Alice Wei

Literary Criticism

Ms. Kate Liu

Nov 28, 2004

Concept of Semiotic

Ferdinand de Saussure defined the knots of signs as the relation of sound and concept, i.e. the flexible combining of signifier (sound) and signified (concept). As he asserted, meaning was created not only because of the combining between signifier and signified, but also for the other signifiers in the syntax. Freud built therefore his psychoanalysis upon Saussure’s Linguistics. He compared unconsciousness with signified, consciousness with signifier. Jacques Lacan based on where Freud stood, but added a possibility to the model to be contrarily, so that new meanings came out through the rearrangement.

signified                consciousness                  concept                        signifier                

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signifier                unconsciousness          sound                                signified

Hence, Lacan is the statement that unconscious has a familiar structure to language. Like the subject has competence for constructing languages, the manly thought has an analogous pre-structure for unconsciousness becoming figurate.

        When the sound is absent in the relationship of signifier / signified the blank of the sound is taken over by the concept. In this case, the concept becomes the signifier for the function of metononymy and is longing for the sound, which has become the signified. By this rearrangement, the position of consciousness and unconsciousness has switched as result. This is the main theme of ...

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