A Theory of Semiotics

A Theory of Semiotics

A Theory of Semiotics

A Theory of Semiotics

Synopsis

..". the greatest contribution to [semiotics] since the pioneering work of C. S. Peirce and Charles Morris." -- Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism..". draws on philosophy, linguistics, sociology, anthropology and aesthetics and refers to a wide range of scholarship... raises many fascinating questions." -- Language in Society..". a major contribution to the field of semiotic studies." -- Robert Scholes, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism..". the most significant text on the subject published in the English language that I know of." -- Arthur Asa Berger, Journal of CommunicationEco's treatment demonstrates his mastery of the field of semiotics. It focuses on the twin problems of the doctrine of signs -- communication and signification -- and offers a highly original theory of sign production, including a carefully wrought typology of signs and modes of production.

Excerpt

A preliminary and tentative version of this text (dealing with a semiotics of visual and architectural signs) was written and published in 1967 as Appunti per una semiologia delle comunicazioni visive. A more theoretically oriented version – offering an overall view of semiotics and containing a longepistemological discussion on structuralism – was published in 1968 as La struttura assente. I worked for two years on the French, German, Spanish and Swedish translations (only the Yugoslavian, Polish and Brazilian ones appeared with sufficient speed to reproduce the original Italian edition without any addition) re-arranging and enlarging the book – and correcting many parts of it to take into account reviews of the first Italian edition. The result was a book half way between La struttura assente and something else. This ‘something else’ appeared in Italian as a collection of essays, Le forme del contenuto, 1971.

As for the English version, after two unsatisfactory attempts at translation and many unsuccessful revisions, I decided (in 1973) to give up and to re-write the book directly in English – with the help of David Osmond-Smith, who has put more work into adapting my semiotic pidgin than he would have done if translating a new book, though he should not be held responsible for the results of this symbiotic adventure. To re-write in . . .

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