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A.

FITRIA HANIM
157835459
P2TK 2015

DEIXIS AND DISTANCE

1. Introduction
Communication is an essential part of life. No one can deny that it has great role
in human life. We cannot imagine how if our live without communication among the
people around us. There will be nothing. No way of talking anything to anyone, no way
to built a relationship with other, no way of share ideas and information, and so on. As
a social being, interaction between one with another by means of language is
unavoidable.
Language is a system of sounds and words to express ones personal reactions,
emotions and thoughts as well as to share information in daily social life
(Goldstein:2008). In addition, according to Sapir (1921) language is a purely human
and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means
of voluntarily produced symbols. Language is meaningful, when the meaning is
conveyed though language, people use language to interact and establish relations, to
influence their behavior and express than expressions of the word.
Pragmatics is concerned with the study of the relationship between expression
and the use of this expression in a communicative situation, particularly the
relationship between sentences and context and situation in which they occur. In
simply, pragmatic is the study how people get the meaning from an utterance which
uttered by other people. The utterances meaning consists of two kinds; the literal
meaning and the contextual meaning. Pragmatics concerns with the contextual
meaning (implied meaning). The contextual meaning means the meaning beyond the
utterance. To get the contextual meaning, people should consider with the factors
which include in the conversation. Those are the internal factor (who speaks, to whom,
when, where, and about what) and the external factor (ages, power, status).
Levinson (1983) states that deixis concerns the way in which languages
encode or grammaticalize features of the context of utterance or speech event, and
thus also concerns ways in which the interpretation of utterances depends on the
analysis of that context of utterance.
2. Deixis
Deixis is clearly a form of referring that is tied to the speakers context, with the
most basic distinction between deictic expressions being near speaker versus
away from speaker (Yule:1996). It can be simplified into technical term for one of
the most basic things we can do with utterances. Deixis is a word or phrase which
directly relates an utterance to a person, time, place, social and discourse. For
example:

I bring you a cup of coffee. I put it here

The word I, you, it, and here are deixis. I refers to the speaker, you refers to the
addressee, it refers to a cup of coffee, and here refers to a particular place that
showed by the speaker.
Deixis can also interpreted as an expression which has exact meaning but
varies with the context in which is uttered.
I will meet you an hour later there. Im still here now.
The utterance can be interpreted into exact various meanings. It depends on
the context itself; who is the speaker and to whom, where he speaks and when. For
instance:
1. If the utterance uttered by a director to his secretary by phone. The directors
position is still in his client office. Whereas, his secretary is in the office. We can
conclude that the speaker (director) needs to meet his secretary an hour later (if
he speaks at 4, it means they will meet at 5) in his office. So, I = the director, you
= the secretary, there = directors office, here = his client office
2. If the utterance uttered by a husband to his wife in face to face communication.
The context is a wife asks her husband to go to her mothers house but her
husband is still planting flower in the garden. So the exact meaning of the
utterance is the speaker (husband) will meet his wife at her mothers house an
hour later (if he speaks at 8a.m it means they will meet at 9a.m) as he still in the
garden when he utters the utterance. I = husband, you = his wife, there = wifes
mother house, here = in the garden.
3. If we found the utterance (in written form) hangs on our doors home,
consequently we cannot interpret the exact meaning. As we do not know the
exact context of the utterance.
In conclusion, first, to avoid misunderstanding and to make the
communication successful-between the speaker and the addressee-we should
create the clear context. Everything must clear. Who speaks, to whom, where and
when he/she speaks. Deixis is nothing without clear context. Second, one utterance
can be interpreted into various exact meaning by using deixis. It depends on the
context given.

2.1 Deictic Center


The deictic center is the speakers location and time during the
production of the utterance (Yule:1996). Deictic center relates to the proximal
form (near to the speaker). The proximal terms are this, here, and now.
When the location of the speaker is far away from the deictic center is called
distal. The distal terms are that, there, and then.
Please take me that book
The term that book indicates that the deictic center in the utterance is
far away from the speaker.

