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Simon Fraser University
CMNS 130
Kathleen Cross

Models of the Sign by D ChandlerThe Saussurean Model o He defined a two part model of the sign o The two part model consists of the signifier and a signifiedo The signified is the concept and the signifier is the sound pattern They connect to make a material elementSigno Both psychological rather than substance o A signifier is now seen as a physical material it is the physical form of a sign o The sign is the combination of everything The relationship between the two parts is known as signification o Certain signifiers and signified can be used in different ways Ex the word open it is a signifier and it can be applied to elevators or doors o The difficult thing to define is the signified It is supposed to be a concept it is not a thing but the notion of a thing Ex Is the word Napoleon because you do not bow when you hear the name rather you think of the person because it is a conceptTwo Sides of a Page o Saussure said that he helped to distinguish between the signifier and the signified but he also stresses that sound signifier and thought signified are completely inseparable each triggers the otherThe Relational System o His ideas believe signs refer to each other o An example is the word tree has some meaning to us but its meaning depends on other words such as bush o A sign has little or no independent value by itself again it is all about how it relates to something else o Although the sign is important when it has signification because it is attached to a concept it also depends on its relation with other signs for a total value o Advertising position of signs is all about separating signs from other signs that give it a certain meaning and relate it to what they specifically want you to relate it to o An example is if you are trying to teach someone your language and you want to teach the word red you would likely not show a ton of red objects you would show two things that are the same but with different colors to show a contrastArbitrariness o Although many people think of the signifier as standing for the signified anybody who knows about Saussarean semiotics stresses that there is no direct relationship between the two o Charles Hockett said that arbitrariness is a key design feature of language o The signified is arbitrary if reality is perceived as a seamless continuum o From common sense we can understand that objects were around before any label was attached to them o Reality is defined differently in each language so it is impossible for each thing to be defined arbitrarily in a correct mannero Saussures ideas show that reality is constructed by language rather than language being a reflection of ito Saussure ends up modifying his choice and says that signs are relatively arbitraryo Many also label the two parts of a sign as ontologically arbitrary which means the order of them does not matter o Many words are not completely arbitrary such as the red of a stop light because red was already a representation of danger o Every sign ends up getting a whole story or history by itself and these stories are familiar to members of the signusers culture o The language system is a given it is almost a contract that each person is born intoo The relationship between signifier and signified is something that each person learns with respect to their language Relativity o Charles Pierce He made a classification of certain types of signs He is relating the sign and the object a little different to the Saussurean model 1 Symbol Symbolic This is when the signified does not resemble the signified it is a conventional or arbitrary label This is a relationship that must be purely learned This is words numbers letters flags etc 2 Icon Iconic This is when a signifier resembles the signified It may look smell or feel like it This is portraits metaphors sound effects cartoons etc 3 Index Indexical This is when the signifier is directly connected physically or casually to the signified This is an observed or inferred link such as natural signs smoke thunder flavours footprints medical symptoms pain a rash pulserate measuring instruments signals pointers directional post recordings film pictures personal trademarks handwriting and indexical words that this here o These are listed based on how conventional they are Language is extremely important and useful while the other two trails behind slightly o The more a signifier is constrained by the signified the more motivated the sign is or directly connected to ito Though it is important to note every sign is built on some sort of conventionHigh Popular and Low Cultures in Everyday Life by D InglisThe article is all about distinguishing if there is a difference of cultures and if so how exactly they are differentHigh Culture and the Extraordinary o The author will look at high culture from the perspective of people who believe it is special or above others
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