chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction

In language, person is incarnated as the deictic reference to a participant in a speech event; i.e. it identifies and differentiates speech roles involved in an utterance. The addresser of an utterance is known as the first person, the addressee of the utterance the second person, and the party referred to that is neither the addresser nor the addressee the third person. According to Lyons (1977: 638), “there is a fundamental, and ineradicable, difference between the first and second person, on the one hand, and the third person on the other.” This notion is unquestionably derived on the ground that the first and second persons are directly involved in the speech event, while the third person is not an immediate participant in the speech act but a mere referent that could be either present or absent.