The Ogden-Richards triangle
/Gabriele Lucchini, 2007-09-05)
The Ogden-Richards’s triangle offers a model
for the nature of linguistic symbols. 1
1 Charles K. Ogden and I. A. Richards,
The Meaning of
Meaning: A Study of the Influence of Language
upon Thought and of the Science of
8th ed.; (New York: Harcourt, Brace &World, 1946),
The original diagram is reproduced below.
The three principal elements are
‘‘symbol,’’ ‘‘thought or reference,’’ and ‘‘referent.’’
is a particular phonological or graphical form such as
e l e p h a n t.
The thought or reference is the meaning-content of the form,
namely the idea of an elephant.
The referent is
the nonlinguistic thing in the world being talked about
Stephen Ullmann prefers to relabel the vertices of the triangle
as ‘‘name,’’‘‘sense,’’ and ‘‘thing,’’ respectively.