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ERIC Number: ED139286
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Scalar Meanings, Inferential Complexity, and Communicative Function: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Deixis in Modern Dutch.
Kirsner, Robert S.
The Dutch deictics are typically given a locative analysis: the adverbial pronoun "hier" ("here") and the demonstrative "deze" ("this") are said to point near the speaker, "daar" ("there") and "die" ("that") to point far, with "er" (weak "there") and the article "de" ("the") left unspecified (Bech 1952:7). The present paper rejects this view, arguing that the deictics do not actually "point out" and are not concerned with proximity. Rather, their meanings are more abstract, serving to alert the hearer to the degree to which identification of a particular referent (an entity or a situation) constitutes a problem. Various parallel uses of the Dutch adverbial pronouns and demonstratives are surveyed. It is shown that the locative treatment fails and that the data are best accounted for by an analysis of the deictics as asserting different relative strengths of concentration of attention. Finally, an egocentric mechanism is outlined to account for the association of "hier" and "deze" with high deixis, i.e., maximum concentration of attention, with messages of proximity relative to the speaker. (Author/CLK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (51st, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 1976)