The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Linguistics


Show Summary Details


pictorial semiotics

Quick Reference

The study of images, pictorial codes, and visual media as sign systems. This includes images in various forms, such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and pictorial advertisements. The field has been dominated by structuralist analysis which, unlike most textual analysis, treats texts (in any medium) as part of a system (see also structuralism). The linguistic model has involved the application of the commutation test, but, unlike verbal language (see articulation), pictorial representation has proved irreducible to basic, recombinable units which are meaningless in themselves (see pictorial communication; visual communication; visual language). See also representational codes; semiotics; visual semiotics.

Subjects: Linguistics

Reference entries