Discourse deixis


Discourse deixis refers to the use of expressions within an utterance to refer to parts of the discourse that contain the utterance, including the utterance itself. Discourse deixis is a way of "pointing through language" and involves the encoding of reference to portions of the unfolding discourse in which the utterance is located. Discourse deixis is also known as text deixis. There are five types of deixis according to Levinson (1983): person deixis, place deixis, time deixis, social deixis, and discourse deixis. 

Other categories of deixis include social deixis, which concerns the social information encoded within various expressions, such as relative social status and familiarity, and proximal and distal deixis, which refer to what is near and far from the speaker, respectively. 

Examples of discourse deixis include expressions like "earlier," "later," "the preceding x," "the following s," "in the following paragraphs," and "in the events in time." Discourse deixis is different from other types of deixis because it does not relate to a specific item but to a stretch of discourse.

Discourse deixis is a type of deixis that describes deictic expressions which point to prior or succeeding parts of the discourse[3]. It is a commentary on the text or conversation by the speaker, and it helps to structure the discourse and to range the current utterance in a chronological order[3]. According to Levinson, discourse deixis is "the encoding of reference to portions of the unfolding discourse in which the utterance is located"[5]. 

Levinson's work on deixis includes the study of deictic or indexical expressions in language, such as personal pronouns (I, you, we), spatial deixis (this, that, here, there), and temporal deixis (now, today, yesterday) [5]. In addition to these categories, Levinson adds two other deictic categories: social deixis, which covers the encoding of social distinctions that are relative to participant-roles, particularly aspects of the social relationship holding between speaker and addressee(s) or speaker and some referents, and discourse deixis[5].

Levinson's work on discourse deixis is part of a larger theoretical framework that includes complex tenses or systems of discourse deixis[1]. Discourse deixis introduces subjective, attentional, intentional, and context-dependent properties into natural languages, and it is a much more pervasive feature of languages than normally recognized[2]. It is theoretically puzzling in many regards and makes difficult a tidy treatment within formal theories of semantics and pragmatics[2]. 

Overall, Levinson's work on discourse deixis is an important contribution to the study of deixis and its role in language. It highlights the importance of context and the speaker's perspective in understanding the meaning of utterances.


[1] https://pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_59489_3/component/file_2030329/content

[2] https://pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_59489_2/component/file_59490/content

[3] http://www.ello.uos.de/field.php/EarlyModernEnglish/DiscourseDeixis

[4] https://www.jstor.org/stable/43020165

[5] https://publications.essex.ac.uk/esj/article/id/23/

[6] https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/corpus-pragmatics/deixis/81416C4ABE70C5EB379337662815A11F

According to Levinson (1983, 2004) Discourse Deixis refers to the use of expressions that signal a relationship between an utterance and the prior or subsequent discourse. 

Discourse deixis includes temporal deictic terms (next, before, last week), spatial deictic terms (in the last paragraph), utterance initial expressions that indicate a relationship with the preceding discourse (but, however, in conclusion, well), and the use of demonstratives (this, that) to refer to the preceding or following discourse (Levinson 1983, 2004).

And by the way, we will do that. 

The word "That" in the statement above refers to utterances, "And i will say this, Secretary Kelly will be the man to do it, and we will give him a wall, and it will be a great wall". The word "That" here states by Donald Trump to explain that he will give Secretary a wall as a separator between America and Mexico. Because the word "That" refers to the statement above, it could be categories as discourse deixis.

And this is for the security of the country.

The word "This" in the statement above refers to "He may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary --- so here it is, people coming in --- suspend the entry of all aliens Right? That's what it says. It's not like --- again, a bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this. 

Suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens. Okay, so you can suspend the aliens, right? You can suspend the aliens from coming in --- very strong --- or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. 

Okay. So you can suspend, you can put restrictions, you can do whatever you want. And this is for the security of the country". 

In this statement, the speaker states that he and his government and also the people from police association can suspend and put restrictions for security of the country.

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