On the Arbitrariness of Linguistic Sign: A Brief Commentary on de Saussure’s Argument of Arbitrariness

Weihong ZHOU, Wei WANG


Ever since Ferdinand de Saussure pointed out the arbitrary nature of the linguistic sign, some linguists have accepted and agreed to this assertion, others have aired challenging views from the perspective of iconicity. This paper attempts to analyze this question and prove that the linguistic sign is arbitrary, and iconicity is also a characteristic of language. It can complement rather than replace the principle of arbitrariness.



Arbitrariness; Linguistic sign; Iconicity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10616


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