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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Research on the Arbitrariness and Iconicity of Linguistic Signs in China: A Critical Review Summary

Research on the Arbitrariness and Iconicity of Linguistic Signs in China: A Critical Review

Article Summary   by:TsingHua     Original Author: Journal of Sichuan International Studies University
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The research on the arbitrariness and iconicity of linguistic signs in China mainly differs in the following three aspects: the understanding of Saussure’s view on the arbitrariness of linguistic signs; the understanding or the definition of iconicity; the levels of the arbitrariness and iconicity of linguistic signs. This article argues that, in dealing with these problems, the clarification of what linguistic signs are is of first importance; secondly, it is also necessary to make clear the relationship between arbitrariness and iconicity on different levels of language. That is to say, whether the discussion of arbitrariness and iconicity is carried out inside the linguistic system (from a structural point of view) or in a wider range; thirdly, the arbitrariness and iconicity of language should be tackled dialectically. Not only the achievements of linguistic forerunners but also the latest development in linguistics should be taken into consideration; lastly, arbitrariness is based on objectivism, while iconicity is based on non-objectivism. Therefore, the discussion of the arbitrariness and iconicity of language can not do without their philosophical backgrounds.
Published: March 25, 2006   
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