Connotation

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  • The secondary meaning or repre sentation of a word or thing. The generally accepted view of connotation is that it is viewed in relationship to the dominant meaning (denotation), although some scholars dispute their distinct separation. The connotation is shaped by the cultural context in which language is constructed as a set of codes, rather than by individual subjectivity. Significantly, connotation has been elaborated on in the work of the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the semiotician Roland Barthes, and the media critic John Fiske. With Barthes, connotation is of the second order of signification. Ultimately, ideological meaning is determined by both connotation and denotation. For more information, see Barthes (1967).

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