Zero sign duality in visual semiotics

and Robert M. Cantor


In this paper, the dyadic concept of zero sign in general linguistics is transformed into a triadic concept of zero sign in visual semiotics. A formal duality relation is defined between two types of visual zero sign. It is argued that the common experience of failure to perceive visual zero signs may be due to either inattention of the interpreter or camouflage of the object of the sign. We conclude that dual zero signs act as detectors in visual semiotics.

  • Cantor, Robert M. 2000. Foundations of Roentgen semiotics. Semiotica 131(1/2). 1–18.

  • Cantor, Robert M. 2006. The effects of Roentgen signs on the mind of the interpreter. Semiotica 162(1/4). 309–321.

  • Cantor, Robert M. 2014. A semiotic model of visual perception. Semiotica 200(1/4). 1–20.

  • Cantor, Robert M. this volume. Conceptual embodiment in visual semiotics. Semiotica 210(1/4).

  • Coxeter, H. S. M. 1974 [1987]. Projective geometry, 2nd edn. New York: Springer-Verlag.

  • Deely, John N. 2014. Definitions of sign in Charles Sanders Peirce. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. Presented at the Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress. U.SA: Lowell, AM.

  • Jakobson, Roman 1984 [1939]. Zero sign. In Linda R. Waugh & Morris Halle (eds.), Russian and Slavic grammar, 1–14. New York: Mouton.

  • Jakobson, Roman. 1990 [1949]. Current issues of general linguistics. In Linda R. Waugh & Monique Monville-Burston (eds.), On language, 49–55. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Melchuk, Igor. 1999. Zero sign in morphology. Presented at the third international Tbilisi symposium on language, logic and computation. (accessed 7 February 2016).

  • Palmer, Stephen E. 1999. Vision science: Photons to phenomenology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Peirce, Charles Sanders. 1998. Essential Peirce: Selected philosophical writings, vol. 2 (1893–1913), Peirce Edition Project (eds.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [Reference to vol. 2 of Essential Peirce will be designated EP 2.]

  • Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1966 [1916]. Course in general linguistics. Charles Bally & Albert Sechehaye (eds.) with Albert Riedlinger, Wade Baskin (trans.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Weyl, Hermann. 1952. Symmetry. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
Price including VAT
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.

Journal + Issues

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.