Is it just a pile of garbage?
A friend of mine has to read Introducing Cultural and Media Studies: A Semiotic Approach by Thwaite et al, for a course. What’s in it can be divided into a) flippin’ obvious statements dressed up in fancy words, b) dubious statements hidden by fancy words, c) mumbo jumbo.
Signs relate to other signs in two ways: relations of presence (syntagms) and relations of absence (paradigms).
e.g. a menu- the actual choices I make is a syntagm chosen from a paradigm of choices.
How is a menu a relation of absence?
Signifier: sense impression (like the word ‘tree’)
Signified: mental concept (not the mental image of a tree but the concept of a tree).
Signification is the production of meaning by signs in terms of their signified/signifier relationship. When we read a sign, signification always takes place in an upward movement from the signifier to the signified.
Wow. To quote Dogbert, I admire your ability to get paid for this, Mr Thwaite et al.
Apparantly sintagm is pronounced “sintam”, btw.