Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Semantics,pragmatics,lexicology, meaning school > Semantics, pragmatics

A Study of Deictic Projection Within the Framework of Conceptual Blending Theory

Author GuoXiaoYun
Tutor XiongZuoQing
School Sichuan International Studies University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords cognition deictic projection mental space conceptual blending meaning construction
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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Deictic projection is a special deictic phenomenon in which the deictic center is shifted from the speaker“I”to the addressee or other participants in the speech event, evn to other spatial-temporal points by violating the egocentric principle of deixis. Since“deictic projection”or“shift of point of view”(Fillmore’s term) was put forward by Lyons, it has aroused wide concern of researchers in the field of pragmatics, psychology and linguistics. Although they have made significant contributions to the study of deictic projection, they have not explored it systematically and comprehensively. In addition,“the related studies at home have far fallen behind studies abroad”(Sun 75). In view of this, The present study is intended to study deictic projection by qualitative method within the framework of Conceptual Bending Theory so as to reveal meaning construction of deictic projection. Based on these analyses, a new definition and classification of deictic projection is proposed from cognitive perspective.In the study, it is suggested that deictic projection can be classified into five types based on the three basic ones put forward by Lyons by adding discourse deictic projection and social deictic projection and make detailed analysis of them with typical examples and corresponding models. Through study, it is found that deictic projection is a process of conceptual blending. Since deictic projection involves the shift of deictic centers, in the process the speaker constantly establishes mental spaces besides reality space, and then through selective cross-mappings to shift the deictic center from speaker’s reality space to that of the addressee or other participants in speech event. Therefore,the working mechanism of conceptual blending can be applied to meaning construction of deictic projection.The significance of the present study lies in two aspects. For one thing, the investigation of the meaning construction of deictic projection from cognitive perspective provides a new theoretical perspective for the multi-dimensional study of deictic projection. Meanwhile, it can solve some problems that can not find solutions in pragmatics, such as pragmatic failure and pragmatic vagueness, thereby indicating that conceptual Blending Theory has strong explanatory power for linguistic phenomena and extends the application of cognitive theories in pragmatic field. For another thing, the presentation and revealment of meaning construction of deictic projection has implications for English language teaching. For instance, a good command of and a flexible use of deictic projection in English tense teaching can help students not only to know“how”, but also to know“why”the grammatical phenomenon occurs, which is also a reflection on cognitive teaching.

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