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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.228
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.634

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2010, Issue 182


A semiotic analysis of sounds in personal computers: Toward a semiotic model of human-computer interaction

Yoonjae Nam / Joohan Kim
Published Online: 2010-11-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.060


We compared three types of auditory interface in personal computing environments: verbal messages, earcons, and auditory icons. We applied Peirce's sign theory to the three auditory interfaces to conceptualize verbal messages as “dicent symbol legisigns,” earcons as “dicent indexical legisigns,” and auditory icons as “remantic iconic sinsigns.” Based on theories of the triple triangle model for sign production (Kim, Semiotica 132: 75–100, 2000), we suggested that (a) the three auditory interfaces demand different levels of mental effort for interpretation and (b) the extent to which users are able to interpret the auditory signs of a computer correctly correlates to the communicability of its interface.

Keywords:: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); auditory interfaces; semiotics; signs; communicability; sign production theory

About the article

Corresponding author: Joohan Kim

Published Online: 2010-11-04

Published in Print: 2010-10-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2010, Issue 182, Pages 269–284, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.060.

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