System of deictic coordinates and intertextual deixis in academic discourse

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Until recently the deictic procedure in most research papers by Russian and foreign linguists has been discussed on the material of fiction texts and oral communication, where we deal with situational deixis, functioning within the framework of spatial-temporal coordinates. The system of these coordinates is not applicable to contextual deixis, whereas the system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis has not been designed yet. Such a well-designed system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis would allow scholars to analyze the functions of lexical units in speech in order to find out if they perform a deictic function. In other words, this system would enable researchers to define the scope of deictic elements, which at the moment is rather vague for the time being. In order to develop the system of deictic coordinates functioning within contextual deixis we have selected academic texts, where contextual deixis is especially vivid there, whereas situational deixis is not presented at all. The research is aimed at defining the main elements of the system of deictic coordinates functioning in academic texts. The material under analysis includes 1450 pages of linguistic research papers in English. The main methods of the research are contextual analysis and the constructive method, applied for designing the system of deictic coordinates and describing intertextual deixis. The research is yielded a system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis which, designed throughout the research, consists of three elements: the deictic centre, the deictic vector, and the antecedent / subsequent element(s). The fact that the research is conducted on the English language material does not mean that this developed system of deictic coordinates can be applied only to texts written in English: this part of the research results is applicable to contextual deixis functioning in any text, regardless of its style, genre and the language it is written in. The proposed system of deictic coordinates is used to describe the new type of contextual deixis - the intertextual one, which is a peculiar feature of academic texts and not described in other researchers’ papers. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to define new deictic elements of intertextual deixis: intertextual references in brackets, and lexical units which, being full-fledged units of a local context, point at elements of vertical presupposition. Thus, the results of the research are relevant for defining the dimensions of the deictic procedure applied to contextual deixis.

About the authors

Irina V. Korovina

Ogarev Mordovia State University

Author for correspondence.
Saransk, Russia

is Dr of Linguistics, Associate Professor of the English Philology Department, Deputy Dean for Research of the School of Foreign Languages at Ogarev Mordovia State University. Her research interests include cross-cultural communication, language teaching methodology and deixis.


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