Deixis is a notion used in linguistics to describe parts of speech that always refer to the context of a conversation. Deixes can involve reference to individuals (e.g., I, you, and other pronouns), times (e.g., now, then), places (e.g., here and there), and objects (e.g., this and that). However, discourse-based deixes are also common (e.g., that in that was a good comment). The notion of deixis is tightly related to the notions of reference and context and plays a role in the study of various communication disorders.

Key Notions

Deixes can be defined as inherently context-sensitive expressions: Their senses, or clusters of semantic properties, always individuate certain elements constituting the context, the extralinguistic environment in which language is used. Thus, the senses of deixes act as “instructions” ...

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