waldoslusher at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 28 10:31:36 EST 2004
I didn't save the last email on the Perfect, but I
wanted to ask a follow up question related to Kimmo's
statement on deixis. I found this definition at SIL:
Deixis is reference by means of an expression whose
interpretation is relative to the (usually)
extralinguistic context of the utterance, such as
who is speaking
the time or place of speaking
the gestures of the speaker, or
the current location in the discourse.
This definition seems to support Kimmo's contention
that deixis refers to the time of speaking or current
I did note in the definition the (ususally), which
leaves open the idea of deixis being developed around
a different temporal point.
This definition seems arbitrary to me since relating
deixis to the time of speaking is unnecessarily
restrictive. I've no training in Linguistics, but why
not define deixis in as a reference to a contextually
developed temporal point? If this is done you
illimiate the "reference time" and it simply becomes
the deixis. Why the need to create two separate
temporal points? I can see now why people have a hard
time with contexts that are portrayed as existing in
the past or future (such as the strange responses I
see to the historic present).
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