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Speak about spatial deixis and temporal deixis.

Place deixis, also known as space deixis, concerns itself with the spatial locations relevant to an utterance. Similarly to person deixis, the locations may be either those of the speaker and addressee or those of persons or objects being referred to. The most salient English examples are the adverbs “here” and “there” and the demonstratives “this” and “that” - although those are far from being the only deictic words. e.g.1) I enjoy living in this city. 2) Here is where we will place the statue. 3) She was sitting over there. Contemporary English makes use of only two adverbs, 'here' and 'there', for the basic distinction, but in older texts and in some dialects, a much larger set of deictic expressions can be found. Although 'yonder' (more distant from speaker) is still used, words like 'hither' (to this place) and 'thence' (from that place) now sound archaic. These last two adverbs include the meaning of motion toward or away from the speaker. Some verbs of motion, such as 'come' and 'go', retain a deictic sense when they are used to mark movement toward the speaker ('Come to bed!') or away from the speaker ('Go to bed!'). One version of the concept of motion toward speaker (i.e. becoming visible), seems to be the first deictic meaning learned by children and characterizes their use of words like 'this' and 'here' (= can be seen). They are distinct from 'that' and 'there' which are associated with things that move out of the child's visual space (= can no longer be seen). In considering spatial deixis, however, it is important to remember that location from the speaker's perspective can be fixed mentally as well as physically. Speakers temporarily away from their home location will often continue to use 'here' to mean the (physically distant) home location, as if they were still in that location. Speakers also seem to be able to project themselves into other locations prior to actually being in those locations, as when they say 'I'll come later' (= movement to addressee's location). This is sometimes described as deictic projection and we make more use of its possibilities as more technology allows us to manipulate location. If 'here' means the place of the speaker's utterance (and 'now' means the time of the speaker's utterance), then an utterance such as [5] should be nonsense. [5] I am not here now. However, I can say [5] into the recorder of a telephone answering machine, projecting that the 'now' will apply to any time someone tries to call me, and not to when I actually record the words. Indeed, recording [5] is a kind of dramatic performance for a future audience in which I project my presence to be in the required location. A similar deictic projection is accomplished via dramatic performance when I use direct speech to represent the person, location, and feelings of someone or something else. For example, I could be telling you about a visit to a pet store, as in [6]. [6] I was looking at this little puppy in a cage with such a sad look on its face. It was like, 'Oh, I'm so unhappy here, will you set me free?' The 'here' of the cage is not the actual physical location of the person uttering the words (the speaker), but is instead the location of that person performing in the role of the puppy. It may be that the truly pragmatic basis of spatial deixis is actually psychological distance. Physically close objects will tend to be treated by the speaker as psychologically close. Also, something that is physically distant will generally be treated as psychologically distant (for example, 'that man over there'). However, a speaker may also wish to mark something that is physically close (for example, a perfume being sniffed by the speaker) as psychologically distant 'I don't like that'. In this analysis, a word like 'that' does not have a fixed (i.e. semantic) meaning; instead, it is 'invested' with meaning in a context by a speaker. Similar psychological processes seem to be at work in our distinctions between proximal and distal expressions used to mark temporal deixis. Time, or temporal, deixis concerns itself with the various times involved in and referred to in an utterance. This includes time adverbs like "now", "then", "soon", and so forth, and also different tenses. A good example is the word tomorrow, which denotes the consecutive next day after every day. The "tomorrow" of a day last year was a different day from the "tomorrow" of a day next week. Time adverbs can be relative to the time when an utterance is made (what Fillmore calls the "encoding time", or ET) or when the utterance is heard (Fillmore’s "decoding time", or DT). While these are frequently the same time, they can differ, as in the case of prerecorded broadcasts or correspondence. For example, if one were to write “It is raining out now, but I hope when you read this it will be sunny”, the ET and DT would be different, with the former deictic term concerning ET and the latter the DT. Tenses are generally separated into absolute (deictic) and relative tenses. So, for example, simple English past tense is absolute, such as in e.g He went, while the pluperfect is relative to some other deictically specified time, as in e.g. He had gone. The use of the proximal form 'now' as indicating both the time coinciding with the speaker's utterance and the time of the speaker's voice being heard (the hearer's 'now'). In contrast to 'now', the distal expression 'then' applies to both past [7a.] and future [7b.] time relative to the speaker's present time. [7] a. November 22nd, 1963? I was in Scotland then. b. Dinner at 8:30 on Saturday? Okay, I'll see you then.



It is worth noting that we also use elaborate systems of non-deictic temporal reference such as calendar time (dates, as in [7a.]) and clock time (hours, as in [7b.]). However, these forms of temporal reference are learned a lot later than the deictic expressions like 'yesterday', 'tomorrow', 'today', 'tonight', 'next week', 'last week', 'this week'. All these expressions depend for their interpretation on knowing the relevant utterance time. If we don't know the utterance (i.e. scribbling) time of a note, as in [8], on an office door, we won't know if we have a short or a long wait ahead. [8] Back in an hour.

Similarly, if we return the next day to a bar that displays the notice in [9], then we will still be (deictically) one day early for the free drink. [9] Free Beer Tomorrow.

The psychological basis of temporal deixis seems to be similar to that of spatial deixis. We can treat temporal events as objects that move toward us (into view) or away from us (out of view). One metaphor used in English is of events coming toward the speaker from the future (for example, 'the coming week', 'the approaching year') and going away from the speaker to the past (for example, 'in days gone by', 'the past week'). We also seem to treat the near or immediate future as being close to utterance time by using the proximal deictic 'this', as in 'this (coming) weekend' or 'this (coming) Thursday'. One basic (but often unrecognized) type of temporal deixis in English is in the choice of verb tense. Whereas other languages have many different forms of the verb as different tenses, English has only two basic forms, the present as in [ioa.], and the past as [10] a. I live here now. b. I lived there then. The present tense is the proximal form and the past tense is the distal form. Something having taken place in the past, as in [1 ia.], is typically treated as distant from the speaker's current situation. Perhaps less obviously, something that is treated as extremely unlikely (or impossible) from the speaker's current situation is also marked via the distal (past tense) form, as in [ub.]. [11] a. I could swim (when I was a child). b. I could be in Hawaii (if I had a lot of money). The past tense is always used in English in those //-clauses that mark events presented by the speaker as not being close to present reality as in [12]. [12] a. If I had a yacht,... b. If I was rich,...

Neither of the ideas expressed in [12] are to be treated as having happened in past time. They are presented as deictically distant from the speaker's current situation. So distant, indeed, that they actually communicate the negative (we infer that the speaker has no yacht and is not rich). In order to understand many English conditional constructions (including those of the form 'Had I known sooner ...'), we have to recognize that, in temporal deixis, the remote or distal form can be used to communicate not only distance from current time, but also distance from current reality or facts.


Date: 2015-12-18; view: 812


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