ANT100Y1 January 26.docx

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18 Apr 2012

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January 26, 2012.
Signifying Reality: How Signs Construct the World
- Signification: making sense, making signs
- Linguistic and non-nonlinguistic signs
- The nature of signs:
1.) Signifier and signified
2.) Symbol, icon and index
3.) Denotation and connotation
- How signs construct reality
- How we construct our self: language and other sign system help to construct our self
Homo sapiens: “human that knows”
- Knowing: making sense (reflecting, representing)
- To make sense = to signify [sign-ify]
- Study of signs (signifying): semiotics
- Study of language: linguistics
Semiotics: the study of other signs and language (semiotics proper the study of non
linguistics signs - and linguistics)
Ferdinand de Saussurean: A Classic Saussurean View of Signification
Winding Road Ahead Sign
Signifier: the actual physical metal plate
Signified: the concept that a winding road is ahead
*In English language, the signifier is a sign.
*In semiotics, the sign = signifier + signified.
Three Kinds of Semiotic Signs
1.) Symbol
2.) Icon
3.) Index
Icons: share some of their physical form (shape, sound etc) with the referent (PICTURES)
- Shared with the signifier and the signified, with pictures we identify so much that the
picture is not just representing but it “is” someone or something
Index: indicates but does not like an icon that closely resembles
- Do not share their form with the referent
- Poison sign (skull): skull is not poison, but poison can kill and skull represents death
- “Don’t sound or like the same as the referent”, they indicate the present of the referent
Symbol: arbitrary, no logical connection between a “red cross and England”
- Arbitrary relation to signified and the signifier (referent)
- Connected only via the system of signification (E.g. language)
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