Aurora Fornoni Bernardini
Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2014, 2(1), 11-16DOI:
Abstract: To work out this paper, which we did after considering the possibilities of applying to non-literary texts the model “Subject - Text”, proposed y the Russian semioticians Iu. K. Scheglov and A.K. Jolkovsky in their work Towards a Description of the Conjunction Text, (Russian original) we used a selection of ten versions of the myth of fire, given by Brazilian Indian Tribes of the Jê Group (Northern and Central Brazil) and we translated each version into English. According to the theory of the mentioned semioticians, the plot is the most important intermediary link, i.e., it is the level which is to e found between the siujet (a system of semantic oppositions) and the text (a linear construction which realizes these oppositions according to the different requirements of expressiveness, economy and naturalness. For this reason we reduced all the versions of the myth of fire of the Indians belonging to the Jê group which were available to a single, abstract and comprehensive plot. We called it the arche - episode. It can be considered the semantic invariant of the versions. The blanks in parentheses, both in the original and in our translation, are to be filled in by the mythic variants of each version, i.e., by the EP-VARIATION (according to Scheglov-Jolkovsky terminology, EP stands for “Expressive Prioms”(expressive proceedings), as will be seen in Step II of our paper. Arche-episode is obtained by superimposing all the versions. Common elements are maintained, using the terms that most stick to the text and/or those which are as comprehensive as possible, as will be seen in Step O. Elements, which are different from one version to another are incorporate as alternatives or left out (Step II), as far as they do not have the local, social or moral characteristics that are typical of the myth and not of the tale(cf. Lévi-Strauss, Jakobson, Bogatirev et alii). Finally, we return to the arche-episode and subdivide it into episodes or model situations (Step III), which we analyse and re-arrange, in order to obtain a structural description (Step V). Comparing it with the more general one, proposed by the myths of the type called “Reluctant Provider” (Xavante Indians), we can verify its being satisfactorily contained.