%A Robin Allott %J Origins of Semiosis: Sign Evolution in Nature and Culture %T Language and the origin of semiosis %X Language is the type of semiosis which has been most closely examined and which has served as a model for considering other forms of semiosis. Semiotics has been based, certainly in the case of language, very much on the proposition of Saussure that the sign is arbitrary - a questionable idea (Holdcroft 1991) - and that the sign is conventional or social. If this fundamental idea of semiotics, and linguistics, is discarded, what does this do for semiotics, the 'science' of signs ? This paper seeks to trace out the implications for semiotics of a very different account from Saussure's of the origin, development and functioning of language, leaving it open whether one should conclude, in the light of this, that language does not constitute a paradigm or model for a general science of semiotics (and is not a typical or useful example of a semiotic system) or that language should be treated as the paradigm but a totally changed paradigm, so that the new view of language will require a restructuring of semiotics and lead to a much more biological and indeed neurological approach to the science of signs. %K semiotics, language, Peirce, Saussure, Barthes, motor theory,perception, sign systems %P 255-268 %E Winfried N?th %D 1994 %I Mouton de Gruyter %L cogprints3113