Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can Someone Please Tell Me What Structuralism Is?

The term “structure” as we know it is a term that provokes the idea of order. Structuralism in the field of linguistics is based upon the realization that if human actions/productions have a meaning, there MUST be an underlying system of distinctions and conventions which makes this meaning possible. Semiology is a science that studies the life of signs within society. What constitutes signs? What governs them? Essentially, structuralism and semiology are inseparable from one another. Sings- the basic element of the language system- brings into light the two sides that create it: the signified and the signifier. The signifier is what one hears or sees (picture); signified is the mental image of the word (“tree”). This supports the theory that the words in our language are sound-images.

Works Cited
Saussure, Ferdinand."Course in General Linguistics." Literary Theory: An Anthology. Second Ed. Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan, MA: Blackwell Publisihing Ltd. 2004. 59-71. Print.

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