Semiotic tradition By Sarah, Siri, Alison and Stephanie
Semiotic Tradition The study of how signs and language create a reality and language. Language can be seen and defined through realms of Time Past, future and present Gender Masculine and Feminine (Ying and Yang) Eg, “She's girly but smart” or “Shaving your face, for example, is a uniquely masculine experience, a ritual of manhood”
Semiotic Tradition • …focuses on signs and symbols. Communication is the application of signs to bridge the worlds of individuals • The basic concept unifying this tradition is the sign, sometimes referred to as symbol, defined as a stimulus for designating something other than itself. • Semiotics, exploring the importance of signs and symbols as they are used, is the focus of many communication theories.
Alternative Perspectives • Ferdinand de Saussure created a ‘dyadic’ two part model that defined the sign as being composed of a “signified”and a “signifier”.
Alternative Perspectives - Continued • Signifier - materialistic form as it can be something that is seen, heard, touched, smelt or tasted. • Signified - mental construct that remains a concept in the mind and is never identified directly.
Semiotics is often divided into three areas • Semantics addresses what a sign stands for. Dictionaries are semantic reference books; they tell us what a sign means. • Syntactics is the relationships among signs. • Signs rarely stand alone. They are almost always part of a larger sign system referred to as codes. • Codes are organized rules that designate what different signs stand for. • Pragmatics studies the practical use and effects of signs.
Classification • The semiotic tradition explores the notion of meaning being made through the use of signs and systems of signs. • This meaning is made through the relationship between an object, a person and who interprets the object and the sign it represents. These representations and the meanings that are made through these signs are what facilitate and form language.
Classification – continued • The tradition of semiotics was developed by Ferdinand Saussure, who established the concepts of the signifier (being the word) and the signified (being what that word brings to mind). As well as the concept of parole, being the use of language in speech.
Semiotic Tradition It can be objective Defined as Linguistic Relativity And, Elaborated and Restricted Codes Multiple theories and perspectives will always characterize the field of communication studies. Lacking a unifying theory, the field can be divided into seven traditions We will omit one of them , the cybernetic
Linguistic relativity Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis The culture and structure of language in the “real world” determines the behavior and habits of thinking in that culture. And Looking at the relationship between language and behavior
Linguistic relativity Saphir discusses two Languages 1. Standard Average European (SAE) Languages where time is spatial (Past, present and future) “He will run” 2. Hopi (Native American People) Observed fact, recalled, expected or condition “running as expectation” Warikini
Scoped Modes Elaborated Codes “Provide a wide range of different ways to say something; they allow speakers to make their ideas and intentions explicit” “They require, planning and explanation but are more predictable at times in regard to gender in a social group. Individualized
Scope And Limitations; its distinguishing features Basil Bernstein's Theory Elaborated Codes; Looks at the assumptions through conversation reflects and shapes a social group
Limited modes Appropriate in groups Strongly shared set of assumptions where perspectives are not shared Social categories Gender Identitification Example used is that it would take more explanation to consult a child, than to ask the girl to go into the kitchen and help her mother”. (Littlejohn, pg 376)
Elaborated and Restricted Codes Can be empowering and alienating The girls understanding of the sign ‘smile’ Semiotics in the Kitchen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zSA9Rm2PZA
Origins and Development • Founder of Semiotics • Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) - American pragmatic philosopher • Peirce's philosophical investigations, he called "semiotic,“ symbols, which he regarded as the "woof and warp" of all thought and scientific research. • Defined SIGN as "something which stands to somebody for something in some respects or capacity. (Robert Stam,1992) • Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). - Swiss linguist • A science that studies the life of signs within society is conceivable; it would be a part of social psychology and consequently of general psychology; I shall call it semiology (from Greek semeion 'sign'). Semiology would show what constitutes signs, what laws govern them. Since the science does not yet exist, no one can say what it would be; but it has a right to existence, a place staked out in advance. (Saussure 1966: 16) (Robert Stam,1992
Origins and Development • The study of how signs and language create a reality and language. The Science of Signs • “Semiotics has been based, certainly in the case of language, very much on the proposition of Saussure that the sign is arbitrary - a questionable idea (Holdcroft 1991) - and that the sign is conventional or social. If this fundamental idea of semiotics, and linguistics, is discarded, what does this do for semiotics, the 'science' of signs ?” (Allott, Robin (1994) )
Rationale • Through the science of signs we are given indicators to perceive images and information , we can receive them from both a ‘linguistic relativitiy’ and ‘Elaborated and Restricted Codes’. It can define our roles in social groups, position of family, roles, related norms, individualized forms, characteristics, gender and status.
Connotations and Use • Signs are organized into three modes: • 1) Symbolic - which does not resemble the signified but is purely conventional • 2) Indexical - the relationship an object and the person who interprets it • 3) Iconic - resemble their referent and meaning is relational
Summary • Defining Semiotics • Classification • Scope and Limitations • Alternative Perspectives • Rationale • Origins and Development • Connotations and Use
Bibliography Littlejohn, Stephen W, Foss, Karen A., Theories of Human Communication, Tenth edition) Allott, Robin (1994) Language and the origin of semiosis. Robert Stam, Robert Burgoyne and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics: Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Beyond(New York, Routledge, 1992): 1-27“The Origins of Semiotics” Bibliography: Chandler, D. 2009, ‘Semiotics for Beginners: Signs’ viewed 6 April 2012, http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem02.html