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Theory Of Semiotics
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Theory Of Semiotics

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  • 1. THEORY OF SEMIOTICS
  • 2. WHAT IS SEMIOTICS
    • Semiotics is the science of communication and sign systems, in short, of the ways people understand phenomena and organise them mentally.
    • Based on “semiosis”, it is the relationship between a sign, object and a meaning.
    • The sign represents the ‘object’ or ‘referent’ in the mind of an ‘interpreter’
    • ‘ Interpretant’ is the effect of a sign on the person who reads and comprehends it.
  • 3.
    • ‘ Interpretant’ also refers to a sign that serves as the representation of an object.
    • It is the ways in which people devise means for transmitting that understanding and sharing it with others.
    • Natural and artificial languages are central to semiotics, though its field covers all non-verbal signalling.
    • Knowledge, meaning, intention and action are therefore fundamental concepts in the theory of Semiotics.
  • 4. 3 BRANCHES OF SEMIOTICS
    • Semantics : Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata
    • Syntactics : Relations among signs in formal structures
    • Pragmatics : Relation between signs and their effects on those people who use them.
  • 5.
    • Semantics :
    • Charles Morris states that ‘Semantics’ deals with the relation of signs to their ‘designata’ and the objects which they may or do denote
    • Syntactics :
    • Deals with the formal properties of sign and symbols.
    • Deals with the “rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences”.
    • Pragmatics :
    • Deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis; with all the psychological, biological and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs.
  • 6.
    • According to C.Morris, people are interpreters of signs.
    • Signs have three factors that guide interpretation:
    • The ‘ Designative ’ aspect directs interpreter to a particular object.
    • The ‘ Appraisive ’ aspect highlights objects qualities, enabling evaluation.
    • The ‘ Prescriptive ’ aspect directs one to respond in specific ways
  • 7. SIGNS AND MEANINGS
    • According to C.Morris, human action involves signs and meanings in three ways:
    • The Perception Stage - the person becomes aware of a sign
    • The Manipulation Stage - the person interprets the sign and decides how to respond to it.
    • The Consummation Stage - the person responds.
  • 8. SIGNS AND VALUES
    • Three signs and values connections:
    • Detachment - the person (or system) maintains autonomy
    • Dominance - the person (or system) takes precedence over another person (or system)
    • Dependence - the person (or system) relies on the dominance of another person (or system)
  • 9. ACTIONS, SIGNS AND VALUES Action Stages Sign Dimensions Value Dimensions
  • 10. LANGER’S THEORY OF SYMBOLS
    • S. Langer prefers the concept of symbol to sign
    • Asserts that symbolism underlies all human knowing and understanding
    • Key relationship: Symbol, Object, Person
    • Symbols become meaningful in conversation
  • 11.
    • Symbols can be discursive or non-discursive
    • Discursive Symbolism - language based thought and meaning
    • Non- discursive Symbolism - Non-verbal based emotion and meaning; art, music, dance etc
    • Meanings can be found in both non-discursive and discursive symbolism
  • 12. SIGNS, SYMBOLS, SEMIOTICS
    • Every sign has meaning and the contingency for other diverse meanings.
    • Multiple meanings are socially and culturally relative (subjective). In other words our social and cultural backgrounds influence these meanings.
    • Signs have both denotative and connotative meanings.