New journal founded: The International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems


The International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems (IJSSS) was founded in early 2011. The journal offers a space of intense collaboration from empirical studies and theoretical frameworks toward a deeper understanding of semiotic process and an integrated vision of its synthesis in artificial systems. In establishing this journal, we encourage collaborative approaches regarding semiotic systems and processes, ranging from biological and empirical modeling to formal-theoretical studies. Our primary objective is to bring together multidisciplinary efforts in computational, empirical, theoretical and formal approaches in modeling semiotic processes, especially those that contribute to the design and synthesis of semiotic systems, such as biological evidences or evolutionary and philosophical frameworks. The frameworks and theories explored take into account recent developments from neurocognitive science, cognitive ethology, second order cybernetics, artificial life, biosemiotics and evolutionary biology.

Topics to be discussed in this journal include (but are not limited to) emergence and evolution of semiotic processes, evolution of information interpretation systems, embodied and situated semiotic processes and systems, biologically inspired models of semiotic systems, collaborative semiotic processes and applications, theories of meaning, sign and symbol grounding, technological semiotic artifacts, Umwelt, semiotic landscapes and niches.


In the inaugural issue of IJSSS, we have the participation of important authors from many areas of expertise. In ‘The semiotics of cybernetic percept-action systems’, Peter Cariani presents a semiotic framework for natural and artificial adaptive percept-action systems contributes to  the distinction of distinguishing semiotic, sign-systems from nonsemiotic physical systems.

In ‘A Model of Complexity Levels of Meaning Constitution in Simulation Models of Language Evolution’, Andy Lücking and Alexander Mehler argue that extensions are needed in the predominant simulation model for simulating the emergence of emergence of linguistic categories to cope with increasing complexity of linguistic categorization. They propose a sequence of extensions in linguistic categorization aspects of the naming game, including a sequence of levels of complexity starting from compositionality and ending up at contextuality, the difference between literal and dialog meanings, and the ontological provenance of meanings.

According to James Fetzer, in ’Minds and Machines:  Limits to Simulations of Thought and Action’, any simulation of human cognition (as sign users) is theoretically impossible because of the inextricably dependence of context in which semiotic systems are embedded. Complex interactions of conditions associated with different forms of ontic and epistemic aspects turn theoretically impossible to make any form of strong simulation of human cognitive life.

Signs and Semiotic Systems (Click to view full size.)

In this inaugural issue, we launch a new article publication format to the publisher, a target article with open commentaries. Angelo Cangelosi writes on ‘Solutions and Open Challenges for the Symbol Grounding Problem’, debating on the problem of how an agent has to connect symbols with what they refer to. He points out open challenges to research on symbol grounding and inviting commentators to address them. Eleven comments on this intriguing and long lasting problem in Artificial Intelligence were made by researchers with various expertise, including Stevan Harnad, Luc Steels, Tony Belpaeme, Carol Madden, Stéphane Lallée, Peter Ford Dominey, Stephen Cowley, Alberto Greco, Juyang Weng, Barbara Giolito, Domenico Parisi, Vincent C. Muller, Angelo Loula, João Queiroz and Ricardo Gudwin.

Already in press, the second issue of IJSSS will be a special issue on C.S.Peirce semiotics edited by Priscila Borges, Ana Maria Guimarães Jorge, and Lucia Santaella. It brings contributions from Vincent Colapietro on reflections on the function of signs

and the purposes of Peirce’s semeiotic, from Winfried Nöth on representation and reference, from Frederik Stjernfelt on Peirce’s notion of propositions, and from João Queiroz and Angelo Loula on self-organization and Peirce’s notion of communication and semiosis.

The International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems is open to new contributions and invites authors to submit original articles on computational, empirical, theoretical and formal approaches in modeling semiotic processes. More information on

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