Author: Maria Tucker

In this lesson you will learn to define and recognize the use of semiotics, a perceptual communications theory.

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Source: Image of Charles Sanders Peirce, Public Domain Image of Roland Barthes, Public Domain Image of Yield Sign, Public Domain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MUTCD_R1-2.svg Image of Stop Sign, Public Domain Image of Pink Ribbon, Public Domain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pink_ribbon.svg Image of American Flag, Public Domain Image of Duck Crossing, Public Domain Image of Cross Walk, Public Domain Image of Badge, Public Domain Image of Highway Sign, Public Domain

Terms to Know
Charles Sanders Peirce

American philosopher and developer of the formal theory of semiotics. Peirce developed a precise system for describing signs, including the terms symbol, icon and index.

Roland Barthes

French literary critic who extended early semiotic theory to mass media and popular culture. Barthes is considered the founder of contemporary semiotics.


A sign which has no logical connection to what it signifies. The viewer must learn the connection between the sign and its meaning.


A sign that physically resembles what it signifies.


A sign that can be understood because it is logically linked to or affected by what it stands for.


The study of how signs and symbols make meaning.


Something that stands for something other than itself.