An example of the use of Deictics.


"Deictics" are demonstrative adverbs that function to anchor the referent (subject, e.g., Muskrat, Grandmother) to the speaker (e.g., storyteller) in a specific temporal-time, spatial-place or situation-event context.   Deictics thus help render and bring the participants (listeners) of a storytelling event into a specific time and place, into the story and its landscape.  Consider the following example from the Schitsu'umsh (Coeur d'Alene) narrative oral tradition, Muskrat Trespasses.

Muskrat Trespasses (Little Muskrat and Otter) at told by Dorothy Nicodemus to Gladys Reichard during the summers of 1927 and 1929.  (interlinear transcriptions in 1938 "Coeur d’Alene.” Handbook of American Indian Languages, III, ed. Franz Boaz, pp. 517-707.  J.J. Augustin: New York. pp.694-707; and free-translation in 1947 “Coeur d’Alene Texts,” Part II, xvii - xxiv.  University of Indiana, Archives of Languages of the World.  Bloomington. pp. 185-187).

From the beginning verses of the story.


Examples of the deictics in this text:  xwi’ - “here”      łä - remote in relation to speaker      xwä - “this”

łw’ä - “that”      łu’u  - “there”    hci or kum' - "then"


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