Signification in TV language

Semiotics: How spoken or written words communicate meaning to the reader or listener
>The study of signs
>Also investigates if TV images work in a similar way to language

  • Idioms are symbolic, they represent other more complicated things and ideas

  • The signifier is the element we can see or hear, the signified is what is meant, the picture that is brought to our mind.

  • Signs are never seen in isolation >paradigms, sets of signs, are organized in syntagms

  • A Television text is constructed by selecting images from syntagms

  • TV is a medium of moving images in combination with spoken language

  • Pictures on TV consist of a moving series of iconic signifiers

->some scenes are heavily dependent on visual meaning, possibly without any dialogue at all

Moving images therefore consist of a grammar just like language.

Signification is conveyed through.....

Connotation: Denotation is the literal meaning of a signifier, Connotation is what we associate with it.

  • conveys cultural attitudes, values and beliefs
  • carries social judgements

Metaphor: A word or image is used symbolically to represent something else

  • mostly similes
  • images are often used methaphorically in TV texts

Metonomy: A word or image signifies only a part of something but represents the whole

  • Bond's martini refers to his glamurous lifestyle
  • Advertising tends to use stereotypical images of people metonomically
  • used also in non-fiction, like documentaries (one person stands for a whole part of the population)

->Many television texts are both, metaphorical and metonomical at the same time.