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semiotics

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by

Sheena Steckl

on 22 July 2015

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Transcript of semiotics

Ferdinand de Sassure
Semiotics
is the study of signs and codes that supply meaning in communication.

When Sassure first presented his theory, he called it
semiology
, describing the concept as one based in social psychology.

Charles Sanders Peirce, Roland Barthes, Christian Metz, Umberto Echo, and Julia Kristeva are all semioticians.


Semiotics
a rose by any other name
Following this theory, American speakers of English think "rose" when seeing this image because it is the word that we they have been conditioned to associate with the object. Some may also think "flower," which is a signifier that can be linked to a number of other signified objects.
Signs
are
dyadic
: they are made up of the
signifier
and the
signified
.
The signifier is the linguistic dimension of the sign (the word).
The signified is the conceptual dimension (the object or idea).
signs & cultural meaning
Semiotics
The father of modern linguistics; he shifted the discipline away from a
historical focus and on to the structure of language.

In 1916, two of Sassure's students
posthumously published
The Course
in General Linguistics,
which became
one of the seminal analytical texts in the field of linguistics.

His thoughts also provided the basis
of the structuralist school of literary
theory.

Semiotics is closely related to structuralism: structure implies meaning.

These ideas from linguistics have also been adopted by literary critics.
The structure of text, like the structure of a language, informs meaning.
Internal structures of a text are based off structure of external systems, such as those of genre, narrative mode, or connections with other texts.

Structuralism
are
relational
: the designation only makes sense in relation to other signs in the system.

Signs
Signified
Signifier
Relations in Meaning
Meaning is
syntagmatic
if it is based on the order or sequence of elements.
Meaning is
paradigmatic
if it is based on shared cultural associations.


are semiotic supersystems: we use this system on concepts to interpret actions and ideologies of ourselves and others.

Codes
Hemmingway's "The Short Happy Life of
Francis Macomber" includes "codes."

Can you think of another text that demonstrates functioning cultural codes?


are
arbitrary
: there is no connection between the signifier and the signified.

Signs
Genre
Hayden White's
Modes of Emplotment
i
n
t
e
r
t
e
x
t
u
a
l
i
t
y
i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y
Every text has a
horizontal axis
connecting the author and reader and a
vertical axis
connecting the text to other texts.
Shared codes unite the axes, and both text and reading are dependent on existing codes of language and culture.
are
differential
: meaning is set by what a thing is not, rather than by what it is.
Signs
Translation
Following notions of semiotics and structuralism, translating a text requires consideration of:
the source language and culture
the target language and culture
internal structure of the text
the relation of the text to other texts in the system
connotation and denotation
actual and implied meanings
langue and parole
Sassure presented a distinction between
langue
, the system of a language, and
parole
, the instances of speech and writing.
Parole
is governed by
langue
.
Artwork by Anjana Iyer for boredpanda.com
Full transcript