Unformatted text preview: ch sign as comprised in of two parts signifier and signified. (Budil, Hurwitz)
Explained in the words of Umberto Eco, “Saussure speaks of twofold entity (signifier and
signified)” (Eco 14). Hurwitz illustrates this concept as follows:
The signifier is visible or in some way present (such as flag); the signified is invisible
but referred to (the country to which the flag belongs and which it represents). In the
other words, the signifier is the explicit aspect of a sign, present during the interaction,
a material presence of some sort; the signified is the tacit element of a sign, what
might be termed an “immaterial” presence, something literally absent yet functionally
present because it has been invoked (Lee-Hurwitz 23).
When constructing the meaning of the sign, the signifier and the signified can not be separated
form each other. “The sign is the inseparable unity of the signifier with the signified, since in
fact we never have one without the other” (Bignell 12).
The authorship of the second interpretation, the trichotomic relationship, is accredited
to the American linguist Charles Sanders Pierce. Umberto Eco explains that according to
Pierce a sign is “something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or
capacity” (Eco 14). Pierce introduced three concepts of signs. Their difference is based on the 9 10 relationship between the signifier and signified. He introduced this system as a triad of signs: Generally, the short list of what can be used as symbol includes objects (ranging from icon, index and symbol. small ones like rings to large ones like buildings, from manufactured to found objects), Iconic sign shares attributes of similarity between the object described and its behaviors (ranging from individual actions to elaborate community rituals), texts (in description, shares the relationship of similarity or resemblance (Černý 185, Hurwitz 23). the sense of discourse, ranging from individual words to story cycles), ideas (concepts, Jaromir Volek in his Introduction to Media Studies illustrates the concept of icon: “We know images), and people (whether real of imaginary) (Lee-Hurwitz 30). the iconic sign from everyday life. We can see it for example on the ladies/gentleman In the following chapter Hurwitz offers the distinction between a symbol and a sign. It is the bathroom signs or in the manuals and instructions. The sound iconic sign is for example way of interpretation and the connections necessary between the symbols which distinguish onomatopoeia” (Volek 5). them from signs. This is the explanation of Ioan Lewis summarized by Wendy Leeds- An index has the relationship of contiguity or connection. Index has often causal Hurwitz: relationship between the signifier and the signified (Hurwitz 23, Volek 5). Bignell offers Ioan Lewis, an anthropologist, stressed the need to consider the emotional meanings of common illustration of this indexical relationship. “The shadow cast o a sundial tells us the symbols, in addition to the more commonly considered cognitive meaning. By time, it is an indexical sign which is directly caused by the position of the sun, and similarly symbols we mean, of course, something more than signs. Unlike the latter which may smoke is an index of fire, a sign caused by the thing which it signifies” (Bignell 15). be so, symbols are in principle never fully self-explanatory, self-sufficient or fully In symbol, the relationship between the signifier and the signified is the relationship of autonomous. Symbols convey the meaning largely through the connections with other arbitrariness. Umberto Eco defines this relationship as: “A symbol is something representing symbols. This then provides another distinction between symbols and other sorts of something else by virtue of an analogical correspondence” (Eco 130). Hurwitz offers her own signs: Icons and indices carry emotional freight less often. (Lee-Hurwitz 25) definition: “Sign using an arbitrary connection between the present and the absent is a Convention is an important element by which a particular meaning is assigned to a particular symbol” (Hurwitz, 23). There is no logical connection between the signifier and the signified, sign. According to Hurwitz convention, “…refers to the degree of tradition of habit associated the only connection is the connection agreed on. Therefore the context is essential for analysis with a particular sign. […] Becoming accustomed to a particular sign apparently causes most of the meaning of the sign. “It is the very essence of symbols that they are ambiguous. Since people to “forget” or at least to overlook the role tradition, rather than logic, plays in symbols store great deal of information in an economical mann...
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