In semiotics and general linguistics, the referent , also the reference object , designate or denotation , is what a sign , a string of characters or a linguistic expression such as name , word or phrase refers to.
While in semiotics as well as in linguistics the non-linguistic reference object is in the foreground (see semiotic triangle ) and is defined as an extra -linguistic reference object of a sign in general or a linguistic expression in particular, the term referent is also used in text grammar for internal language Reference objects used.
With regard to the term referred to under the designation referent , a distinction must be made between a general term that encompasses a reference object as such and the terms that are special due to its application or interpretation. The speaker can be something non-linguistic or something linguistic. If it is something non-linguistic, the referring expression is used in object language. If, on the other hand, it is something linguistic, then the related (referring) expression is called metalinguistic .
Speaker as a non-linguistic reference object
The term referent is predominantly used for the non-linguistic reference objects of linguistic expressions (semiotic more general: signs).
In the semiotic triangle of Charles Kay Ogden and Ivor Armstrong Richards , the sign ( symbol ) symbolizes something and evokes a corresponding content of consciousness ( reference ) that relates to the object ( referent ).
From this point of view, a speaker is a “thing from the world.” The term thing is to be understood broadly and means “object, place, property or event.” World here means not only the real world, but also a possible world. Example: The term Harry Potter does not refer to a real, but to a fictional person.
This perspective is sometimes considered to be wrong, for example by conceptualism . Then a concept in a concept system in human consciousness is viewed as a speaker .
Speaker as an internal language reference object
If a linguistic expression relates to another expression ( word , part of a sentence ), then these are referents of the linguistic expression. So pronouns in the sentence or text can refer to other words.
Internal speakers can enter into two types of relationships with the referring word, depending on what comes first in the text:
- anaphoric relationship: referent comes before referring word.
- “The man came in. He wore an old hat. "(Man in front of him)
- cataphorical relationship: the referring word is in front of the referent.
- "When she realized her situation, Sibylle drove home." (She in front of Sibylle)
In the formal presentation of texts in linguistics and computational linguistics , speakers are often identified by indices , especially when many pronouns refer to different speakers in a sentence:
- Peter 1 still owed Mario 2 a lot of money 3 . After 2 threatening him 1 with serious consequences, he 1 finally gave it 3 back to him 2 on the 25th.
- Deixis vs. Anaphor (anaphoric)
- Correlate (grammar)
- ^ Triadic sign relation. In: Dietrich Homberger: Subject dictionary for linguistics. Reclam, 2000, ISBN 3-15-010471-8 .
- ^ Danièle Clément: Basic linguistic knowledge. 2nd Edition. 2000, ISBN 3-531-23173-1 , p. 157; Jörg Meibauer, Introduction to German Linguistics. 2nd Edition. 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-02141-0 , p. 171.
- ↑ Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 . (Speaker).
- ↑ Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 . (Speaker and reference).