How Deixis Became Cognitive: on Cognitive Turn in Traditional Poetics

Ахапкин, Д. Н. (Докладчик)

Деятельность: выступлениевыступление с приглашенным докладом/лекцией


One of the prominent linguistic terms for future cognitive studies of literary texts is deixis. The word is originated from Ancient Greek and literally means «pointing out». Deictic words (or deictics) require contextual information to convey any meaning, they not just show us who, when and where speaks (personal, temporal and spatial deixis), but also may have a meaning which considers the social and reciprocal role of the referent.
Those aspects of deixis were widely discussed last decades by leading scholars in cognitive literary studies, from Peter Stockwell (2002) who implemented deictic shift theory to cognitive poetic analyses, to Reuven Tsur (2008) who argued with Stockwell and proposed important remarks on deixis and orientation in poetry.
Less known kind of deixis, yet valuable for future research, was introduced by German linguist Karl Bühler (1934) as «deixis am phantasma» or imagination-oriented deixis. In this case the deictic signs refer to absent (mental) objects. The central question from a psychological point of view, as Bühler remarks, is “how it is possible to guide and be guided when oriented on something absent”.
In my paper I will focus on this particular kind of deixis and its interplay with metaphor. I will show on examples from poems by Joseph Brodsky, Anna Akhmatova and Robert Frost how imagination-oriented deixis determines different levels of a reader’s access to the meaning of a whole poem or its particular part, depending on her Theory of Mind capacity, familiarity with core conceptual metaphors and experience as a poetry reader.
Период4 янв 2020
Название событияThe 4th International Conference on Cognitive Poetics = The 6th Chinese Symposium on Cognitive Poetics
Тип мероприятияКонференция
МестонахождениеHarbin, Китай
Степень признанияМеждународная

Ключевые слова

  • deixis
  • cognitive poetics
  • дейксис
  • когнитивное литературоведение