Roland Posner was President of the International Society for Semiotics (IASS) from 1994 to 2004.
Roland Posner studied philosophy, comparative literature, linguistics and communication theory at the universities of Bonn, Munich and Berlin. In 1972 he graduated summa cum laude in the subjects of General Linguistics, German language and philosophy at the Technical University of Berlin with a thesis on the "Theory of annotating: A baseline study on semantics and pragmatics." In 1973 he habilitated in the fields of linguistics, literary studies and philosophy of language at the TU Berlin.
From 1974 he was an associate professor, since 1975 professor for "Germanic and General Linguistics" at the TU Berlin. From 1975 to 1980 he was director of the Institute of Linguistics at the TU Berlin. From 1980 he was Director of the "Research Center for Semiotics" at TU. From 1975 he was also director of the "semiotic Working Group Berlin" (SAB). In 1975, he was also the founding chairman of the German Society for Semiotics (DGS)
Posner held visiting professorships at the University of Hamburg (1973) and at the Université de Montréal (1977). Furthermore, he was a lecturer at linguistic and semiotic summer institutes in Salzburg (1977), Tunis (1979), Toronto (1982), Lisbon (1983), Mysore (1984/85), São Paulo (1985) and Lund (1992). Posner was a member of the academic year 1986/1987 Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Wassenaar , where he was appointed Associate Fellow for life.
His main research interests are in Philosophy of Science, linguistic pragmatics, Cultural Semiotics, Poetics and aesthetics, Sign research.