What is a sign?

What is a sign?

The concept of sign is given to the combination of signifier and the signified. The word "sign" cannot be replaced with another word, and it is necessary to set down two general principles of the sign, stated by the semiology rather than the semiotics: 1) Arbitrariness of the sign in which sign means an arbitrary association with a significant meaning and 2) Linear nature of meaning which can be perceived immediately when we represent the sign by means of writing, where the succession in time is replaced by the line space of graphic symbols. Even if we refer only to an image or a photograph, we would appreciate the linearity due to psychological studies that reveal that the human eye describes lines through the image in accordance with the importance of the items shown there.

How it works?

Based on the principles of the sign, the cultural and conventional elements of reality give specific names or symbols to things for its identification. If we talk about communication between machines or between animals, we could say that this convention comes, in the first case by the designer or engineer that programmed the robots, and in the second case is due to nature.

What is it for?

Complete ideas, information or references to reality stands within the signs, so that when in contact with the receiver the meaning or content can be placed in its mind. This allows communication to flow easily as the message’s content can be decoded rapidly as it is guided by a convention stated in signs.


We recommend:
UMBERTO ECO, Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language.