Semiotics and informatics: The impact of EDP-based systems upon the professional language of nurses

  • Lars Mathiassen
  • Peter Bøgh Andersen
Organisations And Systems
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 178)


The aim of this paper is to stress that the use of computers may entail very radical changes indeed in the professional languages used in the affected parts of an organisation. A consequence of this is that analyses of professional languages may be applied advantageously in connection with system development. This paper builds its arguments around a single example: The change in the professional language of nurses in connection with the use of computers in a hospital ward. In the first part of the paper we give a description of the situation before and after the system concerned was introduced. Furthermore we present some basic concepts of semiotics. The second part of the paper contains a semiotic analysis of the situation within the hospital ward under examination. And finally, the last part of the paper draws some general conclusions from the analysis.


Content Level Language User Content Unit Communication Perspective Semantic Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Mathiassen
    • 1
  • Peter Bøgh Andersen
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of the Integrated Study of Computer Science and the HumanitiesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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