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What is absolute social deixis?



Absolute social deixis is deictic reference to some social characteristic of a referent (especially a person) apart from any relative ranking of referents.


Often absolute social deixis is expressed in certain forms of address. The form of address will include no comparison of the ranking of the speaker and addressee; there will be only a simple reference to the absolute status of the addressee.

Examples (English)
  • Mr. President
  • Your Honor
  Absolute social deixis is a kind of

Levinson 1979 207

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