Mercato delle erbe. Sounds of space, space of sounds

  • Elettra Bernachini
  • Francesco Prosperi
  • Dario Sciutto
  • Martina Spinaci


The aim of this paper is to discuss the comparison between the descriptive categories of sight and those of hearing, through the semiotic analysis of the Mercato delle Erbe in Bologna carried out in three different times of the day: 8 a.m., 2 p.m., 10 p.m. The first feature we notice is the difference between visual and sonic thresholds that sometime comes up, as well as the fact that they are articulated differently according to the time you consider. This, however, is not a problem if we look at our case study as a text that is something built up. In this semiotic perspective, whether we focus only on sound elements or visual ones, or both, we can obtain different configurations both at superficial level of meaning and, consequently, at deep values level of meaning. Lastly, taking in consideration the theory of formants, we question the possibility of generalizing to the sonic language the plastic categories developed for the visual semiotics.

How to Cite
Bernachini, E., Prosperi, F., Sciutto, D., & Spinaci, M. (2020). Mercato delle erbe. Sounds of space, space of sounds. E|C, (28), 68-78. Retrieved from
Section 2