Biological species as a whole, like any communicative category or identity, is not, strictly speaking, physically real. However, biological species as self-defining communicative identities are semiotically real, whereas they are different from higher-level biological taxa (genera, families, orders, classes, phyla, kingdoms) which are not self-defining. Thus, diversity of communicative identities, and its dynamics -divergence and fusion of identities - comprises a typical semiotic (and particularly biosemiotic) problem.
Communication always tends to discretize its means. The existence of species can be interpreted as a very general result of interorganismal communication. This understanding has been developed into the semiotic concept of species (or the recognition concept of species, stemming from the works of H. E. H. Paterson). Biological species is a result of biparental reproduction that has created specific mate recognition systems.
A species is held together primarily due to recognition of specimens, or mate recognition. The amplitude of intraspecies variability is dependent on the 'width' of 'recognition window'. The variability of species tends to become stabilized when most ofspecimens are potentially recognizable for most of the individuals. The minimum stable hiatus between close species is also dependent on the recognition window. Isolation is thus a secondary phenomenon, a result and not a cause of speciation.
Biological species are communicative structures, the result of discretization in the process web of mate recognition. The reason of existence of species comes from the fact that a continuous variability of individuals would not be stable in case of biparental (i.e., communicative) reproduction.
Large variety of semiotic selves, or communicative identities, or categories, can be seen as behaving in analogous ways due to their similar semiotic nature: these include, in addition to biological species, for instance, social groups, perceptual categories, etc. Consequently, it will also be reasonable to apply the same or similar models for description of dynamics of all these communicative identities. Such general models include, particularly, allopatric and sympatric categorization, coexistence of categories, fusion of categories, distinction between self and other. Similarity of the phenomena also includes two basic forms of diversification - evolutionary (diachronic, vertical) and ecological (synchronic, horizontal).
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