Arbitrariness and its Opposites: What Saussure Did and Did Not Say

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Abstract

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) is famous for asserting the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign. But what precisely arbitrariness meant and did not mean for him is not as well understood as one might wish. This chapter looks in particular at how the idea of arbitrariness relates to iconicity, a phenomenon that Saussure did not deny, but explored in some of his lesser-known publications
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCem anos con Saussure
Subtitle of host publicationTextos de Congresso Internacional
EditorsWaldir Beividas, Ivã Carlos Lopes, Sémir Badir
Place of PublicationSao Paulo, Brazil
PublisherAnnablume
Pages293-310
Number of pages14
Volume2
ISBN (Print)978-85-391-0768-1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Saussure
  • linguistic sign
  • arbitrariness of the sign
  • iconicity

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