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Lecture 3

CMN 2173 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Roland Barthes, Semiotics, French Fries

Course Code
CMN 2173
Dina Salha

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Jan. 20
Semiotics - the Study of Signs
- Its project is to discover a structured meaning
- Processes of structuration
- Structuration: there exists another structure which is the subject who acts upon other
structures as well
- Autonomy of subject leads to question meaning
- Meaning depends then of the subject not entirely of structures
- Structuralism: meaning without subject
- Semiotics: subject in search of meaning
Speech and Language
- Structuralism took language as the point of departure
- Semiotics studies are interested in speech
- Meaning changes because the subject changes too
Technical Vocabulary
- Signifier: the material element, sound, or marks on paper
- Signified: the concept with which the signifier is associated
- Referent: the concrete thing itself
-Signification: the link between the signified and signifier - leads to ideological
- Signifier+siginifed = sign
- These terms were introduced by structuralists but semioticians made them slip into
another application
Denotation: precise description of the sign
Connotation: the mental concept generated from the signifier or sign
- Leads us to the necessity of a pre-existing social consensus
- There is an ideological dimension of human and social existence
- In signification: a firm constraint or ideology or kinds of discourses (myth, fable, story,
- To each discourse fits a style
- Semioticians are interested in difference, in particularities or singularity of a text
- Remember songs/Dr. Seuss through rhyme??
Roland Barthes (1915-1980)
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