Changing perspectives: Something old, something new

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This paper investigates questions of perspective shift or non-shift against a background of a basic deictic-cognitive divide in our understanding of what comes under the linguistic notion of perspective. In differentiating ‘distancing’ from ‘free’ indirect speech/thought in narratives, it proposes a new lens through which to reconsider a class of examples controlled in curious ways by the narrator’s deictic and cognitive perspective. Turning to a newer mode of communication – that of Internet memes combining set phrases and images in one multimodal package – the paper shows that despite this novelty, unusual uses of quotation in memes in fact join the ranks of existing non-quotative uses of quotation to express a stance rather than genuinely shift to a different discourse source. The paper also touches on the question of the constructional status of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ phenomena investigated. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • be like
  • deixis
  • distancing indirect speech/thought
  • fictive interaction
  • Internet memes
  • perspective
  • quotation
  • viewpoint

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