The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a field of semantic content of a linguistic unit, which includes information characterizing the object designated. The significatum is usually opposed to the denotatum, which is that class of objects of extralinguistic reality to which a given word can be correlated.

The significative and denotative aspects of linguistic meaning are inseparably linked because of the functions of language to both designate objects and phenomena of the external world and simultaneously express the way in which speakers of the language interpret these objects and phenomena. Linguistic units that are identical in denotation may differ in their signification. For example, the words “picture,” “canvas,” and “masterpiece” may all designate one and the same object of reality, but they permit the object to be conceived of in various ways. The concept of the significatum is used in semantic descriptions of linguistic units in logic, semiotics, and linguistics.


Church, A. Vvedenie ν malematicheskuiu logiku. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from English.)
Kolshanskii, G. V, Logika i struktura iazyka. Moscow, 1965.
Morris, C. Foundations of the Theory of signs. Chicago, 1938.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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