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(Perspective; Sinchronic- Diachronic, Language; Langue-Parole,

Signs; Signifier- Signified, Relation; Syntagmatic- Paradigmatic)

By Group 4
Arma Suryati Aula Adnin Ritonga
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Eka Yuni Kurniati Elsa Tiara Siregar
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Milva Irawati S. Misbah Hayati Siregar
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Nazri’a Ulya Zumarni Septania Limbong
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Lecturer: Elvida Wahyuni Yusdy, S. Pd., M. Hum.

Course: Semiotics







A. Ferdinand De Saussure’s Perspective

Synchronic and Diachronic terms have begun to emerge since the 19th
century. This term was introduce by Ferdinand de Saussure, Swiss linguist who
also the founder of modern linguistics. In the beginning, Saussure was a
diachronic-linguist. He discussed Indo-European languages.1

1. Synchronic
Synchronic is study about language system at condition certain
time with ignore time. The purpose synchronic are to know shape or
language structure at a certain time.
Example :
a) Examine the use of Malay lanuage from colonial times
b) Examine Indonesia language pre-independence
c) Investigate the Javanese language during the Dutch colonial
2. Diachronic
Diachronic is study about language evolution in everytime. The
purpose of Diachronic are to know correlation development of
language from time to another time.
Example :
a) The developmentof Malay language in the beginning until now
b) The development Sanskrit from the beginning until extinction
c) The development Indonesian from beginning until now

Harimurti Kridalaksana, Kamus Linguistik, ( Jakarta : PT Gramedia, 2001), p. 9-10

B. Language: Langue- Parole

The distinction between the French words, langue (language or tongue)

and parole (speech), enters the vocabulary of theoretical linguistics with
Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics, which was published
posthumously in 1915 after having been collocated from student notes.
La langue denotes the abstract systematic principles of a language, without
which no meaningful utterance (parole) would be possible. Instead Saussure’s
methodology allows him to establish a coherent object for linguistics in the
distinction between langue and parole. Langue represents the “work of a
collective intelligence,” which is both internal to each individual and collective, in
so far as it is beyond the will of any individual to change.
The study of langue would be focused instead on generally applicable
conditions of possibility There would be no coherent and meaningful utterance
without the institution of norms that Saussure calls langue. So it is this that forms
the object of study for modern linguistics. Such an object could not 1 ever be
made visible (as a stretch of text can) but one can in principle establish the rules
and conditions that make it possible to speak and write in meaningful ways.
Saussure called langue, and he proposed that the study of langue be the
primary task of linguistics. This langue makes possible an actual specific speech
act, but is not to be confused with the specific utterance, or "speech," or linguistic
performance, which he called parole. The langue is the total system in general,
whereas parole is any particular instance or usage within it.
Parole is the language of speech, everyday language. In short, parole is the
whole of what people teach, including the individual constructions that arise from
the choice of speakers, and the pronunciations needed to produce these constructs
based on free choice as well. Parole is an individual manifestation of language.
Parole language, for example in bahasa, gue kan ga suka cara kayak gitu, loo
emangnya siape?, So, parole is a dialect. Parole is not a social fact because it is

entirely the result of conscious individuals 2, including any words spoken by
speakers; it is also heterogeneous and cannot be studied. In the parole the
following elements must be distinguished:
1. First, the language code combinations (punctuation) that speakers use to
express their personal ideas. For example: war, I say, war! If this sentence
is uttered by the same person, Saussure said, he conveyed two different
things on pronunciation (the first war word was pronounced differently
from the second war).
2. Second, the psychic-physical mechanism that allows one to express these
combinations. The part that makes langue change: the impressions we
catch when we hear other people change our language habits. So, between
langue and parole are interrelated; langue as well as parole tools and
products.3Individual: all manifestations are momentary and heterogeneous
and are personal behavior.
3. Parole can be formulated: (1 '+ 1' + 1 '' + 1 '' '... ...). that is to say, the same
word was pronounced differently, both the same person and by many

We can recognize that in the langue of English are many paroles, some of
them regional varieties, some socioeconomic; the langue of "English" allows you
to recognize my Texan parole as English, even if it is not a familiar dialect.
Children's jump rope groups of children playing jump rope have their specific
paroles. And, in the langue of clothing many paroles are possible to cover the
body, just as in the English language, many dialects make diverse, though still
"understandable," the actual sounds of English. Parole, then, is any specific
instance of speech jargon, slang just as in the English language there are many
possible varieties of discourse (dialect, slang, technical jargon, or any individual's
speech act, to name a few). (Discourse here means any speech act, or language as
it actually gets used in a given time and place by persons with varying "agendas,"

Saussure,Ferdinant de, Introduction to General Linguistics (Yogyakarta: Gajah Mada
University Press, 1993), p.6
Ibid., p.86

for varying purposes both acknowledged and unacknowledged. The word allows
us to account for the "interestedness" of language in its actual uses).

