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Charles Peirce: 'semiotic' was the 'formal doctrine of signs' which was closely related to Logic.

For him, 'a sign... is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity'. He declared that 'every thought is a sign' Saussure: semiology science which studies the role of signs as part of social life Barthes: semiology aims to take in any system of signs, whatever their substance and limit s; images, gestures, musical sounds, objects, and the complex associations of all of these, which form the content of ritual , convention or public entertainment: these constitute, if not languages, at least systems of signification' Umberto Eco: semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign. Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to as 'signs' in everyday speech, but of anything which 'stands for' something else. In a semiotic sense, signs take the form of words, images, sounds, gestures and objects.

Signs take the form of words, images, sounds, odours, flavours, acts or objects, but such things have no intrinsic meaning and become signs only when we invest them with meaning. 'Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign' (Peirce) Anything can be a sign as long as someone interprets it as 'signifying' something - referring to or standing for something other than itself . Two dominant models of what constitutes a sign: the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Saussure offered a 'dyadic' or two-part model of the sign. He defined a sign as being composed of: a ' signifier' - the form which the sign takes; and the ' signified' - the concept it represents If we take a linguistic example, the word 'Open' (when it is invested with meaning by someone who encounters it on a shop doorway) is a sign consisting of: a signifier: the word open; a signified concept: that the shop is open for business Nowadays, whilst the basic 'Saussurean' model is commonly adopted, it tends to be a more materialistic model than that of Saussure himself. The signifier is now commonly interpreted as the material (or physical) form of the sign - it is something which can be seen, heard, touched, smelt or tasted.

Charles Sanders Pei rce formulated his own model of the sign, of 'semiotic' and of the taxonomies of signs. In contrast to Saussure' s model of the sign in the form of a ' selfcontained dyad' , Peirce offered a triadic model:

The Representamen: the form which the sign takes (not necessarily material ); An Interpretant: not an interpreter but rather the sense made of the sign; An Object: to which the sign refers. Within Peirce's model of the sign, the traffic light sign for ' stop' would consist of: a red light facing traffic at an intersection (the representamen); vehicles halting (the object) and the idea that a red light indicates that vehicles must stop (the interpretant). Semioticians make a distinction between a sign and a 'sign vehicle' (the latter being a 'signifier' to Saussureans and a 'representamen' to Peirceans). The sign is more than just a sign vehicle. The term 'sign' is often used loosely, so that this distinction is not always preserved. In the Saussurean framework, some references to 'the sign' should be to the signifier, and similarly, Peirce himself frequently mentions 'the sign' when, strictly speaking, he is referring to the representamen. It is easy to be found guilty of such a slippage, perhaps because we are so used to 'looking beyond' the form which the sign happens to take. However, to reiterate: the signifier or representamen is the form in which the sign appears (such as the spoken or written form of a word) whereas the sign is the whole meaningful ensemble.

Nivele de maturizare ale semnului


1. Urma reprezint un semn concret lsat de ceva sau de cineva pe locul unde a trecut, a stat etc. (Coteanu) 2. Semnalul definete un semn convenional folosit pentru transmiterea deinformaii, de avertismente, de comenzi la distan (Marcu, Maneca) 3. Indicele (cu variantele sale semantice: indiciul, indicatorul) este un semn, dovad concret, potrivit creia se poate deduce existena unui lucru; semn, particularitate dup care poate fi recunoscut un obiect, un fenomen sau un fapt: prezena fumului indic existena unui foc, creterea temperaturii are ca indiciu ridicarea coloanei de mercur atermometrului, scderea presiunii constituie un indicator al lipsei combustibilului etc 4. Simptomul reprezint n general un fenomen perceptibil care dezvluie un procesascuns, sau, n particular, o manifestare, tulburare sau senzaie anormal resimit de o fiin i care poate indica prezena unei boli [...], semn ntlnit n cursul unei afeciuni, avnd valoare diagnostic, ct i prognostic [Gorgos, 1992: 277], respectiv un semn, indiciu al unei stri anormale, mai ales al unui fenomen social-economic (Marcu, Maneca) 5. Simbolul definete cea mai complex i special manifestare a semnului, motiv pentru care i s-au asociat cel puin trei accepiuni complementare: a) semn de recunoatere b) element substitutiv bogat n semnificaie i care exprim, ntr-un fel sau altul, nsi esena ideii sau a lucrului reprezentat (Sillamy), de imagine sau obiect carereprezint o abstraciune (Didier)

c) liter sau un alt semn grafic special, folosit pentru a desemna ceva independent de el. Aceste simboluri snt indispensabile n alctuirea unui limbaj formalizat sau n cazul utilizrii unor formule pentru a reda structura formal a unor enunuri (Chean) 6. Semnul are prin excelen un caracter convenional, fiind lipsit de orice coninut evocativ i adresndu-se n mod liniar(strict denotativ) raiunii.