2008 | 4 | 2 | 277-292
Article title

Beyond Reference and Designation: On Interactive Implications of the PronounIin English

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Using English-language material the paper aims to elaborate a theoretical model for the study of personal pronouns which could account for those uses of pronouns that go beyond their typical deictic (or referential) function of indicating speech-event participants. The proposed analysis focuses on the following two usage types of the pronoun I: (1) I say, there are lots of places to see there; (2) I tell you, John is the one to rely on. It is argued that despite idiomatic boundedness of the pronoun I in the expressions I say and I tell you the pronoun does contribute to the pragmatic effects of the utterances in (1) and (2), namely, the effects of attention seeking and persuasion respectively. It is assumed that these effects could be attributed to interactive implications of the pronoun I that typically emerge in situations of dialogic discourse. To account for interactive orientedness of the first-person pronoun the paper puts forward two interrelated hypotheses. First, it is supposed that the first-person pronoun functions as a sign which is indexed to four regular contexts: referential context, perceptual context, the context of the speaker's subjective experiences, the context of interaction. Second, it is hypothesized that interactive implications of the pronoun I are introduced into oral discourse due to the interplay of two or more of the postulated contexts. Both hypotheses are further substantiated with reference to examples of oral discourse drawn from English-language fiction.
Physical description
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