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Communication Theory

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Semiotics is the study of signs or a sign system. Semiotic techniques enables the пÑ--Ð...analogy of language as a systemпÑ--Ð... to be пÑ--Ð...extended to culture as a wholeпÑ--Ð... (Chandler 2004, 1). Semiotics permits a unifying conceptual framework that encompasses the whole range of signifying practices, including gesture, posture, dress, writing, music, speech, photography, film, television and radio (Chandler 2004). The Australian Celtic Festival offers a unique opportunity to apply semiotic techniques to gain a broader understanding of Celtic representation. In her book The Imaginary Australian, Miriam Dixson (1999) maintains that Anglo-Celtic culture пÑ--Ð...with its great virtues and real defects, has held the society together for over two centuriesпÑ--Ð... (36). This analysis will use semiotic terminology to gain a greater understanding of the Celtic culture.

The Australian Celtic Festival is attended by Clans, National Clans, pipe bands, artists, and spectators in a celebration of Celtic culture, including gesture, dress, music, art and other signifiers of meaning. Looking at a culture from a semiotic perspective enables us to comprehensively connect a number of signifiers and their meanings in order to gain a fuller understanding of that culture. As Chandler (2004) maintains, пÑ--Ð...Semiotics makes us aware that the cultural values with which we make sense of the world are a tissue of conventions that have been handed down from generation to generation by the membe

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ionship between the signifier and the signified is referred to as significationпÑ--Ð... (Chandler 2004, 6). The use of sounds as signifier accompany the displays of standing stones, in the form of skirling pipe players. Skirling, a shrill cry or sound, represents meaning to the Celts on a number of levels, from warfare to victory celebration. The Australian Celtic Festival



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