Difference between revisions of "Shifter"

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=====Roman Jakobson=====
 
=====Roman Jakobson=====
For [[Jakobson]], a [[shifter]] is a term whose [[meaning]] cannot be determined without referring to the [[message]] that is being [[communicate]]d between a sender and a receiver.<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''Word and Language'', The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
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For [[Jakobson]], a [[shifter]] is a term whose [[meaning]] cannot be determined without referring to the [[message]] that is [[being]] [[communicate]]d between a sender and a receiver.<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, [[verbal]] [[categories]], and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''[[Word]] and Language'', The [[Hague]]: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
  
 
=====Examples=====
 
=====Examples=====
Personal pronouns are [[shifter]]s: the word "I" designates both the speaker or sender who says "I" and the "I" contained in the [[message]] that is sent.
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Personal pronouns are [[shifter]]s: the word "I" designates both the [[speaker]] or sender who says "I" and the "I" contained in the [[message]] that is sent.
  
For example the pronouns "I" and "you", as well as words like "here" and "now", and the tenses, can only be understood by reference to the context in which they are uttered.  
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For example the pronouns "I" and "you", as well as [[words]] like "here" and "now", and the tenses, can only be [[understood]] by reference to the context in which they are uttered.  
  
 
=====Roman Jakobson=====
 
=====Roman Jakobson=====
 
=====General Meaning=====
 
=====General Meaning=====
[[Roman Jakobson]] developed the concept in an article published in 1957.  
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[[Roman Jakobson]] developed the [[concept]] in an article published in 1957.  
  
Before this article, "the peculiarity of the personal pronoun and other shifters was often believed to consist in the lack of a single, constant, general meaning."<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''Word and Language'', The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
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Before this article, "the peculiarity of the personal pronoun and [[other]] shifters was often believed to consist in the [[lack]] of a single, constant, general meaning."<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''Word and Language'', The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
  
 
[[Jakobson]] argues that [[shifter]]s do have a single general [[meaning]]; for example the personal pronoun "I" always means "the person uttering I".  
 
[[Jakobson]] argues that [[shifter]]s do have a single general [[meaning]]; for example the personal pronoun "I" always means "the person uttering I".  
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=====Indexical Symbol=====
 
=====Indexical Symbol=====
[[Jakobson]] concludes that [[shifter]]s combine both [[symbolic]] and [[index]]ical functions and "belong therefore to the class of indexical symbols."<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''Word and Language'', The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
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[[Jakobson]] concludes that [[shifter]]s combine both [[symbolic]] and [[index]]ical functions and "belong therefore to the [[class]] of indexical [[symbols]]."<ref>[[Roman Jakobson|Jakobson, Roman]]. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in ''Selected Writings'', vol. II, ''Word and Language'', The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132</ref>
  
 
=====Context-Free Grammar=====
 
=====Context-Free Grammar=====
 
In this way, [[Jakobson]] questions the possibility of a context-free grammar, since the [[enunciation]] is encoded in the [[statement]] itself.
 
In this way, [[Jakobson]] questions the possibility of a context-free grammar, since the [[enunciation]] is encoded in the [[statement]] itself.
  
Also, since grammar is implicated in ''[[parole]]'', the ''[[langue]]'' / ''[[parole]]'' distinction is put into question.
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Also, since grammar is implicated in ''[[parole]]'', the ''[[langue]]'' / ''[[parole]]'' [[distinction]] is put into question.
  
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
Following [[Jakobson]], [[Lacan]] uses the term "[[shifter]]" (in [[English]]) to show the problematic and undecidable nature of the "I" (''Je'').  
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Following [[Jakobson]], [[Lacan]] uses the term "[[shifter]]" (in [[English]]) to show the problematic and undecidable [[nature]] of the "I" (''Je'').  
  
 
=====Indexical Signifier=====
 
=====Indexical Signifier=====

Latest revision as of 18:07, 20 May 2019

Linguistic Definition

The term "shifter" was introduced into linguistics by linguist Otto Jespersen to refer to those elements in language whose general meaning cannot be defined without reference to the message.

Roman Jakobson

For Jakobson, a shifter is a term whose meaning cannot be determined without referring to the message that is being communicated between a sender and a receiver.[1]

Examples

Personal pronouns are shifters: the word "I" designates both the speaker or sender who says "I" and the "I" contained in the message that is sent.

For example the pronouns "I" and "you", as well as words like "here" and "now", and the tenses, can only be understood by reference to the context in which they are uttered.

Roman Jakobson
General Meaning

Roman Jakobson developed the concept in an article published in 1957.

Before this article, "the peculiarity of the personal pronoun and other shifters was often believed to consist in the lack of a single, constant, general meaning."[2]

Jakobson argues that shifters do have a single general meaning; for example the personal pronoun "I" always means "the person uttering I".

This makes the shifter a "symbol."

Indexical Symbol

Jakobson concludes that shifters combine both symbolic and indexical functions and "belong therefore to the class of indexical symbols."[3]

Context-Free Grammar

In this way, Jakobson questions the possibility of a context-free grammar, since the enunciation is encoded in the statement itself.

Also, since grammar is implicated in parole, the langue / parole distinction is put into question.

Jacques Lacan

Following Jakobson, Lacan uses the term "shifter" (in English) to show the problematic and undecidable nature of the "I" (Je).

Indexical Signifier

However, while Jakobson defines the shifter as an indexical symbol, Lacan defines it as an indexical signifier.

Enunciation and Statement

This problematises the distinction between enunciation and statement.

On the one hand, as a signifier it is clearly part of the statement.

On the other hand, as an index it is clearly part of the enunciation.

Division of the Subject

This division of the "I" is not merely illustrative of the splitting of the subject; it is that split.

"Indeed, the I of the enunciation is not the same as the I of the statement, that is to say, the shifter which, in the statement, designates him."[4]

See Also

References

  1. Jakobson, Roman. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in Selected Writings, vol. II, Word and Language, The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132
  2. Jakobson, Roman. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in Selected Writings, vol. II, Word and Language, The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132
  3. Jakobson, Roman. 1957. "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb," in Selected Writings, vol. II, Word and Language, The Hague: Mouton, 1971. p. 132
  4. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p.139