The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 38, Issue 1/4, 2022

Vern S. Poythress
Pages 71-90

Multiple Perspectives in Semiotics, Illustrated with Tagmemic Analysis of Tic-Tac-Toe
With Implications for Artificial Intelligence

A semiotic analysis of tic-tac-toe illustrates the use of multiple perspec­tives in human understanding of signs. Tagmemic theory is a semiotic framework that pays explicit attention to multiple perspectives. It can generate multiple complementary analyses of the same semiotic system. We illustrate using the game of tic-tac-toe. Our analysis illustrates how three distinct perspectives or views (particle, wave, and field) can be applied to the same semiotic system, resulting in radically different textures in analysis. At the same time, each analysis is in a sense complete, because all the information in the other analyses can be deduced in principle from the analysis using only one view. The result is suggestive for evaluating the strengths and limitations inherent in monoperspectival programs used for artificial intelligence.