Friday, 16 October 2015

Semiotics In More Detail

The study of 'Semiotics' is a crucial part to our development in media. It gives us a firm foundation onto which we will be able to develop a more structured and confident understanding of media peices. These peices have their own language which is expressed through many different things like audio and visuals. These are called codes. To comprehend these codes we need to get to grips with a range of key concepts and ideas. I briefly spoke about the importance of the anagram 'RAILING' in my previous blog post. The anagram helps us remember and identify all the key concepts we will learn throughout the course.

The defintion of semiotics is the study of signs,symbols and signification.However to understand this definition we need to know what a sign consists of. In media, There are many different signs and meanings from them. Here are the basic definitions:
Sign- The smallest unit of meaning. Anything that can be used to communicate.
Signifier- Any material thing that signifies, e.g words on a page, facial expression, an image.
Signified- The concept that a signifier refers to.
This may seem complicated but a simple diagram definitely helped my understanding.

So in this diagram, the word 'tree' is the signifier and the image of a tree is the signified. This means that when we see the word tree, we picture a tree in my head.

In semiotics, we catergorise signs into three types:
Iconic
Indexical
Symbolic

An iconic sign is a sign where the signifier resembles the signified,like the above picture resembles a tree.
An iconic sign is a sign where the signifier is caused by the signified for example, smoke signifies fire.
A symbolic sign is an arbitary sign, where the relation between signifier and signified is purely conventional and culturally specific, eg most words.

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