This chapter examines Saussure's work on the semiotic nature of sound repetitions, particularly in poetic discourse, a phenomenon known since the 1970s as his theory of the “anagram.” It suggests that Saussure's anagrammatic analyses reiterate the two properties unique to language: the principle of duality, according to which the material and spiritual elements of a sign have no value of their own, but become a semiotic phenomenon by virtue of their mutual relation; and the principle of arbitrariness that defies any general pattern according to which such relations could be structured and any predictable direction in which they could evolve.
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