Drawing largely on Propp's and Greimas' work on the narrative, this book is aimed at consolidating and extending their views through a series of concrete applications. The volume offers a critical examination of narrative structure in terms of its two basic syntactic units or sets of operations, namely the "eventual or dynamic configurations corresponding to communication or to contract or, more general, to the structure of exchange." Because of the emphasis it lays on the logical frame underlying the syntagmatic dimension of the story, the book contributes to an integrated descriptive model deliberately centered on "narrative semiotics as a branch of descriptive poetics." The discussion of value in its social and legal context brings to light the links between the theory of narrative and its anthropological sources. This book shows that a strict concern with story logic requires a reevaluation of the basic premises of semiotic theory and raises important epistemological questions about its evolution.
1. Introduction; 2. 1. Nucleus of sentence and nucleus of text: the semantic grammar of propositions; 3. 2. The semantics of event and role relationships; 4. 3. A systemic definition of action; 5. 4. The subject-object relation in actantial grammar; 6. 5. Sequel to the semantics of event and role relationships; 7. 6. The legal philosophy of contract and the sociology of exchange; 8. 7. Normalization and derivation of contract and communication; 9. 8. Global interpretation of the tale; 10. Appendix; 11. Bibliography