Pragmatical, Syntactical,
and Semantic Horizons


Among intellectuals it is a cherished bon mot that great scholars do not have a biography, they have only a bibliography. Solomon Marcus with his “myriad” (57 + 26 + 423 until 2010) scholarly publications proves the thesis. A polymorphist, as he was, can not be described easily by a single algorithm. I choose, for the purpose of describing the importance of Solomon Marcus, a model Marcus knew well: the Morrisian tripartite semiotics.
      As for PRAGMATICS, Marcus started as the young star of Romanian theoretical mathematics. He extended algebraic models to the description of language, poetry, theatre, and folklore. His books appeared from 1963 on in Romanian, French, English, and Russian, making him quickly world-wide known. His international contacts with Finnish and Hungarian mathematicians and linguists became regular. A collection of his early papers was published also in Hungarian (A nyelvi szépség matematikája / Mathematics of the Beauty of the Language / 1977), stressing three key correspondences in his theory: the language, poetry, and mathematics. His contacts with structural linguists made him known for semioticians, and Marcus became a permanent figure in international semiotic congresses. From its beginning, he was a guest at the Imatra summer schools of semiotics. He visited Hungary regularly (from about 1962), lecturing on mathematics, mathematical linguistics, poetry, folklore, and several times on symmetry. (On 19 September 2011, Marcus held a lecture in Budapest for the Institute of Translation just on “Pragmatics”, where he said that “pragmatics is the beginning and the end of semiotics”.) […]

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