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Saussure wrote:

It is... possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek semeîon, 'sign'). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them. Since it does not yet exist, one cannot say for certain that it will exist. But it has a right to exist, a place ready for it in advance. Linguistics is only one branch of this general science. The laws which semiology will discover will be laws applicable in linguistics, and linguistics will thus be assigned to a clearly defined place in the field of human knowledge.

What is a sign in semiotics?

For example can a sign be a myth, as in the structural anthropology of levi-strauss?

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    You must read Charles W. Morris, Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, Claude Lévi-Strauss and - of course - C.S.Peirce. The risk is that, according to semiology, "everything is a sign"... and it may be true: if there is a human being "interpreting" it, it becomes a sign. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 15:05
  • what books of theirs do you suggest? Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 15:14
  • Thats a lot to look at - are there book(s) that distills this body of work? After all few go to Newtons principia to learn Newtonian Mechanics. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:08

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You must read :

and - of course - C.S.Peirce. Unfortunately, SEP has only the entry on Peirce's Theory of Signs.

The risk is that, according to semiology, "everything is a sign"... and it may be true: if there is a human being "interpreting" it, it becomes a sign.

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