Author Topic: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?  (Read 5145 times)

Offline zaba

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Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« on: March 04, 2014, 08:55:29 AM »
Is it possible to draw a correlation between signifier and signified and phonetics and phonology? In some ways, the concepts seem parallel... no?

Offline lx

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Re: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 09:48:32 AM »
I think it'd be wrong to associate the whole branch of phonetics with the idea that a "word is independent of its parts and is inherently abstract," if that's what you're saying. There is a slight connection in that phonology is the study of meaningful units and phonetics is meaning-independent, but I don't think there is anything useful with making a connection between the concepts of signifiers and signifieds. Even phonology is more like phonetics than semantics in this distinction. If you said could a correlation be drawn between phonetics and semantics, that makes more sense.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 10:40:28 AM »
Basically what lx said, although it depends on what you mean by "meaning"-- phonetics encodes categorical phonological meaning, but not semantic meaning as is usually meant by "signified".
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Offline zaba

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Re: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 12:53:16 PM »
Is there a valid comparison to be made between phonemic (underlying) rep and Saussure's langue?

Offline lx

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Re: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 01:06:50 PM »
Is there a valid comparison to be made between phonemic (underlying) rep and Saussure's langue?
If you set up the framing of the comparison so that the language/parole is specified as being the same as Chomsky's competence/performance distinction, then you could use the example of someone with some sort of articulatory difficulty, having an underlying phonemic knowledge that he isn't able to execute phonetically, then if you link performance to parole, then the counterpart to that would be an underlying phonemic relationship, representative of competence, or in Saussurean terms, langue. That way you could say that an underlying property isn't able to surface properly, for whatever reason, and in that case the underlying phonemic relationship would be equivalent to an inability to show true linguistic competence, because it would affect the performance.

With a few links of separation, you can connect almost anything though. But, there is something to that comparison, I have to admit. It might be broad, but it makes more sense than the other comparison.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 01:11:40 PM by lx »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Signifier and signified: Phonetics and phonology?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 01:36:10 PM »
There's a duality to everything:
Signal/substance vs. interpretation/perception.

Consider food vs. nutrition. Or movies and entertainment.

So in that sense, absolutely: phonetics is all about the signal and phonology is about the perception and utilization. That's basically the definitional distinction.
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