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Deixis and distance, reference and inference

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Mikkel Lotzfeldt

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Deixis and distance, reference and inference

Deixis and distance
Reference and inference Yule, "Pragmatics", Chapter 2-3 Deixis and distance Reference and inference The co-text Summary Table of contents by Jesper, Mathilde, Julie and Mikkel "Person deixis" (me, you)
"Spatial deixis" (here, there)
"Temporal deixis" (now, then) First person "I"
Second person "you"
Third person "he, she or it" Three-part division: Pointing via language - "That"
Ex: Spain: tú (familiar) vs. Usted (non-familiar)

Higher, older and more powerful speaker will use "tú" to a lower, younger and less powerful addressee. The addressee will use "Usted" back at the speaker.

"Usted" - age distinction is more powerful than economic distinction, in that culture.
Ex: "Would his highness like some cake?"

Ex: "Somebody didn't close the door after himself" - a less direct way to say it
Ex: "Each person has to close the door after themselves"

To generalize - First person plural "we"
Ex: "We close the doors after ourselves around here

"Exclusive "We
"Inclusive "We" Familiar vs. non-familiar Third person – Distal form Potential accusations: To generalize - First person plural "we" "Here" or "There"
"This" or "That" Spatial deixis - Distance "Now" and "Then"
"Here" or "There"
Temporal deixis - A matter of time

Tense - Shift in both person, spatial and temporal deixis

a) Are you planning to be here this evening?

b) I asked her if she was planning to be there that evening Deixis and Grammar Narrowing down interpretation CBS is an institution of higher education " " The Range of reference New meanings and interpretations The clown is a circus character
The clown fell down the stairs " " Context Where is it being said? By who?
Familiarity
Knowledge Great! Now I need to thread my axe Obama is going to find funds for the ACA in Pentagon " " " " Anaphoric reference Keeping track of who or what
Maintaining reference A man walked down the street carrying a briefcase under his arm. The man accidentally dropped the briefcase, but he quickly picked it up and moved on. Antecedent Anaphora Peel and slice six potatoes. Put them in cold salted water I heard it slip through the letter slit. It was a letter I had been waiting for. Cataphora The recognition of Knowledge Social connection intention via reference Deixis is pointing via language

Reference is a game of assumptions
Co-text narrows down our interpretation
The recognition of intention via reference person, spatial, temporal Thank you! •Reference is an act which enables a listener to identify something
•Words themselves don’t refer to anything - people refer
•Referring expressions can be: - proper nouns - definite nouns - indefinite nouns - pronouns The choice of referring expression seems to be based on what the speaker assumes the listener already knows. •Reference is tied to the speaker’s goal and beliefs•The role of interference•References not based on correct naming•Successful reference is necessarily collaborative •Not all expressions have identifiable referents
•Indefinite nouns can be used to describe different scenarios:




•The speakers assumption Referential and attributive uses There’s someone asking for youShe’s looking for the perfect husbandIt would be great living in a trouble-free world " " •“Intention-to-identify”•“Recognition-of-intention”•The cultural aspect•“More is being communicated than said” Names and referents
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