On anaphora and discourse deixis

Mira Ariel mariel at post.tau.ac.il
Tue Jul 15 17:42:12 UTC 2014


I don't know why you understand at least MY position as rejecting a distinction between deixis and anaphora. But reality is that so-called deictic markers are overwhelmingly used discourse anaphorically. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Hartmut Haberland [mailto:hartmut at ruc.dk] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:03 PM
To: Stephen Lewis
Subject: SV: [FUNKNET] On anaphora and discourse deixis

Stephen, the point I was trying to make about Icelandic sá and þessi, German (stressed) der/das (not the article) and er/es, Biblical Hebrew זֶה and הוּא (according to Ehlich) was exactly what you say: "discourse deixis provides an explanation for the distinction. If we essentially reject discourse deixis, we have to account for these differences in another way". Hartmut

-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
Fra: funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu [mailto:funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu] På vegne af Stephen Lewis
Sendt: 15. juli 2014 18:16
Til: Mira Ariel
Emne: Re: [FUNKNET] On anaphora and discourse deixis

In English, there seems to be a distinct usage difference between "this"
and "that" in discourse reference, and casting them as instances of discourse deixis provides an explanation for the distinction. If we essentially reject discourse deixis, we have to account for these differences in another way.

Off the top of my head, I don't have any other examples.


On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 5:45 AM, Mira Ariel <mariel at post.tau.ac.il> wrote:

> Dear Marta,
> I agree, and this is certainly how *I counted my referring expressions.
> The reason is that the immediately preceding mention renders the 
> discourse entity quite accessible, often  more accessible than the 
> speech situation does. For example, I argued that clearly deictic 
> expressions (e.g., Hebrew
> 'I') are pronounced differently, as related to how accessible the 
> referent is deemed (shorter when highly accessible, longer when less accessible).
> But you couldn't explain this based on deixis, because the referent is 
> equally accessible in the speech situation. Rather, it's their 
> previous (and recent) mention in the discourse that may raise their accessibility.
> This shows that what counts is the mental accessibility of the 
> antecedent which is sensitive to linguistic mentions. I'm pretty sure 
> I discuss this issue in: 1998. The linguistic status of the “here and 
> now”. Cognitive Linguistics 9: 3. (pp.189-237). Most likely also in 
> 2001. Accessibility
> theory: An overview. In Ted Sanders, Joost Schliperoord and Wilbert 
> Spooren eds. Text representation. John Benjamins (Human cognitive 
> processing series). (pp. 29-87).
> Best,
> Mira (Ariel)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu [mailto:
> funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu] On Behalf Of MARTA BEGONA CARRETERO 
> Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2014 12:24 PM
> To: Funknet
> Subject: [FUNKNET] On anaphora and discourse deixis
> Dear all,
> After some years’ experience in lecturing on semantics and pragmatics, 
> and revising references on deixis, I wonder whether many cases often 
> signalled as instances of discourse deixis are really anaphoric.
> For example, if I say “I love swimming in the sea because it is very 
> relaxing”, “it” refers to the situation expressed by “swimming in the sea”.
> I see no great difference between the function of “it” in this example 
> and in “I’m tired of this lift because it breaks down every now and 
> then”, in which “it” is unanimously considered as anaphoric.
> And I find little difference between these cases and the function of “this”
> in
> “Did you know that Sally finally won the prize? This is great news.”
> And the same for pronouns such as “it”, “this” or “that” referring to 
> previous or forthcoming long stretches of discourse: why shouldn’t 
> these pronouns be considered as anaphoric or cataphoric, since they 
> stand for information transmitted elsewhere in discourse?
> Similarly, discourse markers such as “however”, “therefore” or “in 
> addition” could be considered as anaphoric, since they point to the 
> previous linguistic context.
> In sum, I feel tempted to restrict discourse deixis to chapter 
> numbers, section numbers, page numbers and other similar expressions; 
> these need the extralinguistic context (in this case, the document to 
> which they belong) in order to be interpreted.
> Many thanks in advance for your responses.
> Best wishes,
> Marta Carretero
> Universidad Complutense, Madrid

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