Towards a Taxonomy of Linguistic
Department of Linguistics, Kobe University
June 21, 2007
D. Y. Oshima (JSPS Research Fellow at Kobe University)
[email protected]
1. Introduction
The notion of perspective plays important
roles in many aspects of natural languages,
such as:
construction alternations, anaphora (syntax)
deixis & indexicality (semantics)
functional sentence perspective (semanticspragmatics interface)
narrative styles, discourse structures (pragmatics
and beyond)
Various notions subsumed by or closely
related to linguistic perspective have been
discussed under different terms in different
empathy, deixis, logophoricity, topicality,
subjectivity, figure-ground, attention focus, …
In this talk, I take up and discuss three major
(i) deixis (直示)
(ii) empathy (共感的視点)
(iii) logophoricity (発話主体指示性)
and examine interactions between them.
2. Deixis
The term “deixis” has received various
(narrow or wide) definitions.
“Those expressions whose meanings are
contingent on the context of utterance”?
Major types of deictic expressions:
indexicals/demonstratives (I, now, here, this, etc.)
deictic motion verbs (go, come, etc.)
deictic angular expressions (to the right of, etc.)
A common assumption:
(i) The meanings of deictic expressions are determined
relative to the contextually provided deictic center.
(ii) The center typically matches the speaker, but may be
shifted on occasion.
In actuality, the “center” needs to be defined
differently for different classes of deictic expressions.
In other words, there is no unitary concept of
“center” that is valid for all types of deictic
Indexicals (指標子)
 (pure) indexicals: I, here, now, etc.
 demonstratives: this (book), that (man), etc.
Indexicals have no descriptive contents, but directly refer to
objects (Kaplan 1977, Chierchia & McConell-Ginet 2000).
The referents (meanings) of indexicals are determined relative to
the context of utterance, which can be formally defined as the
tuple of:
<agent (speaker), addressee (hearer), time, place, …>
Indexicals that require an accompanying act of demonstration
are called demonstratives, and are distinguished from pure
“center” for indexicals = the context of utterance (in
the Kaplanian sense) =
<agent, addressee, time, place, …>
Since indexicals always refer to the context of
utterance (by definition), the center for indexicals
cannot be shifted.
possible exception:
(大人が泣いている子供に) 「ボク、どうしたの?」
Deictic motion verbs
Deictic motion verbs: English go and come and their counterparts
in other languages.
(1a) 太郎が僕のところに来た。
(1b) 太郎が僕のところに行った。
(2a) 昨日、太郎が花子のところに行ったらしい。
(2b) 昨日、太郎が花子のところに来たらしい。
… (今日は僕のところに来るかもしれない。)
A common view (大江 1975, Talmy 1975, 2000, amog others):
GO: motion from the speaker or his proxy
COME: motion towards the speaker or his proxy
Problems of traditional analyses (i)
(3a) Can you come to me?
(3b) I’ll come to you.
If the “center” for go & come can be either the
speaker or the hearer, why are (4a,b)
(4a) ?*Can you go to me?
(4b) ??I’ll go to you.
Problems of traditional analyses (ii)
What serves as the “center” in a sentence
like (5)?
(5) Every student {went/came} to talk to at
least three professors.
Alternative analysis (Oshima in press)
GO and COME refer to a set of individuals
(rather than a single individual).
In English, typically the reference point set
(RP set) = {speaker, hearer}
GO requires that no member of the RP set be
located at the goal.
COME requires that some member of the RP set
be located at the goal.
Typology of GO & COME
Languages differ, to some extent, as to what
can/must be a member of the RP set.
In standard Japanese, for example, the hearer cannot be a
member of the RP set when the speaker is the moving
entity (*僕が君のところに来る)
Individual deictic motion verbs differ as to which
portion of the following hierarchy they make
reference to:
utternce time < event time < home base
e.g. English go makes reference to the utterance time only,
while Japanese iku makes reference to both the utterance
time and the event time. (*明日僕を駅まで迎えに行ってくださ
The speaker has a certain degree of liberty as to the
choice of RP members.
Taro {went/came} to Hanako yesterday.
