Semiology has its modern origins in the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure, especially in the various versions of his Cours de Linguistique Générale [Course in General Linguistics] ([1916] 1971). Some of the basic principles expounded by Saussure are also discussed by classical writers such as Plato and Aristotle, although neither of these thinkers explicitly set out to develop a science of semiology as such. In the present discussion, the term semiology will refer to those developments that stem from Saussure in the early twentieth century and that have contributed to the further development of Saussure's thinking. The term semiology is to be distinguished from the term semiotics. The latter term, at least in its modern usage, is traceable to the work of the American ...

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