A Comparative Study of Deixis in English and Turkish language
Student Name: Farah Jamil firstname.lastname@example.org Course Title: Pragmatics
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Deixis…………………………………………………………………….( 9 – 14 )
Deixis and Deictic Forms in Turkish
Language……………………………..( 14 – 18 )
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In this paper, it is intended to explain the topic of deixis, the definition of deixis, categories of deixis (place deixis, time deixis, discourse deixis, social deixis, person deixis), various types of deictic expressions (Personal or possessive pronouns (I/you/mine/yours), demonstrative pronouns (this/that), (Spatial/temporal) adverbs (here/there/now), pro-forms (so/do), personal or
possessive adjectives (my/your), demonstrative adjectives (this/that), and articles (the).) and deictic center. it also clarifies how context plays a crucial role in the interpretation and the comprehension of deictic expressions. Generally, our interpretation of any kind of speech differs from one situation to another. The features of language such as the words and the structures are the clues to interpret and comprehend discourse in context. Deictic expressions are one of the features of language, and they are expressions which involve implicit references and must be referred to the context in order to get their accurate meaning, therefore in my research paper I have included deictic expression in 3
both English and Turkish language in order to explain the implicit references of these deictic expressions.
When I first started acquiring the English language I started learning certain words such as: here, there, this, that, now, then, later, tomorrow, yesterday, and other words which were the pronouns such as: I, you, him, her, they, his, she, he...etc. When I started learning these words I thought of them as simple words that are not essential in the contribution of meaning of a text. I thought of them as words that have only grammatical functions rather than contextual functions. Later on when I started studying the fields of linguistics (syntax, semantics, morphology, phonetics and phonology and pragmatics) I realized that every word including the ones I have mentioned above, as well as the structures used in any language are important in the comprehension of texts in context, and I came to know (especially when I studied semantics and pragmatics) that the words I mentioned above as well as many like them are actually called deictic expressions, deixis or indexicals.
1.1.Deixis and Indexicality:
Deixis is an important topic in linguistic field and it is very essential for the learners of the second language and it is concerned with the analysis of conversation and pragmatics. It is a word borrowed from the Greek language (deiktikos), which means indicating or pointing by means of language (verbal pointing) and it is regularly pronounced with two syllables (dyke-sis) and the adjective form (linguistic form) of it is deictic which is pronounced in the following way (dyke-tik). Deixis is concerned with the relation between the features of language that predetermines the context in which the utterance is produced as well as the relation between the interpretation of discourse and the analysis of the context in which the discourse is uttered. Therefore deixis is a phenomenon that shows us how language and context are reflected through the structures of that language. This means that 4
deictic expressions can’t be understood unless we know the context in which it is uttered. For example, if you read the following sentence on a piece of paper (she will have to bring this later, because they are not there), the interpretation of such sentence will be unintelligible because the sentence is written or said out of context, and because this sentence contains many deictic expressions (she, later, they, there) which their interpretation depends on the physical context in which they are uttered. Deixis refers to entities related to reality that are shared both between the speaker and the addressee. For example, if I said to my friend Lulwa (Farah: she is so nice), in this example the deictic expression ‘she’ refers to a female human which both Lulwa and I know in our surrounding. This indicates that all the deictic expressions are able to situate the relation between the speaker and the hearer, and their relation the world around them. From this we consider dexis to be a reference through an expression (deictic expression) which is interpreted according to the context in which it is used and the context involves the person who is speaking, the time and place of the utterance, the physical pointing (gestures) of the speaker, the current location of the utterance and the topic of the discourse. Deictic expressions consist of personal or possessive (I, you, he, she, his, her, their), demonstratives (these, that, those, this), (space and time) adverbial pronouns (here, there, later, now, yesterday), pro-form (so, do), possessive or personal adjectives (my, his, her, your, their) and article (the). All these deictic expressions depend on the context in which they are uttered in order to be interpreted.
