Reflecting on human language through computer languages

Kyo Kageura


Apart from human languages, few sign systems are as complex and powerful as programming languages. In fact, programming languages share all the essential features of human languages. The semiotic study of programming languages can therefore contribute to our understanding of human semiosis, in addition to being an interesting and worthwhile topic of analysis in its own right. Tanaka-Ishii's Semiotics of programming focuses on the semiotic examination of programming languages, but also provides important insights into human semiosis in general and into the clarification of semiotic theories. This review article examines how essential issues related to semiotics and human languages are addressed in the book.

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The official journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, founded in 1969 as one of the first scholarly journals in the field, Semiotica features articles reporting results of research in all branches of semiotic studies, in-depth reviews of selected current literature in the field, and occasional guest editorials and reports. The journal also publishes occasional Special Issues devoted to topics of particular interest.