There are numerous kinds of accounts of the history semiotics, and a number of people have been claimed to be the founder or a classic of the present-day science of signs. It is primarily the nineteenth-century American pragmatist philosopher, Charles S. Peirce, and the Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, who are usually taken to be its real initiators. Followers of the former use the English term semiotics, whereas those of the latter use the French term 'sémiologie', to refer to the general and specific study of signs today. In accordance with the subject matter of the present conference, the paper first discusses Saussure's reference to the study of signs, followed by a discussion of the work of two modern semioticians, Louis Hjelmselv and Roland Barthes, who have systematised and laid out the areas of modern semiology. It was only to a certain extent that the 'Saussurean' theory of signs was relied on by the next generation of semioticians (like the school of A. J. Greimas). Nevertheless, semiotics as it has consolidated and is applied worldwide today continues to think of Ferdinand de Saussure as one of its classics.
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