What is signifier?

  • (noun): The phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something.
    Synonyms: form, word form, descriptor


Signifier: the word 'tree' = Signified: the mental image of a tree.

Read more about Signifier.

Some articles on signifier:

Psychological Repression - Later Developments
... Lacan stressed the role of the signifier in repression - 'the primal repressed is a signifier' - examining how the symptom is 'constituted on the basis of primal repression, of the fall ...
Lack (manque)
... and lack comes to designate the lack of the signifier in the Other ... of the subject to the lack of the signifier in the Other, designates the signifier of a lack in the Other ... No matter how many signifiers one adds to the signifying chain, the chain is always incomplete, it always lacks the signifier that could complete it ...
Signifyin' - Origin and Features
... over madness, we soon realize that only the signifier has been doubled and (re)doubled, a signifier in this instance that is silent, a "sound-image" as Saussure ... to have been intentionally inscribed within – the selection of the signifier, "signification." For the standard English word is a homonym of the Afro-American ... that we must experience in the vertiginous movement between these two "identical" signifiers, these two homonyms have everything to do with each other and, then again, absolutely nothing ...
Sign (semiotics) - Postmodern Theory
... "Many postmodernist theorists postulate a complete disconnection of the signifier and the signified ... An 'empty' or 'floating signifier' is variously defined as a signifier with a vague, highly variable, unspecifiable or non-existent signified ... Such signifiers mean different things to different people they may stand for many or even any signifieds they may mean whatever their interpreters want them to mean." ...
Demetrio Stratos - Phonetics Research Studies - The Pre-eminence of The Signifier Over The Signified
... The pre-eminence of the signifier over the signified is an issue of which linguistics and pragmatics are fond of, and has brought to the turning point in both semantics and semiotics ... in the connections among the signs or in the relation between the signifier (signifiant) and the signified (signifié), but in the usage of the ... The signifier “voice” becomes semiogenetic, that is producer of new signification when verifying it in its bare essence, in its “phoné” ...