Deconstructing bond of signifier & signified: a corpus-based study of variation in meaning



deconstruction, meanings’ variation, signified, signifier


The study aimed at investigating a bond between the signifier and signified to explore and develop an in-depth understanding of meanings’ variation, by setting qualitative paradigm, textual examples were marked from text corpora and linguistic signifiers, believed to be representing the text were serialized using judgmental sampling. The key informant happened to be a text (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) taken as a unit of study, with the approach of Derrida’s deconstruction, signifiers were decoded and then qualitatively analyzed in terms of binary oppositions to mark variation in meaning. It resulted that words were not intrinsically meaningful but just types of sound or mark being meaningless in itself and they gave meaning by playing a role in something we did with them. The outcome of the whole endeavor was a play of meaning continued endlessly in connection with signifier and signified from one context to another. Stable meaning appeared to be a hopelessly unsuitable task in a text and with the contextual shift, it stood unnaturalized. The usefulness of analyzing text was adequate preparation for teaching turning contents into skill-oriented tasks and the process of meanings’ variation between signifier and signified widened the scope of developing Content Specification Charts concerning learners’ needs.


Download data is not yet available.


Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words.> Cambridge, Mass. J. Austin.–Harvard University Press.

Bradley, F. H. (1930). Appearance and Reality, 9th impression.

Bouissac, P. (1967). Encyclopedia of Semiotics. Oxford University Press P.68, New York.

Brown, K. (2005). The encyclopaedia of language and linguistics.

Bass, A. (1978). Translator’s introduction. Writing and difference, 1978.

Beaney, M. (Ed.). (1997). The Frege Reader (p. 259). Oxford: Blackwell.

Clarke. D (1987). Principles of Semiotics. Routledge Kegan Paul, London.

Chandler, D. (2004). Semiotics: The Basics Book.

Chapman, S., & Routledge, C. (Eds.). (2005). Key thinkers in linguistics and the philosophy of language. Oxford University Press on Demand.

Chomsky, N. (2000). New horizons in the study of language and mind. Cambridge University Press.

Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax (Vol. 11). MIT Press. doi, 10, 90008-5.

Derrida, J. (1982). Margins of philosophy. University of Chicago Press.

Gibson, R. F. (2004). The Cambridge Companion to Quine. Cambridge University Press.

Forster, M. N. (2009). Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar. Princeton University Press.

Griffiths, P. (2006). Introduction to English semantics and pragmatics. Edinburgh University Press.

Gibson, M. (2004). From Naming to Saying: The Unity of the Proposition. Oxford Blackwell.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2014). Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar (revised by CM IM Matthiessen, ed.).

Morris, M. (2006). An introduction to the philosophy of language. Cambridge University Press.

Stern, D. G. (2004). Wittgenstein's Philosophical investigations: an introduction (Vol. 2). Cambridge University Press.

Hacker, P.M.S (2001). Wittgenstein: A Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.



How to Cite

Ahmad, M. (2020). Deconstructing bond of signifier & signified: a corpus-based study of variation in meaning. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture, 6(4), 76-87.