Definitions for deixis
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word deixis
the function of pointing or specifying from the perspective of a participant in an act of speech or writing; aspects of a communication whose interpretation depends on knowledge of the context in which the communication occurs
A reference within a sentence that relies on the context being known to interpret correctly.
The use of pronouns relies on a deixis to correctly interpret them.
Origin: From δείξις, from δείκνυμι.
In linguistics, deixis refers to the phenomenon wherein understanding the meaning of certain words and phrases in an utterance requires contextual information. Words are deictic if their semantic meaning is fixed but their denotational meaning varies depending on time and/or place. Words or phrases that require contextual information to convey any meaning – for example, English pronouns – are deictic. Deixis is closely related to anaphora, as will be further explained below. Although this article deals primarily with deixis in spoken language, the concept can apply to written language, gestures, and communication media as well. While this article draws examples primarily from English, deixis is believed to be a feature of all natural languages. The term’s origin is Ancient Greek: δείξις deixis "display, demonstration, or reference", the meaning point of reference in contemporary linguistics having been taken over from Chrysippus.
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