According to Stephen C.Levinson “Deixis concerns the ways in which languages encode...features of the context of utterance ... and thus also concerns ways in which the interpretation of utterances depends on the analysis of that context of utterance.” For example if I say (Listen, I’m not arguing with you, but with you, and not about this but about that.) in the following example we as readers will not get the accurate interpretation of the 5
deictic expressions (you, this and that) unless we are in the same context then we will know what (you, this, and that) actually refers to. Another example is the following (Meet me here a year from now with a rock about this big.) Again we can’t interpret these deictic expressions because we don’t know whom ‘me’ refers to, and to what time and which location ‘now’ refers to, or how big the rock should be to bring. From the following examples we realize that deictic expression depend on the context in which it is uttered which includes the identity of the speaker, the hearer, the entities referred to, and the place and time of the utterance, therefore such deictic expressions are also called context dependent expressions. There are three important points to remember when analyzing deictic expression. First, all deictic expressions can be used either deictically or non-deictically. Deictic usage refers to an entity in the real world. For example, when I say to three of my friends the following sentence (You, you and you, are invited to my wedding), from this following sentence we realize that the deictic expression (you) refers to my friends and I do a physical pointing towards them in order to identify them in my use of the deictic expression (you). The non deictic usage doesn’t refer to any entity or doesn’t signal any referent. For example, if I say (Now, this is not what I mean), in this example I have used an adverbial pronoun (Now) which is used non deictically, which means I don’t signal any referent through my use of this deictic expression (now). Deictic usages can be either gestural or symbolic. When we say gestural this means that when using deictic expression they involve a physical pointing to the entity they are referring to. For example when I say the following sentence (This hand hurts. /or/ Hand me this please not this.) We realize that I am gesturing towards it or pointing my finger towards the entity which this deictic expression refers to. While symbolic usages involve no physical pointing to the referent a particular deictic expression is signaling. For example, when I say the following sentence (what did you do? /or/ lets go tomorrow rather than the day after.) When I say those sentences in their context I don’t need to make a physical pointing in order to signal a referent through my use of deictic expression. Non deictic usages include either anaphoric or non-anaphoric references. When I say anaphoric reference this means that a particular deictic expression refers to the referent mentioned before. For example, when I say the following sentence (Razan 6
came in, and she gave the lesson), here the deictic expression ‘she’ refers backward to the referent which is ‘Razan’ and through this anaphoric reference we know ‘she’ refers to ‘Razan’ and that ‘Razan’ is the one going to give the lesson, and the same thing is applied on the following example (I was born in Turkey and have lived here/there ever since.), the deictic expressions ‘here’ or ‘there’ refer back to Turkey therefore those deictic expressions have anaphoric references. While the non-anaphoric reference means that a particular deictic expression doesn’t refer to any a particular referent mentioned before, thus this type of nondeictic usage requires physical pointing (gesture) to signal a referent. For example, when I say the following sentence (I brought a box: this one!), we realize that when I said this sentence I used a deictic expression which doesn’t signal a particular referent mentioned before, therefore it requires a physical pointing in order to know the referent the deictic expression (this) is signaling. The second important point is that when we need to understand a deictic expression we have to consider the following three: (a) the speaker, his location, and the time he produces the utterance, (b) the addressee (which is the person to whom the speaker is addressing his utterance), his location and the time of receipt of the utterance and (c) the hearer, which may or may not agree with the addressee (for example, Dr.Hussain teaches us a lesson, and we the students are the addressee, but this lesson might be attended by evaluators which are considered to be the hearers.) The final important point is that the interpretation and the meaning of a deictic expression depend on the deictic center which might be the speaker or the addressee or anything else. So what is a deictic center? Deictic center is an imaginary point that a deictic expression is attached to, and the interpretation or a meaning of a particular deictic expression leads one to this particular center, and because deictic expressions are regularly egocentric, then the deictic center includes the speaker, his space, the time and place of the utterance as well as other social factors. Deictic expressions can also be used in a way that the deictic centre is change from one person to another or one place to another as described in an utterance. For example if I say the following sentence (I’m sitting here now), here the deictic center is the time and the place of uttering the following example. Let’s also say that two people are talking on the phone, from Turkey to Kuwait and the Turkish says: (We are going to Kuwait next week.) here the deictic center is Turkey, 7
