Author Topic: Deixis: here, there, over-there  (Read 3738 times)

Offline zaba

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Deixis: here, there, over-there
« on: April 03, 2014, 08:58:53 AM »
I learned from our prof that some languages have a complex deixis system, different from Even English. In some languages there are four forms:

1. here < proximal?
2. there < sorta mid ?
3. over there < distal ?
4. xxx << But how is this forth form called/translated in linguistics?

Is it like here/there/yon/yonder?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 10:04:06 AM »
Hmm. I'm not sure from that little information. There are MANY deistic systems out there. Usually it's best to consider locations. Here, for example, maybe you mean: me, you, them, elsewhere?
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Offline zaba

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 11:36:38 AM »
well, it could also be: this.guy, that.guy, yon.guy, yonder.guy -- but mainly for places: here, there, yon, yonder. The latter distinction used to exist in old English, no?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 11:44:30 AM »
I am not familiar with the yon/yonder distinction or, more importantly, whether that is what your instructor was discussing.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 11:59:47 AM by djr33 »
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Offline zaba

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 11:49:45 AM »
Well, it wasn't my instructor so much as I read it here:
http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/tools-at-lingboard/pdf/DeixisQuest.pdf
Under "spatial deixis"

Quote
Many languages, however, may  display a two-term or three-term positional system, designating locations in space with  reference to the position of the Speaker (cq. ‘this’=near the Speaker, versus ‘that’=near  the Hearer and/or ‘yonder’=not-near any of the Speech participants)

I think I found a language with four terms. Yerp! This can't be so strange, can it?

Offline zaba

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 11:52:07 AM »
Nope, it exists Tlingit anyway.

 8)

Offline Daniel

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 12:03:47 PM »
1st, 2nd and 3rd person distinctions are not uncommon at all-- found in Spanish, for example, and many other languages. That's where Old(er) English "yon(der)" fits.

A forth distinction doesn't fit very well within the sense of 1st/2nd/3rd distinctions. So it must be something else.

Deictic systems can be organized in many ways, not just based on persons.

My guess is, assuming the persons analysis otherwise fits, it would be, as I suggested above, some unknown third person, an indefinite/distant "yonder". In some languages this might have to do with referent tracking (so-called "4th person") or with evidentiality (for example, is it visible?).

Other languages just do things differently. Some North American languages have around 7 different demonstratives that relate to geographic locations (river, mountain) or relative directions (up-river, down-river, across-river) within that environment.


Short answer: you'd need to actually look at what it means. Otherwise we're just guessing. There are probably infinitely many possibilities, and I don't know of a "standard" 4th demonstrative, nor would that necessarily apply to this language.
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Offline zaba

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 12:54:27 PM »
it seems to be like the tlingit one. here (near speaker)/there (near hearer)/over-there (just out of reach from both) /yonder (far away from speaker/hearer)

Offline freknu

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 01:01:00 PM »
ġeon is equivelent to þār "there", and ġeonder is equivelent to þider "thither". AFAIK it's only later that there seems to have developed a non-binary meaning, which might actually be due to the influence of the Old Norse definite article and demonstrative hinn, cognate with ġeon. Thus hēr and þār where proximal and distal, with ġeon developing into a "distanceless" demonstrative as in Old Norse.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Deixis: here, there, over-there
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 02:59:53 PM »
Quote
it seems to be like the tlingit one. here (near speaker)/there (near hearer)/over-there (just out of reach from both) /yonder (far away from speaker/hearer)
Hmm... me/you/we/they? Interesting, if so.
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