Understanding Semiotic Theory in Linguistic Studies

Understanding Semiotic Theory in Linguistic Studies-Every day in carrying out their activities, humans always communicate either at home, at the market, at school, or at their workplace. This is done as a matter of course because indeed one of the abilities that humans have had since ancient times is to communicate through language. Language can be divided into two, namely, verbal and non-verbal language to facilitate their communication activities. In some cases, humans use non-verbal language to be able to understand the intent of the other person or as a notification sign that can be understood in the communication process. When studying language, especially in linguistic studies, it is known that this is a science known for understanding signs, namely, semiotics. In everyday life humans also always intersect with various signs such as, traffic signs, gender-based toilet signs, or understanding sign language as a sign of communication made by people with special needs who are unable to speak verbally. The presence of language through these signs really helps the communication process and can even be studied through studies at universities through linguistic studies. And, in studying linguistics about these signs, we will also understand that signs are not only found in ordinary texts but also in texts in songs, films, etc. The presence of language through these signs really helps the communication process and can even be studied through studies at universities through linguistic studies. And, in studying linguistics about these signs, we will also understand that signs are not only found in ordinary texts but also in texts in songs, films, etc. The presence of language through these signs really helps the communication process and can even be studied through studies at universities through linguistic studies. And, in studying linguistics about these signs, we will also understand that signs are not only found in ordinary texts but also in texts in songs, films, etc.

But do you know about semiotics? What is the definition and how is the explanation of the theory and its benefits in linguistics? If you don’t know, then in this discussion we will discuss the theory of semiotics complete with the views of several experts.

Furthermore, we will discuss this discussion in the review below!

History of Semiotics

Semiotics is developed and widely used in the study of sign systems. Semiotics in relation to this case is an understanding of semiotics that refers to the semiotics of Ferdinand De Saussure and the semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce, known as the father of modern semiotics, and the Semiotics theory of Roland C. Barthe. Semiotics. Ogden and IA Richard, Semiotics Michael Riffaterre. Ferdinand De Saussure as the father of modern semiotics (1857-1913) divided the relationship between the signifier and the signifier with an agreement called the signifier.

In a literary work, the signifier is seen as a physical form rather than a concept.

At the same time, the signifier is seen as the meaning behind the physical form in the form of value. Meaningful relationships are based on

social conventions about the meaning of signs. The relationship between semiotics and linguistics must be understood according to the nature of the relationship between the two fields, in which Saussure emphasizes the nature of words as signs.

The main object of semiotic research emerged in 1974 at the first semiotic congress in Milan. The following areas were covered at the congress, apart from the basic sciences including the fields of semantics and pragmatics, semiotics and linguistics, and scientific languages, where the topics of general sign theory and scientific theory and strategy were discussed. The largest area of ​​the Congress is literature, which deals with the correct use of method in art and literature. Other areas that have received a lot of attention are architecture, music, visual arts, visual communication and non-verbal communication.

According to Nordo, there are four traditions behind the birth of semiotics, namely semantics, logic, rhetoric and hermeneutics. According to Paul Cobley and Litza Janz, semiotics is ultimately derived from the Greek seme, which means interpreter of signs, and as a theory, a broad term, semiotics means the systematic study of the production and interpretation of signs. In this case, the theory of semiotics refers to human life, which can be considered full of signs, and semiotics as a sign mediator in the communication process, so that people are called homo semioticus.

The study of new signs began at the beginning of the 20th century by two philosophers, namely Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) as a linguist and Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) as a semiotician and logician. Since 1969, the science of signs has had official scientific associations, namely the International Association/or Semiotic Studies (IASS) of semiotics as a scientific discipline, and the magazine Semiotica (published in The Hague).

Definition of Semiotics

Etymologically, the term semiotics comes from the Greek word Semeion, which means sign. The sign itself is said to be something which, based on predetermined social conventions, can be considered to represent something else. The sign was originally interpreted as something indicating the existence of something else. In terminology, semiotics can be defined as a science that studies various objects, events, and all cultures as signs. Semiotics can be said as a discipline dealing with signs, starting with sign systems and processes involved in the use of signs at the end of the 18th century.

Semiotics is the science of signs or sign systems. This definition then raises the question “who can distinguish between a sign and not a sign?” Before the emergence of semiotics, Augustine of Hippo realized that it was difficult to separate “things” from signs. Someone can know something and speak “something” with the help of signs.