because the speaker’s location when he produced his utterance is turkey and through using the verb ‘go’ we notice that the speaker is far in distance from the target location (Kuwait). But if the Turkish says: (We are coming to Kuwait next week), here the deictic center is Kuwait because the location of the speaker while saying this utterance was in his way to Kuwait, and from the use of the verb ‘come’ we notice that the speaker is close in distance to the location (Kuwait). Let’s say I’m reading a story to my small sister and I read her the following sentence (she then drove 20 miles to the left) here the deictic center is the person being spoken of in the story, and thus the deictic expression ‘to the left’ doesn’t refer to my left as the reader of this sentence but rather it refers to the left of the person being spoken of in the story. As we have mentioned before that deictic expressions are tied to the speaker’s and hearer’s context, and the most essential difference is being near to the speaker of the utterance which we call proximal such as (this, here, now) and away from the speaker of the utterance which we call distal including words such as (that, there, then). For example, if I say the following sentence (I was born in Turkey and have lived (there, here) ever since.), if we consider the deictic expression ‘there’ then this mean I am far in distance from Turkey, and here it is considered distal deictic expression, but if we consider the deictic expression ‘here’ then this means I’m close in distance to Turkey, and here it is considered proximal deictic expression. It is also possible to know through deictic expression whether someone is moving towards (come) or away (go) from the speaker’s location. For example, if I was looking for Dr.Hussain and suddenly I saw him moving towards me then I will say (Here he comes.) in this sentence the deictic expression ‘here’ is used as a proximal deictic expression and indicates closeness to my location as a speaker of this utterance. The same applied if I saw that the Dr. is moving away from my location and I say the following sentence (There he goes), in this example the deictic expression ‘there’ is used as a distal deictic expression and indicates distance from my location as a speaker of this utterance. Previously I have said that deixis refers to the world out of the text. If a deictic expression refers to the context surrounding a particular utterance then this deictic expression is called exophoric deixis (e.g. She was sleeping on the couch). In this 8
example we notice that the deictic expression ‘she’ refers to a referent that is in the context of this utterance and the referent is not mentioned in the text itself, so in order to know ‘she’ is referring to whom exactly we have to be in the same context in which this sentence is uttered, and also the shared knowledge of the speaker and the addressee of who ‘she’ refers to. Exophoric deixis refers to something that exists in the context of an utterance which is mentioned outside the text and their interpretation depends on both the speaker’s and the reader’s shared knowledge of the world. Other deictic expressions refer to the referent mentioned in the same text and such deictic expressions are called anaphoric deixis and cataphoric deixis. Anaphoric deixis refers backward to the referent mentioned in the text (e.g. Razan came in, and she gave the lesson), here the deictic expression ‘she’ points back ward to the referent ‘Razan’ which is mentioned in the text, therefore we know that the deictic expression ‘she’ is referring to a particular referent which is ‘Razan’ and that she is the one who gave the lesson and not anyone else. While cataphoric deixis refers forward to the referent in the utterance (e.g. She was very tired. Razan directly went to sleep), here the deictic expression ‘she’ refers forward to the referent that is mention in the same utterance which is ‘Razan’ and that she has gone to sleep and not anyone else. News narratives frequently use deixis in their utterances. I have two utterances from the CBS evening news broadcast as in example of the use of deixis in news narratives. 1. The Americans arrested three suspects, but they made many more enemies here, 2. when the soldiers shot back at the gunmen hiding in these houses Those two utterances were said by reporters through a voice-over accompanying video footage of the village in which the attack occurred. In those two utterance we notice that the reporter has used deictic expressions such as (here, these). The listeners for sure know that the deictic expression ‘here’ doesn’t refer to the room in which they are watching television; rather it refers to the location close to the reporter of the news. The same applied of the deictic expression ‘these’ which refers to the houses close in distance to the reporter as well. 9
The second example is also from the same context in which the reporter has said the following line: But it’s clear the situation here could grow far worse before the U.S. even has a chance to win it. Here the reporter is interviewing a U.S general in Iraq or in Baghdad. And through his interview he used this line and he used the deictic expression ‘here’, which doesn’t not refer to the location that appears on the screen around the reporter but it rather refers to the speaker’s location in general which is Iraq as a whole. Deixis in a text can be only interpreted based on their relation with the speaker. Let’s apply this to the following example, if a speaker says (I am going to ask you to lift this with me, and help me put it there), the addressee has to know (a) who said this utterance in order know to whom does the deictic expression (I, me) is referring to , (b) who the speaker is addressing through his utterance and whom (you) is referring to, (c) what is the thing that the speaker wants to lift and to what does the deictic expression (this) is referring to and (d) the place and time of utterance when using the deictic expression (here). Therefore expressions such as: (I, you, them, her, this, that, behind me, over there, to my right, to my left, yesterday, later, tomorrow, now, next ‘year, month, week’) they are all indexed to the speaker at the time of speaking, which means their meaning or interpretation depends on the speaker at time of speaking. Thus, it is important for the addressee to know the speaker of the utterance, the time and location of the utterance in order to interpret the deictic expressions that were said by the speaker, and what was meant by them in the utterance.