 RP1 = {speaker, hearer, Hanako} -> came
 RP2 = {speaker, hearer} -> went
The RP set may be considered a component of the
Kaplanian context; with this move, GO & COME
may be considered indexicals, too (Oshima 2006a,
context = <agent, addressee, time, place, RP>
Angular Expressions (bound to an
Intrinsic Frame of Reference:
defined by the intrinsic faces of a reference object.
reference object = the chair
バイクが (バイクの) 右側に倒れた
reference object = the bike
太郎は ({太郎/自分} の) 右側に本を置いた。
reference object = Taro
Angular Expressions (bound to an
Relative Frame of Reference:
defined by a reference object and an origin.
reference object = the tree
origin = Taro, the speaker, etc.
cf. 太郎は {太郎から見て/僕から見て/君から見て/ …} 木の右側
To sum: the “center” means quite different
things for the four major types of so-called
deictic expressions: (i) indexicals, (ii) deictic
motion verbs, (iii) I.F.O.R.-bound angular
expressions, (iv) R.F.O.R.-bound angular
3. Empathy
Empathy: a notion first introduced by Kuno &
Kaburaki (1977)
Definition by Kuno (1987)
“Empathy is the speaker’s identification, which may
vary in degree, with a person/thing that
participates in the event or state that he describes in
a sentence”
The speaker empathizes with X (more than with Y).
≈ The speaker takes X’s point of view
≈ X is the empathy locus (of the clause)
(1a) 太郎は花子に本をあげた (やった)。
(1b) 太郎は花子に本をくれた。
(1a): E(Taro) ≥ E(Hanako)
(1b): E(Hanako) > E(Taro)
In (1a), the speaker either (i) empathizes more with
Taro than with Hanako, or (ii) empathizes equally
with Taro and with Hanako.
In (1b), the speaker empathizes more with Hanako
than with Taro.
Constraints on the empathy relation
Speech Act Empathy Hierarchy: The speaker
cannot empathize with someone else more than
with himself.
(2a) 僕は太郎に本をあげた
(2b) *僕は太郎に本をくれた
(2c) *太郎は僕に本をあげた
(2d) 太郎は僕に本をくれた
Topic Empathy Hierarchy: Given an event or state that
involves A and B such that A is […] the topic of the present
discourse […], it is easier for the speaker to empathize with
A than with B.
(3a) 太郎は、電車に乗ろうとしたが、お金がなくてこまっ
(3b) 花子は、駅で友達と待ち合わせをしていたとき、た
Empathy-loaded expressions in Japanese:
あげる (やる、さしあげる) vs. くれる (くださる)
~てあげる vs. ~てくれる
Certain occurrences of pronoun “自分”
(4a) 太郎iは[花子が自分iに渡した本]をなくしてしまった。
(4b) ??太郎iは[僕が自分iに渡した本]をなくしてしまった。
(5a) 太郎iは[花子が自分iに貸してくれた本]をなくしてしまった。
(5b) ?*太郎iは[花子が自分iに貸してあげた本]をなくしてしまった。
Empathy-loaded expressions in other languages:
Syntactic phenomena known as the syntactic direction and nominal
obviation, which are attested in a wide variety of language groups (e.g.
Algonquian, Tibeto-Burman) can be best understood as devices to encode
restrictions on the empathy relation (Oshima 2007b)
Direct vs. Inverse / Proximate vs. Obviative in Cree
(6a) I saw (dir.) him
(6b) He saw (inv.) me.
(7a) [The boy]prox saw (dir.) [the girl]obv
(7b) [The boy]obv saw (inv.) [the girl]prox
The direct/inverse opposition is entirely analogous to the ageru/kureru
opposition in Japanese (the former being more systematic).
the empathy relation (in a given context) = the ranking of the degrees to
which the speaker empathizes with individuals/objects
the speaker > the hearer > Taro > Ziro > Hanako > …
The empathy relation (ranking) can be understood as a component of
the context, and accordingly, empathy-loaded expressions can be
understood as kinds of indexical expressions.
context = <agent, addressee, time, place, RP, ER>
Technically, RP is a set, while ER is a partially-ordered set.
4. Logophoricity
The term “logophoric pronoun” refers to a
type of pronoun that appears in indirect
discourse environments and exclusively
refers to the agent of reported speech or
(1a) Kofi be yè-dzo. ‘Kofii said hei left’
(1b) Kofii be e-dzo. ‘Kofi said (s)hei left’
In certain languages, reflexive forms have a
“logophoric use”.
