Signifier vs. Signified — What's the Difference?
Signifier is the physical form of a word, image, or sound that represents a concept. Signified is the concept or meaning associated with a signifier, often abstract.
Difference Between Signifier and Signified
Table of Contents
Signifier represents the form, such as a word or image.Signified represents the meaning or concept.
Signifierios Concrete and perceivable.Signified is Abstract and mental.
Physical form of a word, image, or sound
Concept or meaning associated with it
Concrete and perceivable
Abstract and mental
Varies between languages
"Cat" as the word representing a feline
The mental concept of a cat
Compare with Definitions
The physical representation of a concept.
In the word 'tree,' 'tree' is the signifier for the concept of a tall, woody plant.
The abstract meaning associated with a signifier.
For 'love,' the signified is the deep emotional affection between people.
The form of a word, image, or sound.
A red traffic light is a signifier of 'stop' in many cultures.
The concept conveyed by a sign.
The signified of a white dove often symbolizes peace and purity.
One that signifies.
The concept that a signifier denotes.
(Linguistics) A linguistic unit or pattern, such as a succession of speech sounds, written symbols, or gestures, that conveys meaning; a linguistic sign. The signifier of the concept "tree" is, in English, the string of speech sounds (t), (r), and (ē); in German, (b), (ou), and (m).
The concept or idea evoked by a sign.
Something or someone that signifies, makes something more significant or important.
Simple past tense and past participle of signify
(cartomancy) A card representing a querent, question, or situation.
The meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted;
The dictionary gave several senses for the word
In the best sense charity is really a duty
The signifier is linked to the signified
(linguistics) The sound of a spoken word or string of letters on a page that a person recognizes as a sign.
The phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something;
The inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached
How do signifiers differ from signifieds?
Signifiers represent the form, while signifieds represent the meaning.
What does "signifier" mean?
A signifier is the physical form representing a concept or meaning.
Can you provide an example of a signifier?
"Tree" is a signifier for the concept of a tall, leafy plant.
Is a signifier language-dependent?
Yes, it can vary between languages.
Are signifiers always words?
No, they can also be images, symbols, or sounds.
Can you give an example of a signified?
The signified of "home" might represent comfort, belonging, and shelter.
Are signifieds universal?
They can be less language-dependent and more abstract than signifiers.
Is there always a one-to-one relationship between signifiers and signifieds?
No, as meanings can vary based on context and interpretation.
What does "signified" refer to?
A signified is the abstract meaning or concept associated with a signifier.
How do signifieds relate to language?
They convey the mental concept behind a word or symbol.
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