1.2.Categories of Deixis: Traditionally, there are three kinds of deixis that are personal deixis (I, we, us), spatial or place deixis (here, there) and temporal deixis (now, then). Those deictic expressions are the most obvious ones and frequently used, there are other types of deixis that are also widespread in language use like Social deixis (polite
pronouns, titles of address) and Discourse deixis (that, it). Those additional categories of deixis were introduced by Charles. J. Fillmore and John Lyon. Place Deixis are those that are concerned with the grammatical person which we call (personal pronouns) that are mentioned in an utterance, in which both the speaker and the addressee are involved, not directly involved (such as the hearers that hear the speaker’s utterance but they are not directly addressed by the speaker.), and those who are mentioned in the utterance of the speaker. Such type of deixis in English is accomplished through using pronouns. For example, through the use of first person pronoun we are including only the speaker in the utterance (e.g. I am going to watch a movie in the cinema), here the pronoun ‘I’ refers only to the speaker of the utterance and it doesn’t include the addressee. The first person pronoun ‘we’ might either include the addressee or exclude the addressee. For example, I say the following sentence to my friends (We should work hard to achieve or aim), the pronoun ‘we’ refers both to me as the speaker of the utterance as well as the addressee (my friends); in this case the pronoun ‘we’ is including the speaker as well as the addressee in the utterance. But if I say the following sentence to my professor (We have worked very hard to achieve our goal), the pronoun ‘we’ refers only to me and the ones who have worked hard with me, but it doesn’t refer to the addressee, therefore in this case the pronoun ‘we’ is including the speaker but excluding the addressee in the utterance. The case in the second person pronoun is different; the pronoun is including the addressee and excluding the speaker. For instance, if I ask the following question from my friend (are you going to the cinema), here the pronoun ‘you’ is referring to the addressee (my friend) of this utterance but not the speaker (me). Finally, in the case of 3 rd person pronoun both the speaker and the addressee are excluded from the utterance. Such a case is applied when I say the following sentence to my friend (She wanted to steal it from him, but they prevented her from that), in this example we notice that the pronouns ‘she, him, her, that’ are referring neither to the speaker nor to the addressee but rather they are referring to something that exists in the context of an utterance which is mentioned outside the text and their interpretation depends on both the speaker’s and the reader’s shared knowledge of the world. Under this type of deixis there is what is called vocatives. Vocatives are noun phrases that refer to 11
the addressee and they are neither semantically or syntactically considered as a part of the argument of a predicate, rather they are set apart from the body of a sentence they occur in. There are two types of vocatives, one that is called calls or summons, and the other called addresses. The first type (calls or summons), are deictic expression which is always mentioned in the beginning of an utterance, they are common in face-to-face conversation and they are considered to be independent speech acts, an example of calls (Hey there, you just took from me 50$ and didn’t give me the change.) the second type (addresses), they are deictic expressions that are inserted as an explanation or afterthought, and is usually marked off by commas, an example of that is the following sentence (The reality, sister, he is not good enough for you.) Spatial deixis is the second type of deixis, which is known also as place deixis. It is concerned with the spatial locations in relation to the speaker and the addressee or other persons or objects being referred to deictically. The most common and important spatial deixis in English are adverbs (here, there), demonstrative pronouns (this, that) and the verbs (come, go/ bring, take). The following deictic expression (this, here, come, bring) indicate movement towards the speaker and closeness is distance to the speaker, while deictic expressions such as (that, there, go, take) indicate moving away from the speaker and thus being far in distance. For example if I say (I enjoy driving this car.), the deictic expression ‘this’ indicates that I am close in distance to the ‘car’ and that I am in the same location where the car is. The same is applied to this sentence (here is where I want to live.), but the case is different in the following example (She was sleeping over there.), the deictic expression ‘there’ refers that the speaker is far in distance from the location where ‘she’ was sleeping in, or if we say (The mall is to my left), the deictic expression ‘to my left’ doesn’t mean that the mall is to the left, but rather it is understood to mean that ‘the mall is to my left from where I am right now or my current location’. Although the deictic expression ‘there, here’ refer to location far from or near to the speaker, the deictic expression ‘there’ also refers to the location of the addressee if both the addressee and the speaker are not in the same location. For example if I tell to my friend who is standing in a spot far from me (Here is a good spot; it is too sunny over there.) the deictic expression ‘there’ indicates that the speaker I far in 12
