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Disputes over Arbitrariness of Linguistic Signs

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DOI: 10.38007/Proceedings.0000371


Weiling Zhou

Corresponding Author

Weiling Zhou


In the book A Course in General Linguistics, Saussure put forward the principle of arbitrariness of language symbols. According to the author Saussure, the so-called symbol is the combination of signifier (such as concept) and signifier (such as sound image). The arbitrariness of language symbols means that the relationship between concept and sound image is arbitrary. There has been extensive discussion in the whole language academic circle. Mr. Xu Guozhang, Mr. Wang Dechun, Mr. Suo Zhenyu, Mr. Zhan Yong, Mr. Qian Yijun and Mr. Gao Mingkai respectively expounded their views on this issue. On the one hand, this article lists the representative views of the current academic circles on the principle of arbitrariness, and briefly puts forward the author's own views. The author believes that the initial generation of language symbols should also be non-arbitrary, once generated, no one can make any changes to it at will, that is, "post-non-arbitrary", and the generation of language symbols is increasingly moving towards the direction of "non-arbitrariness".


Arbitrariness of Linguistic Signs Dispute; arguability; arbitrariness