The terms, denotation and connotation, are used to convey and distinguish between two different kinds of meanings or extensions of a word. A denotation is the strict, literal, definition of a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color. The connotation of a word or term adds elements of emotion, attitude, or color. The meaning or use of denotation and connotation depends partly on the field of study.
In logic and semantics, denotational always attracts the extension, meaning "in the pair," but the other element genuinely varies.
The distinction between connotation and denotation corresponds roughly to Gottlob Frege's ground-breaking and much-studied distinction between Sinn (sense) and Bedeutung (reference).
Bertrand Russell, in 1905, published a seminal article on the topic of denotation, entitled "On Denoting."
Denotation often links with symbolism, as the denotation of a particular media text often represents something further; a hidden meaning (or an enigma code) is often hidden in a media text.
In order to understand fully the difference between denotation and connotation in media studies and semiotics, it is helpful to examine some examples:
The denotation of this example is a red rose with a green stem. The connotation is that is a symbol of passion and love—this is what the rose represents.
The denotation is a brown cross. The connotation is a symbol of religion, according to the media connotation. To be more specific, this is a symbol of Christianity.
The denotation is a representation of a cartoon heart. The connotation is a symbol of love and affection, not in the way of a rose, but a symbol of true love.
A connotation is a subjective cultural and/or emotional coloration in addition to the explicit or denotative meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language.
Within contemporary society, connotation branches into a culmination of different meanings. These could include the contrast of a word or phrase with its primary, literal meaning (known as a denotation), with what that word or phrase specifically denotes. The connotation essentially relates to how anything may be associated with a word or phrase, for example, an implied value judgment or feelings.
In logic and in some branches of semantics, connotation is more or less synonymous with intension. Connotation is often contrasted with denotation, which is more or less synonymous with extension. A word's extension is the collection of things it refers to; its intension is what it implies about the things it is used to refer to. So, the denotation or extension of "dog" is just the collection of all the dogs that exist. The connotation or intension of "dog" is (something like) "four-legged canine carnivore." Alternatively, the connotation of the word may be thought of as the set of all its possible referents (as opposed to merely the actual ones). So saying, "You are a dog," would imply that the subject was ugly or aggressive rather than a literal canine.
All links retrieved October 26, 2017.
New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:
The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia: