Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Linguistics

Typological tools for field linguistics


Deixis questionnaire

The author describes the purpose of their questionnaire as follows: It is generally acknowledged that perception of and orientation in space are determinant factors in human action and interaction. As such, speech heavily depends on knowledge of the context: Where and When is a sentence uttered, and by Whom. These three dimensions are traditionally seen as the so-called deictic centre of all linguistic events, without which no linguistic expression can be properly interpreted.

With deixis we mean here all cues provided by a language that localise a speech event and its participants (Speaker, Hearer and narrated participant) in space and time. Anderson and Keenan (1985) distinguish three major categories of deixis: person deixis, spatial deixis and temporal deixis. The category linking social and psychological factors is tentatively labelled 'psychological' deixis.

This questionnaire explores these questions in a manner directed at determining the typology of deixis in the languages of East Nusantara.

The questionnaires

Download pdf     Example for Leti     Example for Kei

Developed by
Aone van Engelenhoven for the 2000 East Nusantara Linguistics Workshop, workshop on deixis