C. Sign: Signifier- Signified

Ferdinand de Saussure conceptualised language as a system of signs. The

linguistic sign is a tool for making meaning (or encoding concepts) that unites a
sound-image and a concept.4 Saussure explained that a sign was not only a sound-
image but also a concept. Thus he divided the sign into two components: the
signifier (or "sound-image") and the signified (or "concept").5 For Saussure, the
signified and signifier were purely psychological; they were form rather than

1. Signifier
Simply signifier is a sound that has a meaning, writing that has meaning
also. That is what was said and what was written or read. The signifier
refers to the display physical sign that can be in the form of pictures, lines,
colors, or sounds or other signs.6

2. Signified
Signified is a mental picture, namely the mind or the concept of mental
aspects of language. (Sobur, 2004: 125). Signified refers to the meaning
embedded in physical appearance of the sign.7
According to Saussure, the sign (Sign) is arbitrary where is the
combination between the Signifier and Signified is an open entity (Saussure,
1959: 67).

Ghsoon Reda, ”Ferdinand de Saussure in the Era of Cognitive Linguistics”. Yanbu
University College, Saudi Arabia. Vol.2. No.2. Summer 2016, p. 91
Berger, 2012, p.2.
Fajriannoor Fanani, ” Semiotika Strukturalisme Saussure”. THE MESSENGER, Volume II,
Nomor 2, Edisi Januari 2013, p. 12
Ibid, p. 12

Example :

Picture 1.

Sign : A picture of a cute and adorable puppy.

Signifier : Draw with black ink that forms a picture of a puppy.
Signified : The meaning of a puppy that is cute, adorable, warm,
cheerful, and agile

Picture 2.

Picture 2

Picture 3

D. Relation: Syntagmatic- Paradigmatic

According to Ferdinand de Saussure the structure of a language can be

segmented into two kinds of relationship:

1. The syntagmatic
Combination supported by linearity are syntagms. 8 Word become a
sentence because they are chained together. So syntagmatic relationship is
the combinatorial or chain relationship.
For example : we can come tomorrow is a sentence because in this linear
arrangement of words we is correlated with can, can with come and so on.
The relationship is that of Pronoun + Auxilary Verb + Main Verb +
Temporal Adverb. This relationship is restricted to certain others. That is
why can come can tomorrow we is not sentence. “in the Syntagm a term
acquires its value because it stands in opposition to everything that
prececedes or follows it, or to both.” (Saussure 1959: 123). In the sentence
cited above we is not what can is , can is not what come is, and come is
not what tomorrow is. Each of these words differ from all others.
2. The Paradigmatic
The paradigmatic relationship are constractive or choice relationships.
Words that have something in common, are associated in the memory,
resulting in groups marked by diverse relations.
For example, the English word learning will unconsciously call to mind a
host of other words, such as : study, knowledge, discipline, etc. All these
words are related in some way. This called of relationship is called
associative or paradigmatic relationship. Here the coordination are outside
discourse, and are not supported by linearity. They are relations in
absentia, and are vertical type relations. Their seat is in the brain; they are

Ferdinand de, Saussure. Course in General Linguistics. (New York: Philosophical
Library,1959), p.122

apart of inner store house that makes up language of each speake.
“Saussure 1959:123)9
In fixed number nor in a define order. If we associate painful, delightful,
fruitful, etc. we are unable to predict the number of words that the me ory will
suggest or the other in which they will appear. A particular words is like the
centre of constellation; it is the point of convergence of an indefinite number of
co-ordinate terms.”Saussure 1959;126).10 In a word, the paradigmatic relationship
is vertical in absentia; it is a choice relationship, it operates in phonemes, words,
morphemes. On the other hand, the syntagmatic relationship is horizontal in
The syntagmatic relationship gives you the structure of language; the
paradigmatic relationship defines the function of individual bits of language. A
syntagmatic relationship is one where signs occur in sequence or parallel and
operate together to create meaning. A paradigmatic relationship is one where an
individual sign may be replaced by another.
An individual sign (a unit) has no separate meaning, and only delivers
“value” in relation to other units in related sets. Thus a poodle dog has meaning
only in relation to other types of dog. The table below illustrates syntagmatic and
paradigmatic relationships. The horizontal items have syntagmatic relationship as
they follow on from one another. The vertical items have paradigmatic
relationship as in each column, items can be substituted for one another.

Relationships -------------------------Syntagmatic------------------------>
A dog fell in this Chair
Paradigmatic The cat sat on the Mat
That man ate by a Hat

Ibid, p.123
Ibid , p. 126


Berger, Arthur, Asa. 2012. Media Analysis Techniques. Beverly Hills: Sage
Fajriannoor, Fanani. 2013. ” Semiotika Strukturalisme Saussure”. No 2/ Vol. II.
Ghsoon, Reda. 2016. ”Ferdinand de Saussure in the Era of Cognitive
Linguistics”. No.2. Summer / Vol. II. Saudi Arabia: Yanbu University College.
Kridalaksana, Harimurti. 2001. Kamus Linguistik. Jakarta: PT Gramedia.
Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1959. Course in General Linguistics. New York:
Philosophical Library.
Saussure, Ferdinant de,1993. Introduction to General Linguistics. Yogyakarta:
Gajah Mada University Press.