This paper aims to examine qualitatively and quantitatively the use of deixis in a political speech, guided by Halliday’s (1985/1994) Systemic Functional Grammar theory of language. The data examined here is a message delivered, on 10 February 2019, by the President of the Republic of Cameroon to the youth of his country, on the commemoration of the 53rd edition of the country’s National Youth Day. The message, in its English version, is retrieved from the official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon. Specifically, the study sets out to determine the different types of deictic resources used by Paul Biya in his message to the Cameroonian youth, and the frequencies of Paul Biya’s usage of these deictic resources in this political speech. The study reveals that Paul Biya employed different types of deictic resources including 103 personal deixis (52.2 %), 17 spatial deixis (9.4%), 21 temporal deixis (11.7%), 30 social deixis (16.7%), and 8 discourse deixis (10%). In terms of frequency of usage of these deictic resources, the study also revealed that personal deixis were the most used category of deixis in President Paul Biya’s message to the Cameroonian youth and suggested that this reflects the President’s power and dominance over his audience, but also his desire to involve this audience in his decisions, as a sign of his sensitivity towards them.
A Cross-Linguistic Study of the English Prepositions up and down and Their Russian Counterparts (Published)
During the recent decades an increasing interest has been observed in pragmatic studies, particularly in the field of comparative linguistics. The object of our study is space prepositions up and down in English and their counterparts in Russian. We have chosen these prepositions because they present a certain difficulty for foreign learners, especially Russian students of English. Firstly, the prepositions up and down do not have direct equivalents in Russian. Secondly, their usage on the syntagmatic level is overloaded with deixis, which makes their understanding and interpretation still more complicated. We have examined these linguistic units in the framework of theory of oppositions and pragmatics, particularly deixis. The analysis shows that on the syntagmatic level the prepositions up and down display various pragmatic meanings triggered by the reference of motion to the location of the speaker or other subject in space. Both these prepositions are rendered into Russian by means of the preposition po (along) which is deictically-neutral and therefore special means are required to express the meanings of the English prepositions both on the paradigmatic and syntagmatic level.
Deixis (the use of this, that and other pointing devices) in English has its discursive and referential values which are determined by the context of situation. In this study, I examined the use of the (English) deixis, as a discourse pointing device, to argue that the language situation in operation, could determine deictic usage. Using corpus linguistics methodologies, the study purposively sampled three consecutive months’ editions (January 1– March 31, 2017) of four online newspaper editorials from: Canada, Jamaica, Nigeria and the UK, where different language situations exist. In analysing the data, the newspaper editorials corpus was subjected to AntConc Concordance Tool, to identify and classify the deictic markers into types and through simple statistics determined the frequency of use on paper and country bases to show variation (if any). The major significance of the study is to help in understanding the working of language in its environment of operation and in presupposing the usage of language in the different contexts of situations.