Language is organized according to paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations. Paradigmatic are intra-systemic relations that exist between the members of a class based on different formal, semantic and functional principles. Paradigmatic relations are inherent in units of different levels – phonemes, morphemes, lexemes, and sentences.
There are formal paradigmatic relations based on the similarity of formal features of linguistic elements, or a set of forms, e.g.: sing. & pl. form of a noun
There are also semantic paradigmatic relations, e.g.: synonyms and antonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms.
Functional paradigmatic relations are based on functional significance of linguistic units, e.g., falling and rising tones, sentence modifiers, like: probably, in fact, as you know etc.
Syntagmatic relations can be found both in language and speech. They exist between the elements linearly ordered at different levels of language. There are collocational relations, i.e. elements located in the same linear arrangement, and compositional relations found in a syntagmatic formation. The combination of two words or word groups one of which is modified by the other forms a unit that is called a syntactic syntagma. There 4 main types of notional syntagmas: predicative (subject +predicate), objective –verb & object, attributive (noun & attribute) adverbial – (verb & adverbial modifier)
3. Sign and Meaning. Ogden-Richards’ Semiotic Triangle
The sign is an elementary unit that combines form and meaning. Thus, the notion “bird” can be represented by a word, picture, sculpture, mimics, dance etc. System of signs is a code. It is a sum of all co-ordinations between form and meaning in language. The code in language is stable and valid for all its speakers. Language is the 1st sign system on the basis of which other sign systems are created - are artificial languages, e.g.: Esperanto, Interlingua.
Ch. Ogden and A. Richards developed a theory of sign in The Meaning of meaning (1923) emphasizing the relation between sign expression and mental image of an object. It is known as Ogden-Richards’ semiotic triangle.
Sign nominates a referent and symbolizes a thought; thought refers to a referent (object). In this way unit of language (symbol, sign) and reference (thought which interprets a sign) relate to a referent (object of the reality).
Charles Pierce’ Theory of Signs. Signs and Symbols
Pierce developed a theory of signs on the basis of formal logic. He divided all signs into 3 types:
- Signs-icons: which are formed on the basis of physical similarity with objects, e.g.: pictures, schemes, maps, models;
- Signs-indices are characterized by proximity of signs and objects, e.g.: smoke as a sign of fire, foot-mark on the sand as a sign of a man.;
- Signs-symbols have no direct relations between signs and objects; their connection depends on a rule as in most of lexical units in language. They need additional interpretation, e.g. words of human and artificial languages which are characterized by conventional relations between sounds and objects they denote. e.g.: buzz, bang, din-dong.