distance from the addressee, and that the both are in different locations. The same is applied if I call my friend in Australia and ask her the following sentence (How is the weather there?), the deictic expression ‘there’ indicates that the speaker (which is me) is far in distance from the addressee (my friend) and that the addressee is in a different location from the location of the speaker. There are a number of verbs that function as deictic expression in terms of indicating movement towards or away from the speaker, such verbs are (come, go; bring, take). Example of that is the following sentence (She is coming the next week.), here the deictic expression ‘she’ understood as her intending to move herself from where she actually is the next week to where the speaker is going to be on the next week. Another example is the following sentence (I’ll come there at 2:00pm), the deictic expression ‘there’ indicates that it is far from the speaker and close to the addressee, and the verb ‘come’ is used to show closeness to the addressee and here the deictic center is the addressee. If we consider the following example where the context is as follows: Lulwa is at university and says to Farah: when I am at home, you can see me at anytime. In this example there is a deictic shift, since the verb ‘come’ is far away from both the speaker and the addressee and that the addressee will be moving towards the speaker on the time of any specific event (at her home). Another context is as follows: Lulwa tells to Farah on the mobile phone: I came over several times but you were never home.) The verb ‘come’ in this sentence functions as a deictic expression, and indicates far distance from both the speaker and perhaps the addressee, but the deictic center is the addressee’s house. Time deixis is the 3rd type of the traditional categories of deixis and it is mainly concerned with the times that are involved and referred to in an utterance. Time deixis include adverbs (now, then, later, soon, afterwards) as well as different tenses (past, present, perfect, continuous...etc). For example, the word ‘tomorrow’ which means the next day after every day, and thus the ‘tomorrow’ of a day last month is different than the ‘tomorrow’ of a day last week. According to Charles Fillmore, time adverbs are related to the time of the utterance production which he called the encoding time (ET), or the time when the utterance is heard by the speaker which he called the decoding time (DT). For example, I wrote a letter to my sister and I have written in it the following center (It is cloudy out now, but I hope 13
when you read this letter it will be sunny), the deictic expression ‘now’ in the first phrase indicate that it is the encoding time, the time when the speaker wrote or produced this utterance, while the deictic expression ‘when’ in the second phrase indicates that it is the decoding time, the time when the addressee received the utterance. Tenses are also considered as time deixis the most common one is the past tense which is complete without mentioning an object. For instance, when I say (she slept.) the past form of sleep ‘slept’ indicates that the action of sleeping has happened in the past time, and the same is applied to other tenses. The deictic center in the time deixis is either the time when utterance is produced or the time when the utterance is received and this is related to tenses. For example, if I say (I’m writing this letter to...) here the deictic center is the producing time, which is the same time the speaker is producing this sentence, while if I say (I wrote this letter to..) here the deictic center is receiving time, which is the time after the speaker produced this sentence. Greeting is also one form of time deixis, and it is important to choose the right greeting according on the time when a greeting is uttered. an example of that, if it is morning and I saw my friend is walking nearby my house, will have to choose the right greeting according to the time, and since it is morning then I will have to greet her with (Good morning!), and if it was at night then I have to greet her with (Good night!), it is also important to note that this aspect of time deixis (greeting) differs from culture to culture, therefore one should know about the cultural background of that specific place. As I have previously mentioned that traditionally deixis are of three categories which I have explained them above, but Fillmore and Lyon they have introduced other types of deixis that are used widely in language like social deixis and discourse deixis. Discourse deixis is also referred to as text deixis, and they are expressions used within the utterance in order to refer to parts of the discourse of an utterance. An example of that is when one says (this is a great story), here the deictic expression ‘this’ refers to a forthcoming part of the discourse, and the same is applied to the deictic expression ‘that’ in this sentence (that was an amazing play). Another example will be if I am giving a lesson to my students and I am in chapter 7 of the book and I tell them (in the next chapter I will be talking...) or (in the previous chapter we have discussed…), the deictic expression ‘the next’ refers 14
