions of the Tartu–Moscow Semiotic School. These principles were formulated primarily in the works of professor Boris Uspenskiy, the Head of the Laboratory: a researcher has a right to treat the consequence of historical events, the facts of cultural history and the works of Ancient Art as a subject for deciphering. The task of the researcher is to uncover a special language conveying the contents of an event / a piece of art to reveal a system of signs / artistic devices, that allow to read a historico-cultural phenomenon as a text. Thus, culture is understood as a semiotic system, that acts as a mediator between an individual and the world.
Difficulties in deciphering the language of culture are predefined by the fact that the researcher of the past, as a rule, does not have an adequate access not only to means of expressions, but also to the very contents of an event – the perception of the event be its contemporaries. That is why the Laboratory engages experts working in various filed of Humanities. Its work is devoted to facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation in research. The core of the Laboratory is formed by linguists who are at the same time philologists.
The Laboratory's tasks include theoretical as well as specific linguo-semiotic and historico-philological research in Russian and West-European cultural traditions.
The Laboratory also aims at development of informational resources devoted to certain types of Medieval written sources.
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