The first thing we are going to do before thoroughly defining what semiology is is to proceed to determine the etymological origin of the term. Thus, we find the fact that this word comes from Greek because it is formed by two words of that language: secession which can be translated as "sign" and logos which is synonymous with "study" or "treated."
The semiology is a science which is responsible for the study of signs In social life. The term is usually used as a synonym for semiotics , although specialists make some distinctions between them.
It can be said that semiology is responsible for all studies related to the analysis of signs, both linguistic (linked to semantics and writing) as semiotics (human and nature signs).
Swiss Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913 ) was one of the main theorists of Linguistic sign , by defining it as the most important association in human communication. For Saussure , the sign is formed by a significant (an acoustic image) and a meaning (the main idea we have in mind regarding any word).
The American Charles Peirce (1839-1914 ), on the other hand, defined the sign as a three-sided entity, with a signifier (the material support), a meaning (the mental image) and a concerning (the real or imaginary object to which the sign refers to).
Two authors those of vital importance in what is semiology but are not the only ones because throughout history there have been others who have also left their deep mark on this discipline. This would be the case, for example, of the Frenchman Roland Barthes who bequeathed to the later generations important theories and works on that as is the book entitled "Elements of Semiology."
In this work, what is clear is that this discipline has as pillars and objects of study all sign systems, regardless of their limits or their substances, and also that the elements of it are the following: the phrase, the language , the connotation, the speech, the paradigm, the signifier, the meaning and the denotation.
In the same way, another important figure in the field of semiotics and semiology is the well-known writer Umberto Eco. An author, known at the most popular level for novels as interesting as "The name of the rose" (1980) or "The Foucault Pendulum" (1988), which has also played a key role in the discipline that concerns us through its studies on systems of significance.
Semiology indicates that the linguistic sign has four fundamental characteristics, which are the arbitrariness , the linearity , the immutability and the mutability .
Among the branches of semiology, are the clinical semiology (in medicine, the study of the signs through which a disease ), the zoosemiotic (the exchange of signals between animals), the cultural semiotics (the study of the systems of significance created by a culture ) and the aesthetic semiotics (the study of reading levels of works of art of various techniques or disciplines).