Three elements of meaning

There are three elements that make up meaning – the referent (“things”), the reference (signified, concept or thought) and symbol (signifier). Together they work as a system of mutually defining entities.

However, each element is in-itself a system of mutually defining entities as well, and must be studied and understood as such. They are in complex syntagmatic/paradigmatic relationships, synchronic/diachronic, langue/parole and signifier/signified relationships at any one moment.