What is Semiotics in General?
Generally speaking, semiotics is the study of:
- Signs production,
- Signs communication
- Signs interpretation
What is a sign?
In general, Anything that has meaning is a sign.
Types of Signs (In relation to our 5 senses)
- Sight ↔ Visual signs
- Hearing ↔ Auditory signs
- Smell ↔ Olfactory signs
- Taste ↔ Gustatory signs
- Touch ↔ Tactile signs
Sign Productors (Some examples)
- Nature (Day, Night, Clouds, Rain, Thunderstorms…etc.)
- Humans (This is what interests us)
- Machines, robots, computers…
From this example, we can learn that semiotics does not concern humans only: In combination with other sciences, it can, for example, study biological signs (Biosemiotics) or animal communication (Zoosemiotics) …, etc.
Note: Almost all signs are considered as such in relation to humans: They are the ones that attach meaning to them.
Humans: Two Types of Language
- Verbal communication is carried through words.
- Non-verbal communication refers to all signs that the person communicates outside of words. This means that all transmitted signs by the body (body language) fall within non-verbal communication.
There is also the paraverbal which refers to all that accompanies spoken words such as the intonation, debit, pauses…, prosody…, etc..
 This definition is not that of a specialist or an expert. It is simplified for pedagogical purposes.
 The same goes here: An expert might for example distinguish between signs and indexes (L. J. Pierto distinction in “SFU: Introduction to French Linguistics I.”)
 Cf. (Chabanne, “Verbal, Paraverbal et Non-Verbal Dans l’interaction Verbale Humoristique.”)
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“What is Semiotics in General?” is part of:
Khettab, Sid Ahmed. Semiotics and Semiology: From Sign to Semiosis and From Code to Discourse [Course]. 2021. DOI.org (Datacite), https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.23509.55520. [Online Article]
KHETTAB, Sid Ahmed. Semiotics and Semiology: From Sign to Semiosis and From Code to Discourse. Independently published, 2021, https://www.amazon.com/Semiotics-Semiology-Sign-Semiosis-Discourse/dp/B0959N6111. [Paperback]