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<i>Un m&#233;lange genevois</i>

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Abstract

This paper explores some notions of iconicity in the newly published <i>Writings in General Linguistics</i> by Saussure. It begins by revisiting the imputed opposition between symbol and sign, and then proposes some contexts which serve to discover iconic traits in Saussure&#8217;s theory. In order to relate Saussure&#8217;s ideas to the attempts at defining &#8216;the iconic sign&#8217;, the author draws on the controversy over &#8216;cognitive type&#8217; &#8211; whether we should rely on concrete objects in reality or some established laws and principles in interpreting images. Moreover, some conceptual tools like <i>langue, s&#233;me</i> and <i>s&#244;me</i> are discussed within the broadened schemes of signs which Saussure proposed in his manuscripts. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis of &#8216;the symbolic logic&#8217; and &#8216;analogical reasoning&#8217;, which not only dissolves the opposition between symbol and sign, but also recognizes rules or principles as keys to our perception of similarities between systems of signs.

References

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