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(2,402 words)

Author(s): Anna Bonifazi
Abstract ‘Topic’ expresses a relation concerning the informational status of discourse fragments (within and beyond single sentences) with respect to other discourse fragments, the latter encoding other statuses such as ‘focus’ or ‘comment’. Although the term intuitively seems simple, the concept actually proves difficult to pin down. Descriptions of topic functions and topic constituents greatly vary across different languages. The different readings regarding Ancient Greek texts include the dis…
Date: 2013-11-01

Deixis (including 1st and 2nd Person)

(5,523 words)

Author(s): Anna Bonifazi
Abstract ‘Deixis’ (from the Greek verb deı́knumi ‘show’, Lat. demonstratio) is the phenomenon according to which specific words direct one’s attention to some extralinguistic entity (somebody, something, some place, some moment) whose ultimate referent remains unspecified; communication participants have to rely on the extralinguistic context to assign the intended referent. In Ancient Greek deixis often leads to complex interpretations of messages because of our insufficient knowledge about the ad hoc extra-linguistic context and because of its variations in sco…
Date: 2013-11-01