(*Illustration of deictic center is taken from google)

2.2 Deictic Expression


Deictic expression is any linguistic form used to accomplish this
pointing. Deictic expression also called indexical. There are some deictic
expression in point people, thing, or place.
1. Personal pronoun; I (1st person) as speaker, you (2nd person) as
addressee, she/he/it (3rd person) as the object.
2. Demonstrative pronoun; this/these (proximal form), that/these (distal form)
3. Tenses; present (proximal form), past/future (distal form).
4. Time adverbial; now, then, tomorrow, last week, next month.
5. Other expressions; here/go (proximal form), there/come (distal form)

2.3 Types of Deixis


There are two opinions from the expert in determine the types of deixis.
The first opinion comes from Levinson (1983) who divided deixis into five
kinds, 1. Person deixis, 2. Time Deixis, 3. Place deixis, 4. Discourse deixis,
and 5. Social Deixis. In the other hand, Yule (1996) divided the deixis into
three typess. Those are person deixis, spatial deixis, and temporal deixis.
2.3.1 Person Deixis
Person deixis is used to point the participant in the conversation. To
point the person deixis, we use the personal pronoun; the first person,
the second person, and the third person. In deictic term, third person is
not a direct participant in basic (I-you) interaction. As the third person
pronouns are consequently distal forms in term of person deixis.
Here some deictic expressions that is used to point the object; I (to
point the speaker as the first person), you (to point the addressee as
the second person), he/she/it (to point the other participants out from
the conversation).

Jim : I will wait you here tomorrow


Jane : Oke

The utterance is uttered by Jim to his wife to make an appointment.


The conversation is done in two-way communication and face-to face
communication. The person deixis I refers to Jim as the speaker and
You refer to Jims wife as the addressee. We can conclude that on the
conversation above will have no misunderstanding and
misinterpretation. It is clear who the speaker is and to whom he speaks.
It will be different when we find a note on the way which reads:

Please meet me an hour later

We dont know who to meet. We cant not interpret the person


deixis me if we dont know the context of the utterance. As we dont
know who the speaker is and to whom he/she speaks.
a. We want a refund
b. Were in lucky

In sentence (a) there is a potential ambiguity in such uses which


allows two different interpretations. There is an exclusive we (speaker
plus other(s), excluding addressee). In sentence (b) there an inclusive
we (speaker and addressee included).

2.3.2 Spatial Deixis


Spatial deixis is used to point a location. The most frequent words
that carry deictic characteristics are the demonstrative pronouns, such
as this/ that and these/ those. Other expressions that belong to this
category are the adverbs here/there. The adverb here/there is for the
basic distinction.
Spatial deixis also implies some proximal or distal interpretations.
For instance, here/this/ these locate something near to the speaker.
Anyway we still cannot indicate the complete meaning of the utterance
because here might refer to every kind of area, might be in this room, a
city or a country. On the other hand, there/that/those locate something
far from the speaker.

I will put your book here

The utterance above will not arise the multiple interpretations when
the speaker and addressee are in face to face communication. The
word here is belong to the spatial deixis which indicates a particular
location/place which is showed by the speaker.
However, it does not apply to the following context of an utterance
which is recorded of a telephone answering machine.
I am not here now
When the utterance is uttered by a telephone answering machine, it
will appear the multiple interpretations. Since, the speakers location is
not absolute. He/she might be outside home, on the way, at the office or
other place.

2.3.3 Temporal Deixis


Temporal deixis or time deixis is used to indicated the time. Time
deixis refers to an expression in relation to point to certain word.
Temporal deixis shows in:
1. Time Adverbial
Single deictic word; yesterday, now, then, tomorrow and soon
Complex deictic word; next day, last week, two days ago
2. Tenses
Present tense = proximal form
Future and past tense = distal form
According to Levinson(1983) time deixis also concern on
calendrical and non-calendrical units. In general, time is measured in
cycles of days and nights, months, seasons, and years. For instance,
when the speaker use time deixis tomorrow it relates to the next day of
the utterance occurred. It means the time deixis consider with the
calendrical units. Calendrical and non-calendrical unit can serve as
measurement to specified on absolute time, named a fixed origo. For
instance, I will visit you in July 2016. The time deixis July 2016 is a
fixed origo which belong to absolute time.
In time deixis we also should give an attention to Coding Time, the
time an utterance is actually produced, and the Receiving Time, the
time of reception by the addressee.

Free desert tomorrow


If we notice this sign outside a restaurant and come back the next
day we will still be one day too early for free desert because the CT
cannot be fixed and the relevant utterance time is not clear.
When we find a following notice on someones office door;
Ill be back in an hour
We cant know when the writer will return, because we do not know
when it was written or the CT is not clear.
3. Conclusion
Deixis is reference by means of an expression whose interpretation is relative to
the context of the utterance, such as: who is speaking, the time or place of
speaking, the gesture of the speaker, or the current location in discourse.