In the typology of [[sign]]s devised by Charles S. [[Peirce]], the North American semiotician, the [[index]] is a [[sign]]
whih has an "existential [[relationship]]" to the [[object]] it represents (i.e. the [[index]] is always spatially or temporally contiguous with the [[object]]).
Peirce contrasts the [[index]]
swith the [[symbol]], which, like [[Saussure]]'s [[concept]] of the [[sign]], is characterized by the [[absence]] of all necessary connections between the [[sign]] and its [[object]].
For example, smoke is an [[index]] of fire.
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