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Implicit deixis

Ruthrof, H. (2015) Implicit deixis. Language Sciences, 47 (Part A). pp. 107-116.

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The paper argues that marked, or explicit, deixis covers only a small area of the broader field of general deixis. To better account for the large area of unmarked deixis, the paper proposes implicit deixis as generated by the voice of utterances that accompanies all signifiers of a linguistic expression. As such, implicit deixis is argued as the modal shadow of expressions that is vital to the transformation of the meaning potential of sentence-tokens into meaningful utterances. To make this case, the paper claims that meaning in NL always depends on the combination of two components: aboutness (of which reference is a special case) and voice (prosodic contour), the latter modifying the former. The paper concludes with the observation that if deixis can be called a kind of verbal pointing, we need to acknowledge the complexities involved in its nonverbal precursor. I do so by foregrounding the reciprocity of projections of mutually presumed mental states as a necessary condition of human communication.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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