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I: The Meaning of the First Person Term$
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Maximilian de Gaynesford

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287821.001.0001

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Referential Function (I)

Referential Function (I)

Chapter:
(p.109) 8 Referential Function (I)
Source:
I: The Meaning of the First Person Term
Author(s):

Maximilian de Gaynesford (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199287821.003.0009

The referential function of any singular term is to provide a positive answer to the question: ‘which individual is being spoken of?’, that is, to achieve determinacy of reference. What enables a singular term to carry out this function is the ‘determinant’ of the term. Demonstration is not the determinant of deictic terms because they can fulfil their referential function by appeal to utterance-relative uniqueness, or by leading candidacy given the surrounding discourse or perceptual environment.

Keywords:   deictic term, referential function, determinacy, demonstration, salience, uniqueness, leading candidacy, singular personal pronouns

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