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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


IVANOVA, Anna. Deixis and its role in defining rhetorical space. Rev. signos [online]. 2016, vol.49, n.92, pp.329-349. ISSN 0718-0934.

The present study focuses on the way deictic references can be employed to define rhetorical space using political domain as an example. The paper departs from the analysis of the deictic items found in the 2013 victory speech pronounced by the elected president Michelle Bachelet in the Republic of Chile. Among the deictic items under scrutiny, stand out personal references (i.e., nosotros /-as (we[1]), ellos /-as (they), Ustedes (you, plural), etc.), demonstratives and locatives, such as time and space anchors ahora (now), acá / allá (here / there), etc. These are believed to play a role in (re)configuring rhetorical spaces thereby (dis)connecting the addressees with the message of political kind. By studying the selected corpus, this paper intends to: 1) single out and categorize the occurrence of the aforementioned deictic items in Bachelet’s 2013 victory speech, and 2) analyze the way in which they are disambiguated at the textual level so as to discuss how the president shapes her rhetorical space in the discourse. The results evidence a moderate presence of deictic references in the corpus, where personal pronouns Ustedes (you, plural) and nosotros (we) show a quantitative prevalence. Moreover, the disambiguation on the discourse level reveals the inclusive character of use. Finally, proximal deictic references of space and time demonstrate larger presence in the corpus than the distal ones. These findings clearly emphasize predominant choice of inclusive and proximal over exclusive and distal in Bachelet’s victory speech.

Palabras clave : Deixis; rhetorical space; political discourse; empirical methods.

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