Deixis and its Implications For Communication: A Study of Speeches and Informal Conversations

Author: Nnenna Gertrude Ezeh
Department: English Language and Literature
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Certain contextual coordinates which surround deictic expressions could distort meaning of such expressions, if not considered. The resultant effect is vagueness and /or ambiguity in the use of language which invariably affects the overall communication process. This work seeks to explore the various uses of deixis, the problems of improper reference for deictic elements and their implications to communication; in addition to proffering solutions and recommendations for establishing proper reference, using the set criteria for determining what can be considered deixis. Speeches and extracts of communicative interactions between interlocutors were lifted from texts to demonstrate the uses of deixis, in relation to their context of usage with a view to disambiguating utterances in language. In addition, library research was conducted to determine how deixis relates to other areas of linguistics, using five research questions, formulated to guide the study. The result revealed that, while deixis is basically situated within the field of pragmatics, which deals with language use within social context, the concept of deixis can also be applied to many other disciplines such as philosophy and semantics, especially in the inference of meaning of utterances .It also revealed that deictic expressions can only be understood in relation to the context of usage. Finally, deixis involves a ‘coding ’of language which restricts information to a familiar audience
based on their previous knowledge of what is expressed, leaving a listener at loss. It is therefore recommended that further research be embarked on this relatively new field of study, to fully harness its potentials, as an effective tool of communication.

For Further Inquires Consult the Digital Library Help Desk.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: