A sign is a combination of a specific set of forms with a specific meaning.
Ferdinand de Saussure proposed in 1916 the distinction between:
- The signifier, the form being used
- The signified, the meaning being represented
For instance, the (spoken) word cat is a sign because the set of phonemes /k/, /a/ and /t/ are forms that are used to represent the concept of a cat, the animal.
There are several types of signs: