Émile Benveniste vs Mario Lucidi: a debate on arbitrariness of the sign

  • Cosimo Caputo Università del Salento
Keywords: Benveniste, form, semiotic principle, semantics, semiotics, translation


Mario Lucidi’s reading of Benveniste’s essay Nature du signe linguistique (1939) reinvestigates the question of the arbitrariness of the sign. With his master Antonino Pagliaro, Lucidi prepares the ground where Saussurian ideas will take root in Italy. He thinks that Benveniste’s position is inappropriate compared with Saussure’s positions. Hjelmslev’s developments clarify that in the sign there is a necessity which is functional and not physical-material, and that semiotic mode and semantic mode, though different, are implied each other, that is, the immanence of the form is intertwined with the phenomenal reality of language.