What does a semiotician do?

The professions and work areas are very broad and there are hundreds of them in the world. Discover what a semiologist does, where the term comes from and everything that semiology contains, so that you know about it.


The first thing you should know is that the term semiology comes from the combination of 2 Greek words, semeion, which means sign, and logos, which is considered synonymous with study.

Semiology is a science that is oriented to the study of the signs present in society and should not be confused with semiotics, a discipline in which slightly different activities are carried out.

Semiology focuses on studying linguistic signs, linked to semantics and writing, and semiotics that are human and nature.

From a historical point of view, the Swiss Fendinand de Saussure was a pioneer in the study of linguistic signs, attributing qualities of human communication to them.

For his part, Charles Peirce established 3 faces of semiology, a signifier that is the material sphere, a signified that is the mental image, and a referent that is what is alluded to.

The scientific branches of semiology

Semiology is composed of four fundamental characteristics, arbitrariness, linearity, immutability and mutability, through them it is possible to locate this science in various branches.

One of the branches it deals with is clinical semiology, which is based on medicine and the signs that indicate a disease, zoosemiotics, which studies the exchange of signals between animals.

On the other hand, there is cultural semiotics that studies the meaning of cultural systems and finally aesthetic semiotics that focuses on works of art, their techniques and disciplines. Other branches of semiology include:

  • Bionics, studying the signals that are manifested by implementing biological solutions.
  • Biosemiotics. focused on living cells and related entities.
  • Cybernetics, applied to machinery.
  • Structuralism, studying the signs of the decentralization of the subject as an individual.
  • Post-structuralism, studies of the symbology of French philosophy.
  • Musical semiology, within the art that encompasses music.
  • Computational semiology, focused on computing.
  • Semiology of fun, also called ludosemiology.
  • Semiology of passion, focused on the study of signs of passion.
  • Semiology of love, focused on affective relationships.
  • Sports semiology, oriented to sports practices.
  • Aesthetic semiology, focused on artistic beauty.
  • Literary semiology, deciphering the signs present in works of literature.
  • Polar semiology, focused on category theory.
  • Tensive semiology, which analyzes and interprets body signals.
  • Urban semiology, oriented to the study of signs in urban communities.
  • Visual semiology, linked to the interpretation of images.

As you can see, the range of action of a semiotician is quite wide and diverse, not to mention that there are still many fields to define and explore, so it is an extremely interesting profession.

What does a semiotician do?

A semiologist is a professional who is dedicated to training and putting semiology into practice, regardless of the branch in which he focuses. Its main function is to decipher, identify and analyze the signals present in all areas of life.

The semiotician puts into practice the study of signs and focuses on their interpretation and search for meaning. Despite this, it does not address the global constitution of meaning itself, since semantics exists for this.

Instead, it is responsible for analyzing phenomena, objects, systems, languages, speeches and processes, finding meaning in each of the signals that are immersed in them. More specifically, it analyzes the signs as vehicles materialized in the object of study.

In addition, it is important to point out that semiotics studies the sign in a general way while semiology not only deals with signs but also their applicability in social life. If you found this article interesting, visit others already available on our blog.

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