As other reviewers have noted, this is not a book to choose for a first approach to semiotics. Rather it's a study of the conceptual basics of the field, considered in the context of intellectual history. Deely's point of view grows out of his deep knowledge of philosophy, especially that of the medieval period, and his penetrating study of Peirce.
When i ordered this book from Amazon, what i received was the first edition (Indiana University Press, 1990) -- although it's listed here as "St. Augustine's Press (January 2004)". After getting in touch with the author, i realized that this was not a mistake on Amazon's part: the book has gone through several editions since the first, but none of them are (so far) available from North American booksellers; the only one published in English is the 4th edition, published by Tartu University Press in Estonia. Until that one is obtainable on this side of the pond, this first edition is still worth buying at the price, because it is a very deep study of what semiotics is all about. -- And contrary to what one reviewer said, it *does* structure most of its argument around specific examples. So it is quite readable, though certainly not easy reading, even if you have little or no background in Peircean semiotics.