noun (used with a singular verb)
The Value of Signs: Saussure’s rebuttal
We’ve reached the final installment of our series on Ferdinand de Saussure and the scintillating study of semiology. In our last post we left our friend Saussure in a rather unflattering light, when we explored the first scientific evidence against his hypothesis: that the relationship between the sign (a word) and the signified (the concept a word represents) might not be as arbitrary as Saussure …
How do computers help decode inscrutable ciphers?
Back in the 1940s, mathematician Warren Weaver made an audacious suggestion: what if translation was not a feat of literary theory and linguistics, but one of cryptography? Weaver suggested treating a foreign text as if it were a code to be broken. (This theory was the early basis of machine translation, a subfield of computational linguistics.) This metaphor of foreign language as code means that statistics …
Origin of diachronic linguistics
First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019