Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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DAGNEW Mache Asgede, Arbaminch Universty, PhD Candidate, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

The main aim of this paper is to describe the deictics in the Rayya Tigrigna. Deictics are linguistic expressions used to point the time, place, and text location of a subject under discussion. Though Rayya Tigrigna enfolds temporal, spatial, and discourse deictics, in this paper, the temporal and the spatial deictics are given emphasis. Both the temporal and the spatial deictics have different readings parallel to varied contexts. The temporal deictic ʕantəwo ‘earlier’ for instance points to different points of time in different contexts. It points to a time, minutes or hours, back from the time of speaking; it also points to a time many years back in other contexts. In the later reading, the deictic has similar meaning with χ’adəm ‘in the old time’. The spatial deictics in the Rayya Tigrigna are a bit confusing. For instance, kɨjjə ‘over there’ refers to a place distant from the participants but visible to both of them; it also may refer to a place that is remotely distant place that is not physically visible to both the speaker and the addressee. ʔabʔu ‘over there’ is a spatial deictic that refers to a place that is far from the speaker but near to the addressee; it also refers a place that is far away (might be physically visible or not to the participants) from both participants. Such varied readings of deictics of Rayya Tigrigna are described in the paper.