chapter  2
Discourse Deixis in Literature
WithAndrea Macrae
Pages 29

Chapter 2, ‘Discourse Deixis in Literature’, presents a new model of discourse deixis in fiction. It begins by providing an outline of deixis, an introduction to the three main categories of deixis (person deixis, spatial deixis and temporal deixis) and an explanation of how each is co-opted in the service of discourse deixis. It addresses some complexities within previous deictic theory, including the debated deictic value of definite reference and anaphora. It also outlines the particular discourse conditions of written literature and the impact of these conditions upon deictic operations. For example, the split discourse content and deictic projection are explored. This chapter identifies and explains uses of discourse deixis which are specific to written literature, such as to refer to discourse participants in the contexts of their roles (e.g. as narrator, as reader, etc.); to demarcate the boundaries of the ontological levels within the fiction (i.e. the storyworld and extradiegesis) and signal the position of characters and narrators relative to these levels; to refer to a narrator’s and/or reader’s textual deictic centre relative to the material text-continuum, and so on. The chapter closes by illustrating some of the ways in which metafiction thematises these and other discourse deictic relationships.