DEIXIS. In LINGUISTICS, the function of an item or feature that refers to relative position or location (here, there) and point of reference (me, you, them).I and you are deictic because they refer respectively to speaker and person spoken to. The third-person pronouns may be deictic (as in Look at her!). This and these are deictic when pointing to objects in closer proximity to the speaker, in contrast to that and those for objects further away. Temporal deixis may be expressed through tense (I speak the truth, I spoke the truth) and through adverbs (now, then, today, yesterday, tomorrow). Interpreting deixis in utterances depends on the situation: the I in I spoke the truth varies according to speaker, but the she in She spoke the truth has normally been identified in a previous verbal CONTEXT. See DEMONSTRATIVE.
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