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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 ?
Names of characters as well as names of objects are also signified.
Hurston once explained the title of her first novel by referring to the protecting plant in chapter 4 of Jonah (Hemenway 192), yet she actually signified on the whole Old Testament book to create a more telling analogue for her preacher's hermeneutical struggle.
Now, the consistent reading of Sherman's "Untitled (Film Stills)" -- all of them, incidentally, untitled--as "examples" of one or another general law (whether feminist or humanist) has meant that no one looks at the initial relation of signifier and signified to see how they are constructed.
A's album Straight Outta Compton deals a dose of signified disrespect to the music, while contributing to the Cultural Studies tradition which correctly transcribes difficult passages from Hegel and Baudrillard and then, as does Paul Gilroy in The Black Atlantic, misquotes LL Cool J's "'Round the Way Girl.
The signifier (Walker) inverts the signified (racial identification; i.
The poem is initiated by a reference to the poet's exclusion from prosperity and affluence, signified by the closed door of the white house.
Like Gates, Busby argues that Ellison did not flatly copy masterworks from the traditions he felt deeply related to but signified upon them; that is, he viewed them from his own unique black perspective, thus transfiguring them and incorporating them into a new vision.