Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The function of a deictic word in specifying its referent in a given context.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A reference within a sentence that relies on the context being known to interpret correctly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the function or operation of a deictic word; 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. 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

Etymologies

Greek, display, demonstrative reference, from deiknunai, to show; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek δείξις (deixis, "pointing,” “indicating,” “reference"), from δείκνυμι (deiknumi, "I show"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The difference between Doggerel and Motherese is clearest when it comes to deixis, which is the technical name for sentences that point out specific bits of information, such as “This is a ball” or “That cup is red.”

    How to Speak Dog

  • Old IE *sa was a definite *article*, neutral in deixis, like English 'the'.

    Nipping the PIE ergative *-s theory right in the bud

  • Despite any focus-derailing suppositions, my reference has clearly shown that the Korean nominative case marker, stripped of any nuance of deixis or definiteness, is still etymologically traced back to a demonstrative.

    Nipping the PIE ergative *-s theory right in the bud

  • These cues are a result of the combination of two levels of language: The semantic principle of deixis and the use of certain types of grammatical Adjunct.

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  • The demonstrative words 'That' and 'those' express physical orientation in language by pointing to where the speaker is situated relative to other entities specified in the sentence. (deixis).

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  • This question is closely related to that of the temporal deixis of

    PhilGons.com

  • It was a brilliant course (two days of the science of language: what’s not to love?) but it’s harder to enjoy when you’ve only had four-and-a-half hours sleep and then you have to talk about ‘lexical vs deixis constructions’ or ‘M4M (hand and mouth are different) mouth gestures’.

    Embarrassing crushes « Sven’s guide to…

  • I get dizzy at these lofty heights) and am sending down everything that I can possibly get away with because, let’s face it, all the lexical vs deixis constructions in the world aren’t as exciting as a fit man calling into the office.

    Embarrassing crushes « Sven’s guide to…

Comments

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  • JM here, now, knows this and tells you – deixis rules!

    March 2, 2009