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Person replaces “something” with a character that corresponds to “something”. This is the idea of ​​the father of modern semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce, who tries to turn most of the “things” into “something in themselves”, as well as the steps to do sign studies to understand the human mind. and into the world.

But apart from what is received as a sign, one can also accept without thinking, for example, the Bible or the Koran can be interpreted and believed as sacred and symbolic objects. On the other hand, you can also kill using arguments from two books.

In short, there are several conditions that exist simultaneously to determine whether “something” is considered a sign or not. In semiotics there is no real problem with all “things”, or with the relationship between things or signs. Semiotics does not accept unsigned reality because it cannot answer the question of whether or not anything under the sign exists. Semiotically, a non-sign will be read as the meaning of a sign whose content is completely negative (or empty). More than that, semiotics is something that tends to believe in everything as signs and sign systems. In semiotics, all objects also mean that everything is no longer an object or is not an object characteristic of an object.

Several Originators of the Concept of Semiotic Theory

Ferdinand de Saussure’s Theory of Semiotics

In the concept of semiotics or semiology of Ferdinand de Saussure there are four concepts, namely:

  • Significant and Significe

The first concept is Significant and Significant, which according to Saussure are components of a sign and their roles cannot be separated from each other. Meaningful or significant are things that remain in our memory, such as sound images, visual images, etc. At the same time, a sign, or also called a signified, is the meaning or impression of attachment that we have.

From a linguistic point of view, which forms the basis of Saussure’s semiological concept, equality can be likened to the word and object “door”. The door is basically part of a series of letters, namely the door, while in an important sense it can be understood as something that connects one room to another. The combination of signifier and signified then forms a sign for “door”, not just an inanimate object used by humans.

  • Langue and parole

Another concept is the aspect of language, which Saussure divides into two parts, namely language and parole. Language is a language system and an abstract system that is used jointly which is agreed upon by all language users, and is a guideline for language practice in society.

At the same time, speech is the practice of language and individual forms of speech in society at a certain time or moment. Saussure explained that it can be said that language is a social fact and refers to society in language, which also functions as a system that determines the relationship between signifiers and signifieds. The use of language that is understood and applied by individuals in society as a form of speech is then called conditional. Individual trial periods may vary as implementation and application may vary. 

  • Synchronic and Diachronic

Saussure divided the three concepts of language research into two, namely synchronic and diachronic. Synchronic is language learning that learns the language within a certain period of time, while diachronic is learning the language continuously or all the time the language is still being used. 

Synchronism is often called descriptive linguistic research because the research involved examines many things in an effort to describe or explain what language is used at a particular moment. Diachronic is a study that is more historical and comparative because it aims to know the history, change, and structural development of a language in an unlimited period of time.

  • Syntagmatic and associative / Paradigmatic

The last semiological concept from Saussure is the concept of the relationship between elements, which is divided into syntagmatic and associative, or paradigmatic. Syntagmatics explains the relationship between elements in an orderly and regular language concept. At the same time, the association/paradigm relationship explains speech elements that are not present in the speech concerned, which are present in the language but not in the sentence structure. This syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationship is reflected in the structure of language in the sentences we use everyday, including Indonesian sentences. If a sentence has a syntagmatic relationship, it can be seen that every word in the same sentence has a unity of meaning and relationship. Paradigmatic relations simultaneously show the unity of meaning and relationships between individual sentences which are not visible when looking at just one sentence. We often follow Indonesian lessons about sentence elements in the form of subject, predicate, object and adverb (SPOK); but in fact not all sentences always have these elements, right? Semiological studies state that if a sentence has complete SPOK elements and has a unity of meaning from the combination of these elements in such a way that they cannot be replaced by other elements because they can change meaning, then the sentence has a syntagmatic relationship. but in fact not all sentences always have these elements, right? Semiological studies state that if a sentence has complete SPOK elements and has a unity of meaning from the combination of these elements in such a way that they cannot be replaced by other elements because they can change meaning, then the sentence has a syntagmatic relationship. but in fact not all sentences always have these elements, right? Semiological studies state that if a sentence has complete SPOK elements and has a unity of meaning from the combination of these elements in such a way that they cannot be replaced by other elements because they can change meaning, then the sentence has a syntagmatic relationship.

