paradigmatic

In semiotics, a manner in which signs are organized and meaning created. Paradigmatic structures create meaning through association, in contrast to syntagmatic structures which create meaning through sequence or chronological order. E.g., in baseball, the players that might replace one another in the batting line-up are in paradigmatic relationship to one another. The television viewer flows syntagmatically through the evening’s programs (one after another) and surfs paradigmatically across the channels (hitting that remote control) to view what is on concurrently.

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