LINGUIST List 14.2076

Tue Aug 5 2003

Diss: Typology/Lang Desc: Kirtchuk-Halevi

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. pihalevi, Deixis, anaphore, Accords, Classification

Message 1: Deixis, anaphore, Accords, Classification

Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 14:48:56 +0000
From: pihalevi <>
Subject: Deixis, anaphore, Accords, Classification

Institution: Sorbonne (Universite Paris 4)
Program: Phonetics and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1993

Author: Pablo Isaac Kirtchuk-Halevi 

Dissertation Title: Deixis, anaphore, Accords, Classification:
Morphogenese et Fonctionnement

Linguistic Field: 	Typology 
			Language Description 
			General Linguistics 
			Cognitive Science

Dissertation Director 1: Bernard Pottier
Dissertation Director 2: Claude Hagege

Dissertation Abstract: 

In my Ph.D work I point to deixis as being the primary function of
language. This is based on a cross-linguistic analysis of data, both
in diachrony and in synchrony, in ontogeny and phylogeny, and
considering the different levels of linguistic analysis: phonetics and
phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics. The conclusion
is that nouns are pro-pronouns, and not the other (traditional) way
round; that pragmatics precede syntax and that the Saussurean dogma
according to which parole is an emanation of langue should be
inversed: langue, namely each and every human tongue, but also the
property of language as such, emerge from the communicative needs and
from communicative factors which end up acquiring specific biological
forms. Communication in context, which linguistics call deixis,
emerges prior to communication out of context, which needs much more
sophisticated brain capacities of calculation and stockage. This,
however, is not only an evolutionary or diachronic statement: deixis
is the central function of language in any synchronic state of any
language at any age of the speaker-hearer. The relationship between
Saussurean linguistics and mine is akin to the relationship between
Newtonian physics and quantum physics, or between Euclidean geometry
and Riemannian geometry. Only in very specific conditions there might
be a point in the Saussurean view. If, however, we generalize and look
at language as part of human evolution both in phylogenesis and in
ontogenesis, thus including more than actual languages of adult people
and as a part of human nature, which includes more elements than
calculation capacity and memory, then it is our approach that is
adequate. Iconicity, namely the correlation in language berween form
and meaning, is a major device in this framework. I also point to
several properties of language which distinguish it from other
so-called 'languages' (e.g. of computers). Finally, I furnish the
first description of the Pilaga language, from the Guaykuru family,
spoken in North-eastern Argentina..
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