(2a) Jón sýndi Haraldi föt á sig.
‘Johni showed Haroldj clothes for himself{i/j/*k}’
(2b) Jón segir að María elski sig.
‘Johni says that Mary loves him{i/*j}’
In some other languages, indexicals have a
“logophoric use”.
(3) Johni believes that Mary likes mei.
The term “logophoricicty” has been sometimes used
in a shifted sense, i.e., in the sense of “perspectivesensitivity” (Sells 1987; Huang 2000)
(4a) Johni was going to get even with Mary.
That picture of himselfi in the paper would really annoy
her, and …
(4b) *Mary was quite taken aback by the publicity Johni was
receiving. That picture of himselfi in the paper had really
annoyed her, and …
(from Pollard & Sag 1992)
久野 (1978) distinguishes the logophoric and
perspectival uses of zibun. (see also Culy 1997)
(5a) 太郎は [自分が僕より頭がいい] と思っている。
(5b) 太郎は [{花子/??僕}が自分に貸してくれた本] を
Authors like Sells (1987), on the other hand, call
both types of zibun “logophoric”.
I myself subscribe to Kuno’s position (the original &
narrower definition of logophoricity) (Oshima 2007a)
5. Relations between Deixis, Empathy, and
logophoricity & deixis
 logophoric expressions = secondary indexicals
(Schlenker 2003 among others)
 Just like the first person pronoun “I” makes
reference to the external context of utterance, a
logophoric pronoun makes reference to the
secondary context (the context of a reported
 In other words, logophoric expressions (logophoric
pronouns, etc.) are counterparts of (primary)
indexicals in reported discourse.
Languages like Amharic have expressions
that can be used either as primary or
secondary indexicals.
(1) Johni believes that Mary likes me{i/spk}.
(Situation: Pavarotti is looking at a man in the mirror, who is
actually Pavarotti himself. Pavarotti is not aware, however, that he is
looking at himself. Then he notices that the pants of the man in the
mirror are on fire.)
(2) Pavarottii believes that hisi pants are on fire.
(3a) パヴァロッティは彼のズボンが燃えていると思っている。
(3b) パヴァロッティは自分のズボンが燃えていると思っている。
(4a) パヴァロッティは『あの人、ズボンが燃えてる!』と思っている。
(4b) パヴァロッティは『俺のズボン、燃えてる!』と思っている。
the de se mode: The opposition of “I” and “he” is maintained
the non-de se mode: The opposition of “I” and “he” is lost
Earlier, we saw that deictic expressions and empathy-loaded expressions may
be treated as indexicals.
This idea allows us to give a straightforward account of the “perspective shift”
phenomena in reported discourse (Kuno 1988).
(Situation: The speaker/addressee are in N.Y.; John is in L.A.)
(5a) John believes that I went to L.A. two weeks ago.
(primary perspective)
(5b) John believes that I came to L.A. two weeks ago.
(secondary perspective)
(cf.) *I came to L.A. two weeks ago
(5b) is in the de se mode with respect to motion deixis; that is, the opposition of GO
and COME in John’s original belief is maintained in the report.
(5a), on the other hand, is non-de se with respect to motion deixis.
There are interesting correlations between
empathy & deixis, as well as between
empathy & logophoricity. (Oshima 2006a,
The talk is based on material from:
 D. Y. Oshima (2006a) Perspective in reported discourse. Ph.D.
Thesis, Stanford University.
 D. Y. Oshima (2006b) Motion deixis, indexicality and
presupposition. Proceedings of SALT XVI.
 D. Y. Oshima (2007a) On empathic and logophoric binding.
Research on Language and Computation 5.
 D. Y. Oshima (2007b) Syntactic direction and obviation as
empathy-based phenomena. Linguistics 45.
 D. Y. Oshima (in press) GO and COME revisited. Proceedings of
BLS 32.
Check <> for detailed information and drafts.
References (cont.)
The rest of the references can be found in the
bibliography of Oshima (2006a), except for the
 Chierchia, Gennaro, & Sally McConnell-Ginet
(2000) Meaning and Grammar: An Introduction to
Semantics, 2nd ed. MIT Press.