On anaphora and discourse deixis

MARTA BEGONA CARRETERO LAPEYRE mcarrete at filol.ucm.es
Wed Jul 30 11:29:13 UTC 2014

Dear all,

 Many thanks to all contributors of the 'deixis versus anaphora' issue. I
will consider all the suggestions before planning my next year lectures on
deixis. For the moment, I can tell you that they have made me reflect on my
own native language (Spanish), which makes a difference in the use of
demonstrative pronouns for replacing a previously mentioned extralinguistic
entity and a stretch of discourse (este/esta vs. esto, etc.).
I wish you all a happy and relaxed August.

Dr Marta Carretero

mcarrete at filol.ucm.es>:

> 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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