to chapter 8 of the book, and the deictic expression ‘the previous’ refers to the chapter 6 of the book. It is important to differentiate between discourse deixis and anaphora, which Is when an expression makes reference to the same referent. For example, if I say the following sentence (Eyad is a smart student; he graduated with an honor degree from the university.) in this sentence the deictic expression ‘he’ refers to John in the previous discourse, and it functions as a person deixis and not discourse deixis. It is also important to note that some expressions can be both deictic and anaphoric in the same time. As an example of that if I say the following sentence (I was born in Turkey and I have lived here/there all my life.), the deictic expression ‘there’ refers to Turkey and it also functions as a place deixis, which indicates far distance from the speaker, while ‘here’ is an anaphora that refers back to Turkey, and functions also as a place deixis in the sense that it indicates close distance from the speaker. Thus, ‘here’ and ‘there’ function as anaphora when referring to Turkey, and deictically in the choice whether ‘here’ and ‘there’ indicates that the speaker is located or not in Turkey. So the difference between discourse deixis and anaphora is the following: if an expression within an utterance refers to another linguistic expression in the same utterance then it is discourse deixis, while if an expression within an utterance refers to the same linguistic expression mentioned in the same utterance then it is anaphora. One of the most common discourse deixis is the grammatical feature switch reference, which indicates whether the argument of a clause is similar to the argument in the previous one and this is done in some language through either the same or different subject marker. For example, if I say (Nadia beat Lubna, and left) if it is the same subject marker then it is Nadia who left but if it is different subject marker then it is Lubna who left. The other type of deixis as introduced by Fillmore and Lyon is social deixis. Social deixis is concerned with the social information fixed within different expressions, such as close social relations and familiarity. The two types of social deixis are the honorifics and the T-V form. In the case of honorific speech one has to understand the context in order to know the social status of the speaker and his/her relation to the addressee. There are three types of honorifics depending on the individual’s status which is being expressed, (a) addressee or (speaker/hearer), (b) referent or (speaker/referent) and (c) bystander or (speaker/bystander). The first type which is 15
the addressee honorifics expresses the social status of the person being talked to, despite the matter that is being talked about. Then comes the referent honorifics, which expresses the social status of the person being talked about. In this type of honorific both the referent (which is the person being talked about) and the target (which is the person whose social status is being expressed) of the honorific expression is the same. While bystander honorifics, expresses the social status of a participant not engaged in the conversation such as a hearer. This type of honorifics is seldom used especially in avoidance speech such the ‘mother-in-law languages’ where one changes his speech in the presence of an in-law or other far or out-law relatives. Another type of honorifics which is not concerned with the status of any bystander or speaker rather it is concerned with the circumstances or the environment in which the conversation occurs, and this type of honorific is called the speaker/situation honorific. The typical type of such honorific is called diglossia, in which high elevated language is used in formal situations and low languages used it casual situation. For example, let’s say that I am going to a conference established by Arabs in Kuwait, I will find that the conversation of the conference is produced by the high elevated Arabic language that is (Fusha) while if I go to a cafe to join a friend gathering I will find that my friends are using the low Arabic language (Kuwaiti Dialect) in their conversation because the gathering is casual, while the gathering in the conference was formal. T-V form is a type of social deixis and the terms