Edited by Pascal Michelucci, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 10] 2011
► pp. 133–148
This paper explores some notions of iconicity in the newly published Writings in General Linguistics by Saussure. It begins by revisiting the imputed opposition between symbol and sign, and then proposes some contexts which serve to discover iconic traits in Saussure’s theory. In order to relate Saussure’s ideas to the attempts at defining ‘the iconic sign’, the author draws on the controversy over ‘cognitive type’ – whether we should rely on concrete objects in reality or some established laws and principles in interpreting images. Moreover, some conceptual tools like langue, séme and sôme are discussed within the broadened schemes of signs which Saussure proposed in his manuscripts. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis of ‘the symbolic logic’ and ‘analogical reasoning’, which not only dissolves the opposition between symbol and sign, but also recognizes rules or principles as keys to our perception of similarities between systems of signs.
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