Elements of Semiology

ISBN-10: 0374521468
ISBN-13: 9780374521462
Edition: 1973
List price: $15.00 Buy it from $4.56
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Description: "In his Course in General Linguistics, first published in 1916, Saussure postulated the existence of a general science of signs, or Semiology, of which linguistics would form only one part. Semiology, therefore aims to take in any system of signs,  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Copyright year: 1973
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 4/1/1977
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

"In his Course in General Linguistics, first published in 1916, Saussure postulated the existence of a general science of signs, or Semiology, of which linguistics would form only one part. Semiology, therefore aims to take in any system of signs, whatever their substance and limits; images, gestures, musical sounds, objects, and the complex associations of all these, which form the content of ritual, convention or public entertainment: these constitute, if not languages, at least systems of signification . . . The Elements here presented have as their sole aim the extraction from linguistics of analytical concepts which we think a priori to be sufficiently general to start semiological research on its way. In assembling them, it is not presupposed that they will remain intact during the course of research; nor that semiology will always be forced to follow the linguistic model closely. We are merely suggesting and elucidating a terminology in the hope that it may enable an initial (albeit provisional) order to be introduced into the heterogeneous mass of significant facts. In fact what we purport to do is furnish a principle of classification of the questions. These elements of semiology will therefore be grouped under four main headings borrowed from structural linguistics: I. Language and Speech; II. Signified and Signifier; III. Syntagm and System; IV. Denotation and Connotation."--Roland Barthes, from his Introduction

Roland Barthes (1915-1980), a French critic and intellectual, was a seminal figure in late twentieth-century literary criticism. Barthes's primary theory is that language is not simply words, but a series of indicators of a given society's assumptions. He derived his critical method from structuralism, which studies the rules behind language, and semiotics, which analyzes culture through signs and holds that meaning results from social conventions. Barthes believed that such techniques permit the reader to participate in the work of art under study, rather than merely react to it. Barthes's first books, Writing Degree Zero (1953), and Mythologies (1957), introduced his ideas to a European audience. During the 1960s his work began to appear in the United States in translation and became a strong influence on a generation of American literary critics and theorists. Other important works by Barthes are Elements of Semiology (1968), Critical Essays (1972), The Pleasure of the Text (1973), and The Empire of Signs (1982). The Barthes Reader (1983), edited by Susan Sontag, contains a wide selection of the critic's work in English translation.

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