In this paper I formulate briefly the main principles of evolution of semiotic systems. The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution does not take into account the semiosic nature of the systems under study, therefore its applicability to languages and cultures (and also to biological species as communicative semiosic systems) should be rigorously questioned. The semiotic theory of evolution should include the implications from the dynamic features of semiosis and sign systems. The two major tendencies in the evolution of semiosic systems are diversification - or introduction of new mutually incompatible systems and categories - and standardization - or development of mutual compatibility. The inclusion of agency as based on semiosis provides a non-Darwinian model, yet includes the Darwinian one as a restricted special case.
© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston