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Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


The denotation of a word is its literal meaning or “dictionary definition.” Its connotations are the additional meanings, such as implications or associations, which it takes on when used in specific contexts. The word “pig” denotes a particular kind of animal, but if used as an insult it has a connotation of greediness. The distinction took on a special role in modern criticism, first in I.A. R ichards and C.K. Ogden's The Meaning of Meaning (1923), and later in N ew Criticism . More recent, poststructuralist criticism, by contrast, “contests the hierarchy of denotated and connotated” and refuses to “privilege” denotation as the primary meaning ( B arthes , 1973 ). 1973a : S/Z . 1991 : Connotation and Meaning . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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