T-form and the V-form describes the second person pronouns that are tu and vos as introduced by Brown and Gillman in the year 1960, their study showed that such forms are governed by power. The T-V form emerged from the Latin language, the Latin word tu refers to the singular T-form, and expresses informality while the Latin word vos refers to the plural form and it expresses politeness and formality. What is important to note is that the modern English language have no T-V forms, although middle English language once revealed the use of T-V forms which is the 2nd person singular pronoun ‘thou’ and the 2nd person plural pronoun ‘ye’ which was used as an honorific regardless of the numbers of person addressed by the speaker and later ‘you’. ‘Thou’ and other similar forms were disused because they were considered to be archaic in speech language. 16
1.3.Deixis and Deictic Forms in Turkish Language:
All languages have deixis, and it is only through linguistic analysis when can capture the contextual meaning of a deictic expression. The most common and important types of deixis in Turkish are grouped under the headings like adverb, pronoun, adjective and verbs. In this section I have described and interpreted some examples of deictic expression in Turkish language in order to indicate the comprehension of such expressions in Turkish. The deictic expression Bu and Şu: If we consider the deictic expression Bu in the following sentence: • Bu bleziki arkadaşima ver. (Give this necklace to my friend.)
‘Bu’ in this example is a demonstrative that functions as a deictic expression, and it refers to the letter. It also indicates that the speaker is close in distance to the letter and is actually holding it, while the addressee might be or not close to the referred letter. The second example is the following sentence which includes the deictic expression Şu: • Şu bayani goriyor musun? (Do you see that woman?)
Şu in this example is also a demonstrative that functions as a deictic expression and it refers to the woman that seems to be far in distance from both the speaker and the addressee. The third example also expresses the deictic expression Şu: • Şu sanadalyani uzatır mısın? (Will you hand me that chair?)
In this case the deictic expression Şu to the chair which is far in distance from the speaker and close in distance from the addressee. The deictic expression ‘O’: 17
In some languages, the third person pronouns are determined according to the sex of the referent, animal, inanimate or a human being, while in Turkish language the ‘O’ pronoun is used for all third person singular pronouns. An example of that is in the following sentences: • Seni o gün her yerde gordem. (I saw you everywhere that day.)
The deictic expression ‘O’ refers to a day in the past which is inanimate and functions as a time deixis, while the deictic expression Seni is a second singular pronoun and it refers to the addressee. The second example of the deictic expression ‘O’ is the following sentence: • O gelecek gun buraya gelecek. coming day.) In this example, the deictic expression indicates a person because of the word (gelecek) come, but in this example the gender of the pronoun is ambiguous; it is not clear whether the pronoun indicates a female or male pronoun. The other ambiguity lies in the word (gelecek) since the first one is a type of temporal deixis and the second one is a verb. On the other hand the deictic expression (buraya) is a type of spatial deixis which indicates the location of the speaker at the time of speaking. The final sample statement that describes the deictic expression O is the following: • Onu ben aldım. (I purchased that one.) (She/He is going to come here in the
We find that the deictic expression ‘O’ refers either to goods or animals because of the verb aldim, which means to purchase. The deictic expressions: Bura, Ora, Aşağı, Yarın, Daha Here I have described two examples in order to indicate the comprehension of the following deictic expressions: • Buradaki cantalari yarın geceleyin aşağıya indir. (Tomorrow night, bring these bags down.) 18
The speaker through using the word indir (bring down) as an imperative is indicating a second person singular pronoun but without using the pronoun you (sen), and through using the deictic expression ‘buradaki’ (these) is referring to the bags that are located in the place where the speaker and the addressee is. The deictic expression ‘aşağıya’ is a type of place deixis, which indicates the place where is far in distance from both the speaker and the addressee. According to this example, we find that some temporal deictics create ambiguity concerning the speaking and coding time of an utterance. In this example, the deictic expression ‘yarın geceleyin’ indicates that the coding time is in the future. • Onlar daha oraya gitmediler mi? (did they go there yet)
