Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Semiotics of Programming

Semiotics of Programming

by Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii PhD
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This book provides a semiotic analysis of computer programs along three axes: models of signs, kinds of signs, and systems of signs. Because computer programs are well defined and rigid, applying semiotic theories to them will help to reorganize the semiotic theories themselves. Moreover, semiotic discussion of programming theory can provide possible explanations for why programming has developed as it has and how computation is fundamentally related to human semiosis. The goal of this book is to consider the question of what computers can and cannot do, by analyzing how computer sign systems compare to those of humans. A key concept throughout is reflexivity - the capability of a system or function to reinterpret what it has produced by itself. Sign systems are reflexive by nature, and humans know how to make the most of this characteristic but have not yet fully implemented it into computer systems. Therefore, the limitations of current computers can be ascribed to insufficient reflexivity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521736275
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/22/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 228
Sales rank: 902,820
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Creative Informatics at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Her major areas of interest are computational linguistics, natural language processing, and computational semiotics. Her previous books include Text Entry Systems: Mobility, Accessibility, Universality (co-edited with I. Scott MacKenzie) and a joint translation (with Kyo Kageura) of Troisième cours de linguistique générale (1910-1911): d'après les cahiers d'Emile Constantin by Ferdinand de Saussure.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Computer signs in programs; Part I. Models of Signs: 3. The Babylonian confusion; 4. Marriage of signifier and signified; 5. Being and doing in programs; Part II. Kinds of Signs and Content: 6. The statement x := x + 1; 7. Three kinds of content in programs; 8. An instance vs. the instance; Part III. Systems of Signs: 9. Structural humans vs. constructive computers; 10. Sign and time; 11. Reflexivity and evolution; 12. Conclusion.

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