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Icelandic: bendivísun

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Gavril, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Sæl,

    In the last thread, Alxmrphi posted a quote containing the word "bendivísun". What does this word mean? At first glance, it seems to mean "referential reference", but I imagine that's not right. :)

    Takk
     
  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Bendivísun = Deictic reference.

    So, in reference to the other thing in the quote, it's taking the contextual information (who exactly the kids are) and making a reference based on that (whether it's a mixed group or not - to decide what gender to refer to them as). Its counderpart is endurvísun (anaphoric reference) which would reference the earlier noun phrase (i.e. grammatical gender of the word).

    There's a good paper on sign language, which explains the differences of these terms (in Icelandic), here (#11).
    The words þar and þarna are a good example of this. You only use þarna as a deictic reference (i.e. physically pointing at something within view) while þar is used about things outside of view and this goes for metaphorical uses of the word, too.

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    A little while after posting this thread, I realized: if benda = "point", then bendivísun probably = "deixis". :)

    In this context, I agree that endurvísun would be the counterpart of bendivísun, but in general the "opposite" of anaphora is cataphora (for which I don't know the Icelandic translation), correct?
     
  4. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Yeah, when talking about agreement reference, you need to always refer back, which is why it'd make no sense to talk about cataphora in this context and its actual opposite is anaphoric. The opposite to deictic is anaphoric, but this doesn't mean the opposite to anaphoric has to be deictic, it depends, generally, in a linear/directional fashion it'd be as you said, cataphora.

    Cataphora = afturvísun
    Anaphora = framvísun
    Exophora = útvísun
    Endophora = innvísun

    The -ic endings to the nouns (which are far more commonly found) are just translated with having the participle -vísandi at the end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  5. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA


    Thanks for the list of definitions, but I wonder if this should this be the other way around?

    ana- =
    "again" = aftur

    and

    cataphora = reference to something not yet mentioned = "forward" reference = framvísun?


    This page translates afturvísun as "anaphoric reference", though it doesn't mention anything about cataphora.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  6. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Kossuth, K. C. 1981. Unmarked Definite NPs and Referential Cohesion in Old Icelandic Narrative. Íslenskt mál og almenn málfræði. Reykjavík: Íslenska málfræðifélagið, 85-100.

    For exactly the same reasons anaphoric is quite often used to mean 'referring to... again' and is used irrespective of linear direction (unless that is important), is why you will see afturvísun used to translate anaphora. It's more logical to think of it as 'aftur-again' and therefore want to see afturvísun as anaphora - but especially when you're making that specifically opposite contrast, you have to use the correct words. As the study predicts, the terminology is a little bit 'illogical' so it requires an explaining. Usually Icelandic compounds are completely decomposable and make a lot of sense - in this case not so much, hence the explanation is required.

    (Don't get me wrong, I wondered exactly the same thing when I first came across this.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

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