Реферат на тему:
Language as a System of Signs
Meaning as sign
Kramsch C. Language and Culture. –
Oxford University Press, 1998. – pp. 15-23.
Language can mean in two fundamental ways, both of which are intimately
linked to culture: through what it says or what it refers to as an
encoded sign (semantics), and through what it does as an action in
context (pragmatics). We consider in this chapter how language means as
an encoded sign.
The linguistic sign
The crucial feature that distinguishes humans from animals is humans'
capacity to create signs that mediate between them and their
environment. Every meaning-making practice makes use of two elements: a
signifier and a signified. Thus, for example, the sound /rouz/ or the
four letters of the word 'rose' are signifiers for a concept related to
an object in the real world with a thorny stem and many petals. The
signifier (sound or word) in itself is not a sign unless someone
recognizes it as such and relates it to a signified (concept); for
example, for someone who doesn't know English, the sound /rouz/
signifies nothing because it is not a sign, but only a meaningless
sound. A sign is therefore neither the word itself nor the object it
refers to but the relation between the two.
There is nothing necessary about the relation between a given word
as linguistic signifier and a signified object. The word 'rose' can be
related to flowers of various shapes, consistencies, colors, and smells,
it can also refer to a color, or to a smell. Conversely, the object
'rose' can be given meaning by a variety of signifiers: Morning Glory,
Madame Meillon, flower, die Rose, une rose. Because there is nothing
inherent in the nature of a rose that makes the four letters of its
English signifier more plausible than, say, the five letters of the
Greek word ?????, the linguistic sign has been called arbitrary.
Furthermore, because there is no one-to-one correspondence, no perfect
fit between signifier and signified, the dualism of the linguistic sign
has been called asymmetrical.
The meaning of signs
What is the nature of the relation between signifier and signified? In
other words, how do signs mean? When Emily Dickinson*uses in her poem
words like 'rose', or 'rosemary', these words point to (are the
referents of) objects that grow in the real gardens of the real world.
They refer to a definable reality. Their meaning, that can be looked up
in the dictionary, is denotative. On the other hand, the meaning of
'rose' and 'rosemary' is more than just the plants they refer to. It is
linked to the many associations they evoke in the minds of their
readers: a rose might be associated with love, passion, beauty; rosemary
might be associated with the fragrance of summer and the preservation of
dried herbs. Both words draw their meaning from their connotations.
In addition to denotation and connotation, there is a third kind of
meaning that words can entertain with their objects. For, as with all
signifiers, they not only point to, and are associated with, their
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