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Suriya Bunyarang
Sooksil Prasongsook


The purposes of the study were to analyse the types of deixis, their frequencies, and the context of the deixis in speeches of famous Americans. Deictic and idiomatic expressions in the speeches were also interpreted. In conducting the research, both descriptive qualitative approach as well as quantitative data analysis methods were used to analyse in great detail the different types of deixis namely, person deixis, spatial or place deixis, temporal or time deixis, social deixis and discourse deixis and their usages in contextual situations in the select speeches. The research data included one speech each of six famous Americans: Barack Obama (Speech 1), Michelle Obama (Speech 2), Hillary Clinton (Speech 3), Steve Jobs (Speech 4), Oprah Winfrey (Speech 5) and Dwayne Johnson (Speech 6).

Following the traditional understanding and analysis of deixis in the works of pioneers in the field like Fillmore, Lyons and Levinson, in this research qualitative analysis is done in a very detailed manner so as to provide contextual information of all the five types of deixis in each speech. The qualitative descriptive analysis indicates how each speaker has used deixis in a very professional way to motivate their audience and to draw attention to the ideas that the speaker intended to put across before the addressee-/participant-audience. The analysis clearly shows that the frequency in the use of deixis is actually governed to a great extent by the content of the speeches and the speakers’ intention and purpose behind delivering the speeches.

For quantitative data analysis the AntConc 3.5.9 programme was used to identify and classify the deixis used in all the six speeches. The frequency of each deixis was calculated and expressed as a percentage. The quantitative data analysis clearly indicates that in each of the speeches person deixis is used with the highest frequency, followed by other deixis that varied from speech to speech.

From the analysis it is clear that the deixis act like ‘sutures’ keeping the flow of ideas stitched in the pattern that each speaker intended to weave the content and messages in the speech with, thereby producing the intended effect on the audience.


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How to Cite
Bunyarang, S., & Prasongsook, S. . (2022). AN ANALYSIS OF DEIXIS IN SPEECHES OF FAMOUS AMERICANS. Journal of Buddhist Education and Research, 8(2), 1–16. Retrieved from
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