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Research Center for SemioticsWhat is semiotics?

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What is semiotics?

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Semiotics is a science concerned with signs. It deals with all processes of information interchange in which signs feature. Human beings talk, write, blink, wave, and disguise themselves. They put up signposts and erect barriers to communicate messages to other people. They produce and interpret signs. But even if no-one intends to communicate anything, sign processes are taking place: a doctor interprets the symptoms of a disease, a dog follows a trail, a thief triggers an alarm.

explores all such processes with regard to common structures. Its scope reaches far beyond the area of cultural phenomena and involves the interaction of animals, the activity of orientation and perception of all living things, the stimulus and response processes of animals and plants and even the metabolism of organisms and information processes by machines.  The scientific disciplines concerned with different aspects of culture(s) (linguistics, literary science, musicology, art history, archeology, history, sociology, political science, religious studies etc.),  nature (chemistry, biology, physics etc.) and technology are integrated in semiotics by exploring the sign character of the cultural, natural and technological phenomena examined.

Semiotics describes the various sign phenomena (Descriptive Semiotics), systematizes them in theories and models (Theoretical Semiotics), and attempts to apply this knowledge in helping to find solutions to problems in science, society, commerce, and in everyday life (Applied Semiotics).


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