A reference by Derrida (originally in the 1960s) to signifiers not being fixed to their signifieds but pointing beyond themselves to other signifiers in an ‘indefinite referral of signifier to signified’. Signs thus always refer to other signs, and there is no final sign referring only to itself—no transcendent signified. Meaning is endlessly deferred (see difference). Denying that there were any ultimate determinable meanings (see also indeterminacy), Derrida championed the deconstruction of Western semiotic systems. See also slippage of meaning; compare unlimited semiosis.
Subjects: Media Studies.