In this example, the speaker through using the deictic expression ‘Onlar’ is referring to a third person pronoun known by both the speaker and the addressee. The use of the verb ‘gitmediler’ (go) indicates that the movement is away from the speaker and thus far in distance from the speaker, as well as the deictic expression ‘oraya’ (there) which indicates also movement away from the speaker and that the speaker is in a location different from the location of the persons referred to as ‘onlar’ (they). The deictic expression ‘daha’ is a temporal deixis, which indicates that the time is in the past and extended to the present coding time. The deictic expressions: Sen and Siz (you singular and you plural) I have illustrated three Examples of such deictic expressions: • Neden kendin kahvaltı hazırlamıyorsun? (Why aren’t you coming for breakfast?) In the following sentence, the speaker has used the reflexive pronoun ‘kendin’ (yourself) which refers to the addressee instead of using the second singular pronoun ‘sen’ (you). • Sizinle bugun buraya gelirim, ama benim arabam tamirde. (I will come here with you today, but my car is in the garage)
In this example, the speaker is using the deictic expression ‘sizinle’ which refers to the addressee, and is used in formal speech both for second singular pronoun and for second singular pronoun. Therefore it is necessary to know the context in order to resolve such kind of ambiguity. Also through the use of the deictic expression ‘bugun’ (today) which is a type of temporal deixis the speaker refers to a time in future. The verb ‘gelirim’ (come) indicates that the movement is towards the speaker’s location, and ‘buraya’ (here) implies that the speaker is close in distance to the adressee’s location. • Oraya git. (Go there!)
The use of the verb ‘git’ (go) indicates movement away from the speaker’s location and also implies that the speaker through using this verb is referring to a second person singular pronoun. As for the deictic expression ‘oraya’ (there) indicates moving away from the location of the speaker. The deictic expression: Biz (We) The deictic expression Biz is clearly explained in the following sentence: Ayshaile gittik. (We went with Aishya.) In this example, the speaker use’s the suffix –tik, which includes the pronoun ‘biz’ and thus it includes the speaker and other persons. The speaker has also used the verb ‘git’ (went) which indicates moving away from the addressee’s location. The deictic expression: Bu (this) (as a discourse deictic) For example: • Bunu gutur! (Take this)
In this example, the speaker through using the verb ‘gutur’ (take) is addressing a second singular pronoun and is asking him/her to take something that is close to the speaker and the and the addressee, and the deictic expression ‘bunu’ is used to indicate that the object is close in distance both to the speaker and the addressee.
As we have seen from the above examples that it is possible to interpret a deictic expression within the context. It is easy for us to guess the meaning of a deictic expression semantically but if we need to know the exact meaning and interpretation of deictic expressions then it is must to analyze the features of the context of an utterance in order to interpret the meaning those expressions have.
In brief, Deixis according to Fromkin, et.al (1991): ‘are the words in a language that entirely depend on context). As we have previously mentioned that deixis means ‘pointing’ via language. deixis in communication, means the contextual meaning of a pronoun, and what the speaker means by his/her utterance in a particular context. The meaning of deictic expressions is comprehended within a context. It is necessary for the speaker and the listener to share the same context in order for the deictic expressions to be interpreted accurately. Deictic expressions are very important and useful particularly in face-to-face conversations. It’s important to note that deictic expressions are the first expressions to be acquired when learning a new language. It is also important to note that there are different ways to interpret a textual meaning, and deictic expressions are one of the ways of describing and interpreting a text because they are the linguistic elements of a text through which their meaning is expanded depending on the context in which they are uttered. Nevertheless, the interpretation of those deictic expressions may vary depending on the addressee’s knowledge of the world, the cultural background, life style, and the environment in which they live, on their linguistic knowledge and many other factors. It is also important to mention that the meaning of deictic expressions can be best illustrated within the field of pragmatics and not semantics. If we consider the definition of semantics which is the study of abstract meaning, the meaning of words in sentences, while the definition of pragmatics is the study of contextual meaning, and since deictic expressions may implicate different meanings 21
depending on the context or the situation then it is certainly the field of pragmatics that can help in determining and clarifying the actual meaning of the deictic expressions.
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