chapter
P
Pages 21

In semiotics, a paradigm is the notional set of signs from which a particular sign is chosen to be included in a syntagmatic combination. Like syntagm, paradigmatic selection involves a set of choices, but unlike the former, a paradigm is a set of signs that are interchangeable within a given context. Importantly, all ‘units in a paradigm must have something in common [and] they must share characteristics that determine their membership of that paradigm’ (Fiske, 1990: 57). Menus are paradigmatic lists: diners choose individual dishes from each section of the menu, the sequence of such dishes making the syntagm of the meal.