Language and Linguistics

Semiotics definition with difference with semiology and in medicine and importance


Semiotics definition, also known as semiology or sign theory , is the study of how we use signs to create and transmit meanings and meanings while communicating. It is a theory that has had important repercussions in the human and social sciences because it has helped us to deeply understand our communication, the interactions that we establish as well as some elements of the contexts where we develop. As semiotics , the discipline in charge of the study of the sign is known, that is, what is used to represent an idea or an object different from itself. The word, as such, comes from the Greek σημειωτική (semeiotiké). The first notions of semiotics are found in the General Linguistics Course , by Ferdinand de Saussure , in which he had conceived the possibility of a science that was in charge of studying the signs within social life.

As such, semiotics addresses the interpretation and production of meaning that is generated from the sign , although it is not about meaning, which is the field of semantics; nor of the denominations, including verbal ones, that are part of the field of lexicology, lexicography and onomastics; nor is he responsible for nonverbal, which are the subject of attention to symbology, iconography and iconology. In this sense, what semiotics studies and analyzes are all phenomena, objects and systems of significance that concur in languages ​​and discourses to produce meaning. Thus, all production and interpretation implies a significant practice, which occurs through the signs and is specified in the texts. Likewise, as semiotics or semiotics, what belongs to or related to the discipline of semiotics can be designated : “He spoke from a semiotic approach”.

Semiotics or semiology? Differences

Although the answer depends largely on which author is asked, in general they are terms that are used interchangeably .

However, there are those who defend that semiology is the theoretical description of symbolic systems in general; and semiotics refers to the study of particular systems, for example, images, fashion, cinema, advertising, among others.

At the formal level, and especially since 1969 that the International Association of Semiotic Studies (IASS) was institutionalized, a single term is recognized: semiotics; to cover the two types of study we have mentioned.

The semiotics is the study of sign in general, while semiotics is the study of signs in social life. In this sense, semiology is related to linguistics, since it encompasses human sign systems (verbal, gestural, etc.) that are characteristic of life in society. Thus, semiology is the discipline in charge of studying what an image, a gesture, a behavior, an object or a set of words means for a given society.

Semiotics in Medicine

As medical semiotics or medical semiology , the part of medicine that studies and classifies the signs of diseases is known to interpret, rank and reason them, in order to reach a diagnosis and prognosis.

Need of  semiotics

Semiotics helps to obtain a qualitatively different knowledge of phenomena of significance It is a necessary auxiliary to know the processes of significance of the contexts that interest us to study. A case of how the semiotic perspective encouraged and renewed the study of communication Collective is the French example summarized very clearly by Miquel de Moragas ( Cf. 1976 1981: 142) the transition from the “science of journalism” to the “sociology of information”,
The  Cazeneuce’s contributions on the role of the media and hence the qualitative leap to the approach semiotics of the Center for Mass Communication Studies (CECMAS) formed in 1960 by semiologist Roland Barthes, sociologist George Friedmann (who introduced many aspects of the sociology of communication and mass culture to France) and Edgar Morin, psychologist and epistemologist.
 It was very important for this group to know how objects of everyday life are incorporated (especially in the studies of the first), the choice of study subjects such as actress Brigitte Bardot or the “Tour de France”, the advertising or cinema of the Swedish Ingmar Bergman. This first process crystallized in the formation of Communications magazine , which would not have been possible without a semiotic perspective that began to be important for studying communication collective.
Today we can say that semiotics helps social communication studies as a tool, a conceptual and methodological framework that allows you to analyze the processes of significance of the materialities that interest us (linguistic, visual codes, auditory, virtual …). Semiotics helps the media professional (and the communication in general) to solve questions about the structure of the codes, the levels of significance, the articulation of the different materialities, the phenomena meaning producers. Communication is made of signs and sign systems; the semiotics is the discipline that describes the signs and their systems, the way they are present in certain socio-cultural practices.

Beyond the text

Human beings communicate through almost all (if not all) of the things we do: what we say and what we don’t; through our movements, gestures or postures, and even through more complex tools that involve our senses, such as advertising, cinema, music, etc.

Therefore, semiotics is a science that has more than one method: it can investigate the meaning that is constructed and transmitted not only through oral language or written language, but it can analyze, for example, an advertising poster and its elements (how its language is structured and used, images or aesthetic forms), and in this way understand what is the meaning , meaning and even the effect or relationship that is sought to be established with the recipients.

Importance in the social sciences

Semiotics has had an important impact both in the studies of language and human communication, and in the understanding of the psychological and social phenomena that are generated through that communication.

That is why semiotics is importantly related to the problem of knowledge , and to the way by which signs allow us to reach it. In other words, semiotics, the study of signs, offers us a point of view on reality, and on the way in which things acquire and transmit meaning, which has been especially useful for extending the reach of science. human.

Some of his criticisms revolve around the fact that semiotics is a discipline that tries to cover too many things, with which his methods become diffuse and sometimes difficult to justify by means of traditional scientific methods.

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