Akofena (Dec 2023)

Discourse Deixis in English and Senar: a Contrastive Analysis

  • Moussa OUATTARA

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 03, no. 10


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Abstract: Deixis is the use of language to point at people or things out of the text. It is found in most languages, not to say in all of them, but its functioning system differs from one language to the other. The five types of deixis identified in world languages are person, spatial, time, social, and discourse or textual deixis. This paper deals with discourse deixis in English, an Indo-European language, and Senar, a Senufo language from the Gur family located in Burkina Faso. English is a foreign language in Burkina Faso and Senar is the first language of about one hundred thousand people. The paper points out how these expressions are used in both languages by describing their semantic features and pragmatic functions. Adopting a Contrastive Analysis approach, discourse deictic expressions are compared and contrasted to show the similarities and differences in both languages for teaching purposes. The study reveals many differences due to the status of English which has more elaborate deictics because it is written and spoken whereas Senar is only spoken. Besides teaching, the paper gives insight into the functioning of discourse deixis in language, and specifically in Senar as it is the first known published work on the issue about that language. Keywords: deixis, discourse, English, Senar