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==Ferdinand de Saussure==
According to [[Saussure]], the [[signified]] is the [[conceptual]] element of the [[sign]]. It is not the real [[object]] denoted by a [[sign]] -- the [[referent]] -- but a [[psychological]] entity corresponding to such an [[object]].<ref>[[Saussure|Saussure, Ferdinand de]]. ''[[Saussure|Course in General Linguistics]]'', ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, trans. Wade Baskin, Glasgow: Collins Fontana. 1916. p.66-7</ref>
===Primacy of the Signifier===
For [[Saussure]], the [[signified]] has the same status as the [[signifier]]; both form equal sides of the [[sign]]. [[Lacan]], on the other hand, asserts the primacy of the [[signifier]], and argues that the [[signified]] is a mere effect of the play of [[signifier]]s, an effect of the process of [[signification]] produced by [[metaphor]]. In other words, the [[signified]] is not given, but produced.
===Materialism of Language===
[[Lacan]]'s view is thus opposed to an expressionist view of [[language]], according to which [[concepts]] exist in some pre-verbal state before being expressed in the [[material]] medium of [[language]]. In contrast to such a view, [[Lacan]] asserts the priority (logical rather than chronological) of the [[material]] element of [[language]].
== References ==