Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Some remarks on deixis 1

  • G. L. Bursill-Hall (a1)

Extract

This paper is concerned with so-called demonstratives. Languages use various devices to point out or indicate things; the demonstratives are but one of these devices. Much that has been written on this problem of deixis is confused and misleading because the criteria traditionally used in describing the different devices for pointing out or indicating have been for the most part notional or mentalistic; it behoves the theoretical linguist to seek for formal linguistic criteria to describe this feature, and these notes seek to outline some of the problems which are concerned with a satisfactory linguistic explanation of the grammatical category known as the “demonstratives.” In view of the title of this article, it might also be pointed out en passant (though the author has no wish to involve himself here in a terminological wrangle) that “deixis” may well be a more suitable term for this feature in view of the fact that languages possess other demonstrative devices or indicators in addition to those referred to traditionally as “demonstratives,” not to mention the quasi-linguistic feature of gesture.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
1

The author would like to express his thanks to his colleague, Professor J. O. St. Clair-Sobell of the University of British Columbia, who originally suggested this topic during his seminar on Comparative Slavonic Philology and for the many fruitful suggestions in the course of frequent informal discussions on the subject. He would also like to thank Professor C. E. Bazell of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, who read an earlier draft of the article and made many valuable suggestions.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

2 Collinson, W. E., “Indication: A Study of Demonstratives, Articles and other ‘Indicators’,” Language Monograph, no. 17 (1937), pp. 1718.

3 Forchheimer, P., The Category of Person in Language (Berlin, 1953), pp. 711.

4 Frei, H., Acta Linguistica IV (1944), pp. 11129.

5 Firth, J. R., “A Synopsis of Linguistic Theory,” Studies in Linguistic Analysis (Oxford, 1957), p. 19.

6 Gray, L. H., Foundations of Language (New York, 1939), p. 173.

7 Brøndal, V., Essais de Linguistique Générale (Copenhagen, 1943), pp. 989.

8 V. Brøndal, op. cit., p. 103.

9 Brugmann, K., “Die Demonstrativpronomina der indo-germanischen Sprachen,” Sächs. Abh. XXII (1904), no. 6.

10 Jespersen, O., The Philosophy of Grammar (London, 1924), p. 212.

11 Grasserie, R. de la, “De la véritable nature du pronom,” Etudes de grammaire comparée (Louvain, 1888), p. 3.

12 Wundt, W., Völkerpsychologie, vol. II (Leipzig, 1911), p. 141.

13 V. Brøndal, op. cit., p. 101.

14 Bühler, K., Sprachtheorie (Jena, 1934), p. 79.

15 Ginneken, J. van, Principes de linguistique psychologique (Paris, 1907), pp. 20910.

16 In Armenian, the demonstrative pronouns indicate not only temporal nearness or farness but also a relationship between one individual and another. Mention of this is made to support Firth’s thesis (cf. n. 5), i.e., that this is a fact of the Armenian deictic system which, though tri-personal, is however discrete from all other tri-personal systems.

17 Hirt, H., Indogermanische Granmmatik, vol. III (Heidelberg, 1927), p. 26.

18 When the third member is lost, it can be argued that the demonstratives lose the sense of relation to person but represent the particular versus the general, and are thus bi-dimensional in space or time.

19 Lampach, S., “La relation des genres dans le système des pronoms de la 3e personne en français,” Word 12 (1956), pp. 5166.

20 Benveniste, E., “Structure des relations de personne dans le verbe,” BSLP 43 (1946), pp. 112.

21 Boas, F., Kwakiutl Grammar (Philadelphia, 1947).

22 Sapir, E., Language (New York, 1921).

23 Bloomfield, L., Language (New York, 1933), p. 259.

24 Ibid., p. 147.

25 Trager, G. L., “The Field of Linguistics,” Studies in Linguistics: Occasional Papers, no. 1 (Norman, 1949).

26 Whorf, B. L., Four articles on metalinguistics (Washington, D.C., 1949).

27 J. R. Firth, op. cit., p. 17.

28 Simon, H. F., “Two Substantival Complexes in Standard Chinese,” BSOAS XV (1953), pp. 32755.

29 Bursill-Hall, G. L., “The Linguistic Theories of J. R. Firth,” Thought (Toronto, 1960), p. 243.

30 J. R. Firth, op. cit., p. 19.

31 E. Sapir, op. cit., pp. 118-9.

32 Bazell, C. E., Linguistic Form (Istanbul, 1953), p. 78.

1 The author would like to express his thanks to his colleague, Professor J. O. St. Clair-Sobell of the University of British Columbia, who originally suggested this topic during his seminar on Comparative Slavonic Philology and for the many fruitful suggestions in the course of frequent informal discussions on the subject. He would also like to thank Professor C. E. Bazell of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, who read an earlier draft of the article and made many valuable suggestions.

Some remarks on deixis 1

  • G. L. Bursill-Hall (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed