Tullio De Mauro and the Semiotics research programme

  • Stefano Gensini "Sapienza", University of Rome
Keywords: Tullio De Mauro, Semiotics, Italian culture in the 1960-1970s, Code, Animal communication


Tullio De Mauro played a significant but often underestimated role in the development of semiology (or semiotics) in Italian culture in the 1960s-1970s. Drawing on the lesson of Ferdinand de Saussure, he elaborated a theoretical apparatus not limited to verbal language, but applicable, through the application of certain design features, to the entirety of semiotic codes. Of particular interest is the attention De Mauro paid to the world of animal communication, which other authors (such as Eco) placed below the so-called semiotic threshold.