A melamed (Hebrew teacher) discovering that he had left his comfortable slippers back in the house, sent a student after them with a note for his wife. The note read: “Send me your slippers with this boy”. When the student asked why he had written ‘your’ slippers, the melamed answered: ‘Yold! (Fool) If I wrote ‘my’ slippers, she would read ‘my slippers’ and would send her slippers. What could I do with her slippers? So I wrote ‘your’ slippers, she’ll read ‘your’ slippers and send me mine.”


It is the anchoring of language use in a real world by pointing at variables along some of its dimensions (indexicals) : Person deixis (social deixis) – the speaker (I); the addressee (you); the others (he, she, it) Time deixis ( with ‘now’ as the conventional deictic centre) Spatial deixis (with ‘here’ as the conventional deictic centre) Discourse deixis (cohesion and coherence devices in a text)

Person deixis operates on a basic three part division, the speaker (I), the addressee (you) and other(s) (he, she, it). in many languages these deictic expressions are elaborated with markers of social status Yule (1996) . Expressions which indicate higher status are described as honorifics (social deixis). For example, in French and Romanian there are two different forms that encode a social contrast within person deixis, ‘tu’ (tu) and ‘vous’(dumneavoastra). This is known as T/V distinction .


the present and the past (the proximal and the distal ). It is presented as deictically distant from the speaker’s current situation. is one way of communicating distance.Using a third person form. There is also a potential ambiguity in the use in English of the first person plural.: I was looking at this little puppy in a cage with such a sad look on its face. ‘Oh. PERSON DEIXIS Deictic projection = speakers being able to project themselves into other locations.g. This can also be done for humorous or ironic purposes. where the relative location of people and things is being indicated. as in: ‘Would his highness like some coffee?’ The distance associated with third person forms is also used to make potential accusations less direct. So distant. which has only two basic forms. and how one can anticipate the way people will construe the world in terms of their point of view. as in the following possible reply to the accusation: We clean up after ourselves around here. The past tense is always used in English in those if-clauses that mark events presented by the speaker as not being close to present reality. Eg. 1996:13) All indexical expressions refer to certain world conditions. either subjective or objective in nature. DEICTIC PROJECTION TEMPORAL DEIXIS The concept of distance is relevant to spatial deixis. that it actually communicates the negative (we infer that the speaker has no yacht). when using direct speech to represent the person. excluding addressee) and inclusive we (speaker and addressee included). I’m so unhappy here. 1996:15) The idea expressed in the example is not treated as having happened in the past. The following story. will you set me free?’ (taken from Yule. E. One basic type of temporal deixis in English is in the choice of verb tense. location and feelings of someone else. time or shift person reference. E. borrowed from Levinson 1983:68) is meant to illustrate the importance of having the right point of view. It was like. via dramatic performances. If I had a yacht…(source: Yule. There is an exclusive we (speaker plus others. SPATIAL DEIXIS .g. as in: Somebody didn’t clean up after himself. where a second person would be possible.

VISA & MASTER CHARGE ACCEPTED PHONE 561-4433 IMPLICIT MEANING = what can be meant or communicated beyond what is explicitly or literally said. Some verbs of motion. such as ‘come’ and ‘go’. Up by bus. Jane: What do you mean when you say perhaps not the most interesting of Italian towns? Jack: He means cer tainly not the most interesting… Dan: Just trying to be polite. retain deictic sense when they are used to mark movement toward the speaker (‘Come to bed’) or away the speaker (‘Go to bed’). but it’s worth the trip. ‘here’ and ‘there’. Study the following sign.00 CASH. TASK Identify indexicals in the following text Debby: Go anywhere today? Dan: Yes. What does this sign tell you explicitly? And implicitly? _________________________________________ ALL UNAUTHORIZED VECHICLES WILL BE TOWED BY LINCOLN TOWING SERVICE TO 4884 N.Contemporary English makes use of two adverbs. and back by hydrofoil. Debby: Anything to see there? Dan: Perhaps not the most interesting of Italian towns.CLARK FEE $80. by means of presuppositions. 1993:15). we went down to Como. for the basic distinction. implications and implicatures Conventional means for conveying implicit meaning: PRESUPPOSITIONS IMPLICIT MEANING PRESUPPOSITIONS . Debby: I might do that next Saturday. appearing at selected private parking sites throughout the Greater Chicago area (Mey.

possessives. (He was ill) We regret telling him (We told hem) I wasn’t aware that she was married. Structural presuppositions . Existential presuppositions : Presuppose the existence. e. definite NPs Eg: The King of France is talking to Napoleon said at this time in history and using the present tense. at a given place and/or time. be glad Eg: She didn’t realise he was ill. Non-factive presuppositions d. of entities in the real world (eg. realise. is devoid of real meaning because the existential presuppositions carried by the referring expressions ‘The King of France’ and ‘Napoleon’ are not satisfied.Factive presuppositions A number of verbs (know. a. understood. Eg. b. regret) or phrases invoving be aware.= implicit meaning that must be pre-supposed. I dreamed that I was rich (I wasn’t rich) c. taken for granted for an utterance to make sense. manage (presupposing tried) He stopped smoking (He used to smoke) They started complaining (They weren’t complaining before) Some sentence structures conventionally presuppose that part of the structure is already assumed to be true. Lexical presuppositions The use of one form with its asserted meaning is conventionally interpreted with the presupposition that another (non-asserted) meaning is understood. (She was married) I am glad that it’s over (It’s over).

TASKS .Eg. A time of prosperity and peace will return. The UN managed to bring about peace. What the UN did was to bring about peace in Bosnia. will be remembered forever. 1996. which was a year of prosperity and peace. wh-constructions When did you leave (You left) Where did you buy the bike (You bought the bike). Analyse the following utterances in terms of presuppositions: I regret the year of prosperity and peace has ended.

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