By Elena Semino
This is often an interdisciplinary and useful method of the research of poetry which makes a speciality of textual content worlds, particularly the contexts, eventualities or varieties of fact that readers build of their interplay with the language of texts.
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Additional info for Language and World Creation In Poems and Other Texts
The construction of a fictional-speaking subject whose existence is limited to the world projected by the text can therefore be seen as one of the features that characterize the poetic use of deixis (alongside other fictional genres) in relation to its use in other written discourse types, such as letters or travel reports. The absence of a clear-cut discontinuity between the use of deixis in poetry and in ordinary face-ta-face communication can be appreciated more fully if we consider that the latter also involves active context creation on the part of the addressee.
Let me now turn to the remaining examples of the uses of the definite article. Sentence (8) is an instance of what has been defined as the sporadic use of the definite article, where the following noun indicates some institution of human society which is instantiated by separate objects and events at different places and times. Other examples include references to the theatre, the radio, the paper, and so on (Quirk et al. 1985: 269-70). Finally, in (9) and (10) the heads of the definite noun phrases (man and post) can be identified uniquely on the basis of information provided within the noun phrases themselves, namely by means of postmodification in (9) (the man who crashed into our new car) and of the logical meaning of the premodifier in (10) (the Jill1 post).
The relationship between 'car' and this object is arbitrary (other languages use different letters and sounds for the same object), and needs to be learnt as part of the conventions that make up the English language. Finally, indexes are signs that stand in a relationship of proximity or causality with their referents. So, for example, thunder and lightning indicate a storm, while a particular noise may indicate cars or traffic. The term 'deixis' derives from the Greek word for 'pointing with the finger', and deictic expressions may therefore be seen as linguistic 'pointers', guiding the addressee's attention to the relevant referent from the speaker's position within the context of utterance.
Language and World Creation In Poems and Other Texts by Elena Semino