Chapter 10: Levels of Meaning
Chapter 10 Levels of Meaning Key terms • Affective meaning • Allusive meaning • Associative meaning • Attitudinal meaning • Collocative meaning • Connotation • Denotation • Interpretive semiotics • Paradigmatic axis • Reflected meaning • Semiotics • Sign • Signified • Signifier • Structural semiotics • Stylistic meaning • Syntagmatic axis The previous chapter considered the two main semantic principles: the open choice principle and the idiom principle. This chapter gives full consid- eration to the levels of meaning, such as denotative meaning, connotative meaning, affective meaning, allusive meaning, associative meaning, attitu- dinal meaning, collocative meaning, reflected meaning, and stylistic mean- ing. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of paying extra attention 154 Chapter 10 to paradigmatic and syntagmatic axes in testing the sign’s significance and, thus, translation accuracy. 10.1 Denotation versus connotation Approached from a semiotic perspective, signifiers are often classified into two main types: a denotative signifier and a connotative signifier (Al-Shehari 2001: 151). According to Peirce, any sign can produce two kinds of meaning: denotative and connotative. The denotative meaning is the literal (direct) meaning that can be understood via a direct and clear relationship between the sign and the thing it refers to. The connotative meaning, on the other hand, is that meaning which comes into existence as a result of an interac- tion between the sign and the user’s context. So, the denotative meaning of the lexical item ةقيدح refers to “a piece of land (usually near a house) where flowers and vegetables are grown usually with a piece of grass” (Oxford Wordpower 2010: 331). However, more recently this word has acquired a...
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