Word of the Week

zoösemiotics A branch of SEMIOTICS that studies the features of human COMMUNICATION which, as the end products of an evolutionary series, are shared with animal systems of communication; opposed to ‘anthroposemiotic’ features, which are exclusively human. Under the heading of ‘zoösemiotic features/systems’ fall certain features of tone of voice (cf. PARALANGUAGE), facial expression, gesture, etc. (cf. KINESICS, PROXEMICS), as well as several mechanisms of animal communication which seem not to overlap with human signalling systems (e.g. chemical signals, pheremones, echolocation).

[From: Crystal, David. Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, Fourth Ed., Blackwell, 1997.]

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