Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 07:49:26 -0500
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: "this Thursday"
See Chuck Fillmore's 'Santa Cruz Lectures on Deixis' for a discussion of
different 'dialacts' regarding the boundaries of 'next' and 'last.' My wife
and I belong to different ones, resulting in much confusion (and, after we
discovered our problem, interesting clarification routines).
For example, it's Monday and you say you are leaving 'next Thursday.' Which
Thursday is that? We have a marked family difference (mine is the Thursday
of the following week; my wife's is the 'very next' Thursday of the same
week). I am sure this variation is widespread, but, I suspect, it does not
have geographical significance.
Never had a prpoblem w/ "this Thursday", like Alice. But when the
period is much longer, ambiguity arises. Eg, in October, Nov, even
Dec. one might still want to refer to the just-passed summer as "this
summer", though logically it should be "last summer"-- that tendency
to stress nearness on the proximal deictic, rather than future-ness,
actually seems entirely logical too, though it's a different logic!
georgetown u. lx.
Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu