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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 26, 2014

On Cognitive and Semiotic Functions of Shifters

  • Marina Grishakova
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


Shifters or referential deictics combine referential and indexical functions. As compared to non-referential deictics, functioning as spatio-temporal markers, shifters index speech events in relation to the narrated events and trigger shifts between referential domains: they alter the referential or experiential grounding of events and produce the effect of“ lamination”. In this paper I argue that Jakobson’s and Jespersen’s approach allows for a broad semiotic understanding of shifters as (1) cognitive operators, prototypical ways in which embodied mind relates to the world, and (2) fictional operators, or specific functions of fictional storytelling.

Published Online: 2014-4-26
Published in Print: 2012-12-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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