according to the most refined theory of Stoic logicians, a sign in the proper technical sense (semeion) was seen as the abstract propositional content of a sentence insofar it is functioning as the antecedent in a true implication by means of which a hitherto unknown truth is revealed. By contrast, Augustine is favoring a reifying concept of sign. A sign, as he defines it in line with the descriptions given by Cicero and the Latin tradition of rhetoric,[5] is “something that shows itself to the senses and something other than itself to the mind” (Signum est quod se ipsum sensui et praeter se aliquid animo ostendit) (Augustine De dial. 1975, 86). The concept of sign, thus defined in terms of a triadic relation (a sign is always a sign of something to some mind), provides the general basis for Augustine's theory of language: “To speak is to give a sign in articulate voice” (Loqui est articulata voce signum dare) (Augustine De dial. 1975, 86). Speech, in further contrast to Stoic semantics, is essentially characterized by its communicative function. A word, by definition, is a “sign of something, which can be understood by the hearer when pronounced by the speaker” (uniuscuiusque rei signum, quod ab audiente possit intelligi, a loquente prolatum) (Augustine De dial. 1975, 86). The communicative function[6] is thus essential to the linguistic sign: “There is no reason for signifying, i.e., for giving signs except to convey into another's mind what the sign-giver has in his own mind”

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