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1. (semiotics) For Metz, specific signifying systems representing alternative (paradigmatic) choices within an overall code, such as a particular style of lighting or editing within the general cinematic codes of lighting or editing. This can include particular aesthetic styles in any medium (such as romanticism or realism). For Eco, connotation could be seen as a subcode insofar as it is built on ‘a more basic one’.

2. (linguistics) For Jakobson, any of the recognized varieties of language which together form a network constituting the overarching code of a language, and between which users switch (see also code-switching). Each is linked to appropriate contexts or functions: see also context of situation; register.

3. A cultural form or communication style shared by the members of a subcultural group. Members of any culture have access to multiple subcodes.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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