British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

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The Use of Person Deixis as Shifts in Authority in Academic Writing: The Case of Students’ Acknowledgements in the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Maroua


This paper examines person deixis as shifts of authority in academic writing with focus on students’ acknowledgements in the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Maroua. It also looks at the role it plays in academic writing. This work stems from the fact that indexical expression of person plays an important role in the dissemination of information. It extends and gives further explanation where nonverbal communication is limited; thus becomes more effective. This work is of great value in language use in the sense that it shows how students use person deixis as shifts in authority in academic writing in their acknowledgements to show that they are the authors of these projects. This research uses a qualitative research design. This is because the researcher culled some messages from the acknowledgements of students of the Department of English Language and Literature from 2021-2023 academic year. Insight was drawn from Levinson’s (1983) theory of deixis. The findings indicated that one type of indexical expression; person was used for these reasons. First, to demonstrate that they are the authors of their dissertations. Second, to show gratitude to those who helped them in any way to complete their school projects.

Keywords: Academic Writing, Students, acknowledgements, department of English language and Literature, person deixis, shifts in authority

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This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License


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