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What is deixis?



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.
Examples (English)

Here are examples of deictic expressions:

  • I
  • You
  • Now
  • There
  • That
  • The following
  • Tenses
  Here are some kinds of deixis:
  Deixis is a kind of

Crystal 1980 103


Levinson 1983 54–56


Mish 1991 335


Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 1025

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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