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Relation and mutual reference of signified ( le signifié ) and signifier ( le signifiant ) in the use of a sign according to Saussure .
The arrow on the left-hand side symbolizes the use in which a sequence of sounds is indicative of a mental conception, which means that an expression as the signifier can be used to denote a term (see onomasiology ). The arrow on the right, on the other hand, shows the direction of a use with which a mental representation is understood as being designated by a sound sequence, whereby a conceptual content can become the signified of the meaning of an expression (see semasiology ).

The term signified (French signifié ) or signatum , German also signified , referred to in the structuralist linguistics (linguistics) and semiotics ( semiotics the) contents page of a character - relative to its expression plane as signifier or signifier . Both signified and signified are to be distinguished from the object and the real thing .

In the semiotic triangle , the simplified model for relationships of a sign, its expression (signifier) ​​is related to an object (reference object) by means of its content (signified), so that the expression refers to the object (refers). This mediating content page is understood with different terminology as the signified, the signatum, the designated, the denotation , the content, the concept or the meaning , or as the meaning or as the mental image of an idea.

In contrast, the signifier, as an externally tangible form, is the expression side of a sign, such as a phonetic image , a character string of letters in a script or an agreed- upon gesture . In a language, a signifying expression is assigned a designated content, as the internally comprehensible signified . A linguistic expression like apple can be linked to the mental image of an apple. According to Ferdinand de Saussure , who decisively coined the concepts of the signifier and the signified, this connection between the signifying and the signified is arbitrary and is determined by convention . The signified of the word eyeball, for example, is similar to that of the ocular bulb .

On the other hand, the same signifier can appear in connection with different signifieds.

For example, a word like hat is written as a sequence of three letters that can represent a sequence of sounds. In German, the meanings of “protection” or “covering” can be connected with this sign expression. The hat can mean, for example, a “type of headgear”, but the hat can mean a “type of custody”. The articulated sound produced by the speaker is the realized signifier. For a speaker, the speakable expression is also significant if it is not pronounced with phonation , but rather its sound image is perceived, presented, thought.

To which "kind of headgear " for example, while the speakers think each - it was the hat , or Akubra , Bergère , Borsalino , opera hat , cocked hat , Fedora , picture hat , cloche , Homburg , Calabrian , beaver , melon , Panama , Porkpie , Schühut , Schute , Sombrero , Stetson , straw hat , pot hat , cylinder et cetera - is a signified. Whether just this what the speaker is presenting when he hat says or writes , even the listener or reader to signified is, is a matter of linguistic interaction, because versprachlichende people can form their own ideas. Some misunderstandings only become apparent in situations where action is taken (see also pragmatics ).

Meaning and signs

The relationship between what is designated (signified, sign content) and what is signatory (signifier, outer sign form) is arbitrary or arbitrary. Arbitrary does not mean here that every person can freely choose a signifier for a signified, but that the original definition of a sign is unmotivated. Signs for communication between people require an "appointment", a convention . Once the symbol has become a convention, it remains more or less firmly assigned. Nevertheless, the meaning of a sign is more or less distributed over the entire chain of signifiers . The language is similar to the music , a process in time ( arrow of time ). With verbalization, the language producer is not able to articulate or receive all words at the same time.

The sense of a verbal, spoken or written sentence cannot be grasped by adding one word and its meaning to the next. So that the words can produce a relatively coherent meaning, each word must create or contain a content-related concatenation to the previous word and keep free for links to the next words; connect to a text . Each character is dependent on another in the linguistic network .

The meaning is only constituted for the current, situational context , if you hear the word "hat" at a certain moment, then it can have a completely different meaning for the same recipient at a later point in time. The sign as such is always reproducible, for example the sequence of sounds, the phonemes  " hut ", on the other hand, the identity of the sign is fragmented, since it can be repeated over and over again in a new communicative context that changes its meaning.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Signified  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Significant  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Kabatek; Claus D. Pusch: Spanish Linguistics. Narr Francke Attempto, Tübingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-8233-6404-7 , pp. 43-45
  2. Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 , p. 123.
  3. Roland Harweg : Studies on the verb and its environment. Essays. Language-Communication-Reality, Linguistic Studies on Semantics and Pragmatics, Vol. 7, LIT, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-643-12597-2 , p. 19
  4. Serebrinnikow: General Linguistics. Volume 1, Forms of Existence, Function and History of Language, Wilhelm Fink, Verlag München / Salzburg, pp. 79ff.