FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE READING QUESTIONS
1. What is semiology?
2. What is one objection of Saussure’s to the view that language is only a “naming-process”?
3. Saussure admits that his first principle of the sign – “the bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary” — is obvious, but he says its “consequences are numberless.” How does he explain that “arbitrary” does not mean that the bond between signifier and signified is not simply optional for any individual speaker? Or, what provides for the continuity of languages when its signs are characterized by arbitrariness?
4. Why does Saussure address onomatopoeia in his argument?
5. What is the relationship between ideas and languages? What metaphor does Saussure use to clarify his claim about the relationship?
6. How does Saussure compare the value or meaning of a sign to a monetary transaction?
7. What is the primary difference between the syntagmatic and associative relations of terms?