Chronotopic relations and scalar shifters

Howard John Manns, Zane Goebel

Research output: Working paperWorking PaperOther


Using discursive data from Indonesia, this paper discusses a semiotic configuration we refer to as “scalar shifters” (Goebel, Cole, & Manns, 2016) and how we see these shifters as linking different chronotopes from different communicative events. Drawing upon Agha (2007), we think of chronotopes as relationships between sign constellations that have become socially valued through imitation in authorized one-to-many participation frameworks (e.g. schools and the mass media). We also see chronotopic relations as involving the use of and recognition of a sign from one chronotope in another communicative event and the subsequent reconfiguration of this sign and the chronotope that it invokes. In this sense, chronotopes are always “under construction”. Our concept of “scalar shifter” builds upon discussions of scale, shifters, tokens and types, processes of register formation, while offering some more empirical meat to these discussions. We define scalar shifters as signs used and recognized in communicative activity that organize units and unitizations of scale while also function to identifying relevant participant frameworks with respect to timespace, and/or size.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg Netherlands
PublisherTilburgh University
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameTilburg Papers in Culture Studies

Cite this