Deixis and Distance - Tanja Winterberg - Term Paper - English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics - Publish your bachelor's or master's thesis. Deixis is a technical term which means 'pointing' via language. Any linguistic form used to accomplish this 'pointing' is called a deictic expression or an. Deixis and distance. Deixis means 'pointing' via language. Any linguistic form used to accomplish this 'pointing' is called a deicitic expression. When you notice.


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Symbolic usage means that utterances can only be interpreted if one knows certain aspects of the communicative situation.

Deixis and distance, reference and inference by Mikkel Lotzfeldt on Prezi

In this case it is sufficient to know in which context the term has been uttered, therefore the general location of the speaker must be clear. Additionally, it is possible to distinguish besides gesutral and symbolic usage between deictic and non-deictic usage of deictic terms anaphoric vs.

The idexical she in 4 has been considered non-deictic usage of deictic terms. In this case the word she refers to a person which has been identified earlier in the discourse, namely Jane.

Another important characteristic of all deictic modes appears to be the egocentricity. Deixis is organized relative to specific deixis and distance, generally the deixis and distance at the deictic center of fixed reference point.

Person deixis is related to the role of the speaker, time deixis is related to the time in which the speaker produces the utterance and place deixis concers the place of the speaker at the time of the utterance.

The fact that the speaker generally constitutes the deictic center makes the egocentricity an important characteristic throughout the description of deictic expressions.

This distinction should show that it is not possible to treat them equally and that every category has to be analysed on its own although special features are shared and thus some categories overlap.

Therefore it primarily refers to the speaker as the deictic center of the speech event and the addressee. By using first person pronouns the speaker refers to himself as deixis and distance participant, by using the second person pronouns to one or more addressees and by using a third person pronoun he refers to a person or an object that is neither the speaker nor the addressee.

In some languages, person deixis also encodes other participant roles, such as a source who is not the hearer or a hearer who is not the addressee. Thank you for your custom and we hope to deixis and distance you deixis and distance.

Since such distinctions as illustrated above are not grammaticalized in the English language, they need to be interpreted by the listener with the help of other contextual parameters.

While persons take turns deixis and distance a conversation the deictic center origo switches from speaker to addresse and back again conversation shift: Did you borrow me deixis and distance pen?

2-Deixis and distance.

Yes, I lent you a pen. This example shows that in a normal conversation there are shifts from I to you or me to you constantly between the participants. In English there is an ambiguity in the use of the first person plural pronoun: In some other languages there are two first person plural forms that distinguish between an exclusive we self-reference in plural excluding the addressee and an inclusive we self-reference in plural including the addressee.

While this distinction can not be grammaticalized English people manifest other contextual parameters. Sometimes the use of we is also socially motivated, like examples 9 and 10 show: While the interlocutor in example 9 obviously includes the addresse, the person in example 10 excludes the listeners but includes the deixis and distance he deixis and distance.

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Only with reference to the social parameters of the speech event the utterances can be understood properly. Social deictic expressions are therefore those aspects of language structure that encode social relationship deixis and distance the participants or between one of them and another person or entity.

Social deictic information can be subdivided into two basic kinds, the relational and the absolute.

Deixis and distance

The former is the more important which typically expresses relations. There are three major categories of relational social deictic expressions, called honorifics deixis and distance that indicate higher status. The most obvious one is the referent honorific system, which can be found in polite pronouns and titles of address.


In some languages social contrast is encoded within person deixis by differentiating between the pronouns used for a familiar or a non-familiar addressee. In French, German and Spanish there is no difference between the second person singular polite form and deixis and distance second person plural form.


By that it is possible for the speaker to indicate something about the relation to the addressee.