Issues in the Semiotics of Language (ENGL3611)


This unit examines some key historical and theoretical topics in the semiotics of language. We begin with an investigation into the structuralist legacy, concentrating on exegetical and theoretical questions raised by Saussurean "valeur" and "difference". We then discuss analyses of lexical polysemy and alternatives to the Saussurean paradigm provided in the Humboldtian and Soviet traditions and in Relevance Theory. The course ends by assessing the desirability and difficulties of accommodating emotion in theories of linguistic signification.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr seminar/week


1x2000wd (35%), 1x4000wd Essay (65%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


18 Senior credit points from English or Australian Literature



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.