Semiotics  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and symbols, into three branches:

  • Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata
  • Syntactics: Relation of signs to each other in formal structures
  • Pragmatics: Relation of signs to their impacts on those who use them

Semiotics is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions, for example Umberto Eco proposes that every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication. However, some semioticians focus on the logical dimensions of the science. They examine areas belonging also to the natural sciences - such as how organisms make predictions about, and adapt to, their semiotic niche in the world (see semiosis). In general, semiotic theories take signs or sign systems as their object of study: the communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics or zoosemiosis.

Syntactics is the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols Charles Morris adds that semantics deals with the relation of signs to their designata and the objects which they may or do denote; and, pragmatics deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis, that is, with all the psychological, biological, and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Semiotics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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