Nordic Journal of Linguistics

Research Article

Token-reflexive, anaphoric and deictic functions of ‘here’

Thorstein Fretheima1, Nana Aba Appiah Amfoa2 and Ildikó Vaskóa3

a1 Department of Language and Communication Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.

a2 Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 61, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

a3 ELTE University of Budapest, Department of Scandinavian Studies, H-1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 5.


There are basically three ways in which the reference of a token of the English proximal spatial indexical here and corresponding terms in other languages can be resolved in the context-dependent, pragmatic phase of the addressee's determination of the propositional content of an utterance that contains this adverbial adjunct. ‘Here’ may refer reflexively to the place of utterance, including minimally the spot occupied by the speaker (token-reflexive reference), it may be anaphoric upon a discourse antecedent that provides information necessary for identification of the referent (anaphoric reference), or resolution of the reference depends on information derived from processing of a perceptual stimulus (deictic reference). These three pragmatic paths to resolution of the reference of proximal spatial indexicals are not mutually exclusive, so they do not warrant postulation of lexical ambiguity, at least not the traditional kind of ambiguity based on differences in conceptual meaning.