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Related to Signified: signifier and signified



the content aspect of a linguistic sign. According to F. de Saussure, a linguistic sign is a combination of “concept,” or the signified, and “sound-image,” or the signifier. In other terminology, “content” and “expression” correspond to these two concepts.

The signified is an abstract unit of the content plane, a unit that is a class of concrete “messages.” (This definition uses the terminology of scholars who define concrete sign units as combinations of “signals”—entities of the expression plane—and “messages”—entities of the content plane.) A signified is a signified only in relation to the corresponding signifier, unlike a message, which can be expressed by different signals. Thus, a given signified and a given signifier are inseparably linked.

The sign, the signified, and the signifier represent three ways of treating the same entity. The terms “sign” or “signifier” are used when the sign is considered in its entirety or in its formal aspect, respectively. The term “signified” is used when approaching the sign from the point of view of meaning.


Saussure, F. de. Kurs obshchei lingvistiki. Moscow, 1933. (Translated from French.)
Obshchee iazykoznanie: Formy sushchestvovaniia, funktsii, istoriia iazyka. Moscow, 1970. Pages 96–170.
Prieto, L. J. Messages et signaux. Paris, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
The crucial question is which natural property is signified according to Gibbard's proposal by a competent speaker's use of the term "is the right thing to do"?
Consent for the deceased spouse is made by the executor or administrator; consent for a decedent can be signified by the surviving spouse only if no executor or administrator is appointed.
The photographs of lynched bodies that circulated at the turn of the century signified at the limits of white images of black otherness.
Having a portrait taken by Keita signified one's cosmopolitanism.
110) Similar to the identificatory mechanisms that operated in the ducal processions, female spectators at Morosina's coronation would have recognized the codified display of marital status signified by the women's costumes and their location within the cortege.
He understands that for Johns to say his images are not him imputes an allegorical substratum to representation; it is as if representation signified only those feelings one cannot acknowledge as one's own.
Mosquito reveals a complex web, in which Jones builds upon specifying to blur lines between signifier and signified.
whether the relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary or intrinsic.
The results of myth, s Barthes analyzed them, were a naive buying-into the purported signified of a cultural phenomenon without having the distance, the skepticism, or the experience to attend to the signifiers laboring away to produce the mythified meaning.
Just as when John sang in union with the creek, the mouthy youth knows a harmony between signifier and signified.
The tone and the positive spectrum of emotion she describes as the colors of her mother's voice are more powerfully affecting than the pain signified by the words.
Bontemps's sojourn in Alabama could be signified by the devil's ball in the story, and Bubber's return home could signify Arna Bontemps's return to his father's home in California to finish writing Black Thunder, away from the scornful gaze of the Oakwood elders.