SMC219Y1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Aesthetics, Roland Barthes, Denotation
DepartmentSt. Michael's College Courses
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Chapter 5: Rhetorical Analysis
Rhetoric -Refers to the ancient art of oratory, or as Aristotle defined it, “an ability, in each
particular case, to see the available means of persuasion”.
-The use of symbols by humans to influence and move other humans
Sign -Something that invites someone to think of something other than itself, such as the way
an image of a person invites one to think of that person or the way the unique letter
combination d/o/g invites one to think of a four-legged canine.
-Swiss linguist known as the founder of modern linguistics. Calls his approach to
-Argued that all linguistic signs were a combination of signifier (signifiant) and signified
Semiology -A science which studies the role of signs as part of social life…It would investigate the
nature of signs and the laws governing them.
Signifier -Sound-image refers to the material form of a sign as perceived by the senses (hearing
Signified -Mental concept is the idea evoked by the signifier. (the idea of “dogness”)
Arbitrary -No natural correspondence, no necessary relationship, between signifier and signified.
(“dogness” can be expressed in various different languages for example). Can change
Linearity -Since the signifier, being auditory, is unfolded solely in time, it is impossible to utter two
distinct linguistic signs simultaneously.
Difference -Signs signify by virtue of their difference from other signs (“dog can signify because it
sounds different from “cat,” “horse,” or “mouse.”).
Parole vs. Langue -Langue – the linguistic system – the rules and conventions that organize the system
-Parole – individual speech acts or utterances –specific uses or performances of
-A Harvard-trained American philosopher who developed his own theory, similar to de
Semiotic -The quasi-necessary, or formal, doctrine of signs.
-Expands the category of signs to include all modes of human communication (not just
Triadic Theory of the
-The representamen (sign) stands to somebody for something in some respect.
-The interpretant is the equivalent sign created in a person’s mind
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