In simple terms, semiotics refers to the study of signs and symbols and their interpretations. A sign is hence defined as any gesture, written text, piece of code, etc. that communicates something to the interpreter of that sign. The meaning can be intentional like a word with a specific meaning, or unintentional – a symptom is a sign of a particular medical condition.
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Signs are basically nonverbal communication tools used to interact with one another. They can hence be used to communicate feelings and may communicate internally (through thought itself) or via any of the senses:
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Contemporary semiotics has evolved a lot and has come a long way. It deals with the concepts of meaning-making and several other types of knowledge. It explores the study of signs and symbols as a part of communication. Unlike linguistics, it also studies non-linguistic sign systems. Semiotics includes the study of signs and sign processes, indication, designation, likeness, analogy, allegory, metonymy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.
Semiotics is often considered to have anthropological and sociological dimensions. However, some semioticians focus on the logical aspects of the science, where they examine areas that also belong to the life sciences, like how organisms make predictions about, and adapt to, their semiotic niche in the world.
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