, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 25–38 | Cite as

A Biosemiotic Analysis of Braille

Original Paper


A unique aspect of human communication is the utilization of sets of well-delineated entities, the morphology of which is used to encode the letters of the alphabet. In this paper, we focus on Braille as an exemplar of this phenomenon. We take a Braille cell to be a physical artifact of the human environment, into the structure of which is encoded a representation of a letter of the alphabet. The specific issue we address in this paper concerns an examination of how the code that is embedded in the structure of a Braille cell is transferred with fidelity from the environment through the body and into the Braille reader’s brain. We describe four distinct encoding steps that enable this transfer to occur.


Braille Encoding Biosemiotic systems Neuronal groups Somatosensory system 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontology Research Group, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, Squire HallState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Center for the HumanitiesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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