The Foundations of Experimental Semiotics
Experimental semiotics is defined as the elucidation of symbols that gain their meaning by being structured to take advantage of the human sensory apparatus. In making this definition a distinction is made between languages which are fundamentally sensory and those which are fundamentally conventional . Experimental semiotics is concerned with the former. Sensory representations are good (or bad) because they are well matched to the early stages of neural processing of sensory information. They tend to be stable across individuals and cultures. Conversely, conventional languages gain their power from culture and are dependent on the particular cultural milieu of an individual. This theoretical distinction provides a basis for testable predictions about the ease of learning for languages in the two classes. The examples given are mostly based on the visual modality, but the distinction also applies to other sensory modalities. Methods for testing claims about sensory versus conventional languages are discussed.
Journal or Conference Title
Journal of Visual Languages and Computing
4, Issue 1
New York, NY, USA
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Colin Ware, The Foundations of Experimental Semiotics: a Theory of Sensory and Conventional Representation, Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1993, Pages 91-100, ISSN 1045-926X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jvlc.1993.1006. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045926X83710062)
Copyright © 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.