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A Journal of Semiotics in China and the World
This is a Diamond Open Access journal. Articles are published in Open Access at no cost to the author.

Signs & Media: A Journal of Semiotics in China and the World introduces the traditional Chinese theories of meaning, communication and art to the world, but also brings contemporary Chinese and East Asian semiotics in dialogue with contemporary international research.

Signs & Media is a double blind peer-reviewed, academic journal focused on semiotics in relation to contemporary media, communication and the arts. With the radical changes of forms of media and communication in modern society, as well as the dazzling spectacles of signs, symbols, texts, and art being produced, read, and interpreted in this cyber age of globalization a platform is needed where perspectives from East and West are shared to analyze these versatile productions of meaning.

The journal includes full-length research articles, review articles, short communications, or other formats of materials which explore the linguistic, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, literary, cognitive and other scientific dimensions of semiotics and media studies.

The journal is relevant to researchers and practitioners of semiotics and media studies who are interested in the generation and mechanism of meaning, as well as the structure of communications through all forms of media.

Signs & Media welcomes the following types of submissions. Please have a look and check our requirements per article type.
We have more detailed guidance for the submission of book reviews.
Suggestions or proposals to guest edit a special issue are also welcome and can be sent to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.

Peer Review Policy: All articles published in Signs & Media: A Journal of Semiotics in China and the World undergo a double-anonymous external peer review process. This includes articles published in special issues.
Open Access


Both ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’ are words with a long and polysemic history in Western culture. Moreover, the 120-year history of the modern semiotics movement has failed to provide a highly needed definition of these most basic terms, thus resulting in ambiguity of the definition of the discipline itself. This paper proposes defining ‘sign/symbol’ as ‘a sensuous entity to be regarded as carrying meaning’. Furthermore, the terminological chaos that arises between ‘sign’ and ‘symbol’, which originated in Western languages, has caused chaos for translators in selecting the appropriate Chinese term from the options Fuhao and Xiangzheng, since a phonetic rendition is hardly possible in Chinese. On this basis, the paper attempts to define ‘semiotics’ as ‘the formal study of meaning-making’. In this understanding, semiotics covers not only signification but also communication and interpretation of meaning.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
Authors: and


Truth is the core issue of any theory of meaning, and the pursuit of truth is the fundamental driving force of human consciousness. Is the appearance of truth true? In what sense is it truth? How do we obtain truth? Can a final truth be obtained? These are among the most difficult questions to answer in the theory of meaning and the best divergence points in various meaning theories. Peirce’s semiotic phenomenology puts forward a view of truth that can be grasped clearly but is nevertheless complex and different from pragmatism. First, meaning activity is the pursuit of truth. Second, no semiotic representation can be totally untrue or completely true. Third, to access truth there must be an accumulation of semiotic activities until the consensus of a community is reached, called a ‘communitarian truth’. Fourth, since the community has no boundaries, the infinite derivative of symbolic text can gradually approach the ideal truth.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media