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Conversely, if a sentence does not have a complete SPOK arrangement and one of its elements can be replaced by another word without changing its meaning, then the sentence has a paradigmatic relationship.

Peirce’s Semiotic Theory

Peirce’s theory of semiotics is a science or analytical method related to the sign system created by Charles Sanders Peirce, an American philosopher known for his logic and human reasoning. Peirce argues that human life is characterized by a mixture of signs and their use in representational activities. The prerequisite for being called a sign is that something is tangible, refers to something, replaces, represents, presents, and has representative properties that are directly related to the nature of the interpreter. According to Peirce, a sign is something that stands for something else, represents something it represents. Peirce divides the sign system (semiotics) into three elements included in the triangle theory, namely the sign (sign), sign reference (object) and sign use (interpretation). A sign is something physical that can be felt by one’s five senses and can represent other things beyond the sign itself. According to Peirce, a sign consists of a symbol, an icon and an index. Character references are called objects. Object is something related to the sign or something referred to by the sign. At the same time, the interpreter is the thinking concept of the person who uses the sign and gives meaning to the object referred to by the sign. Peirce called sign semiosis, which means that everything in this world is a sign, which is a three-stage (trianide) process of meaning. Object is something related to the sign or something referred to by the sign. At the same time, the interpreter is the thinking concept of the person who uses the sign and gives meaning to the object referred to by the sign. Peirce called sign semiosis, which means that everything in this world is a sign, which is a three-stage (trianide) process of meaning. Object is something related to the sign or something referred to by the sign. At the same time, the interpreter is the thinking concept of the person who uses the sign and gives meaning to the object referred to by the sign. Peirce called sign semiosis, which means that everything in this world is a sign, which is a three-stage (trianide) process of meaning.

According to Peirce, semiotics is part of empirical science. Peirce created a general theory about signs, especially regarding sign functions in general. Peirce argues that linguistic signs are important, but not the only types of signs. The nature of generic signs also applies to linguistic signs. But what is true for linguistic signs may not be true for general signs. He developed general sign science so that it can be applied to all types of signs. The goal is to develop new concepts, complemented by a new vocabulary of your own creation. One way is to use the term “semiotics” as the name of the science that studies the general signs it creates.

Roland Barthes’ Semiotic Theory

According to Barthes, semiology wants to study how humans interpret things. Its meaning in this case cannot be equated with communication. Meaning means that objects not only carry information when objects want to communicate, but also form sign structures. Thus Barthes saw

meaning as a general process of structured arrangement. Meaning is not only limited to language, but also to other things outside of language. Barthes regards social life, whatever its form, as its system of signs.

Barthes’ semiotic theory is almost literally derived from de Saussure’s theory of language. Roland Barthes revealed that language is a sign system that reflects the assumptions of a particular society at a certain time. Besides that, it uses the Significance theory, which was developed as a theory of metal language and its implications. Term becomes marker expression (E) and marker becomes content (C). However, Barthes said that there must be a certain relationship (R) between E and C to form a sign (sign, Sn). The concept of this relationship makes the theory of more than one sign of the same content. This development is called the phenomenon of metalanguage and forms what are called synonyms.

He introduces a model of sign analysis into two degrees of meaning, or often called two degrees of meaning. Then divide again into meaning and meaning.

The first degree of meaning is in the form of the relationship between the signified and the signified in their actual form or signification, that is, in their original meaning which is understood by most people. For example, the word “chicken” means “a bird that lays eggs and cries.”

Then the second stage of meaning is connotation, which describes the relationship when the sign is mixed with emotions or feelings. Even though there is a difference between denotation and meaning, people often do not understand the difference, so studying it requires semiotic analysis.

Conclusion

So a brief discussion of the definition of semiotic theory. The discussion this time does not only discuss the definition of semiotic theory but also discusses the history of semiotics, and discusses the theories of world semioticians. Understanding the meaning of the theory put forward by linguists who discuss semiotics can give us a deeper understanding of non-verbal language in the form of signs which are studied more deeply in linguistic studies.

This is a review of the understanding of Semiotics theory. For Sinaumed’s who want to learn everything about understanding Semiotics theory and other linguistic-related knowledge, you can visit sinaumedia.com to get related books.

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Author: Pandu Akram