Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Usages interprétatifs de la deixis présente

de Saussure, Louis

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2006, vol. 45, p. 19-42

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    This paper focuses on non standard uses of the present indexical maintenant in French, typically free indirect speech usages, and argumentative usages. First, two approaches of indexicality are briefly compared. In the Continental tradition, indexicality is a notion traditionally associated with "subjectivity", with a regard to psychosocial theories of action. In the Analytical tradition, indexicality is rather concerned with a referential problem: indexicals have a specific way of achieving denotation. This paper suggests that the notion of subjectivity should be incorporated into the analytical approach, although with reference to the notion of proprioception as developed in cognitive science. It is argued that maintenant has some language-specific features, which makes it plausible that it is a complex procedural expression. That expression encodes, we claim, cognitive present and situation-change, both components of meaning that are realized depending on particular contextual features.