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Theory Of Semiotics


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Theory Of Semiotics

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