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> Deixis is what deictics do, and deictics (ja'ovla) are words that explicitly
> or implicitly point to entities in the real world. Personal pronouns do
> this, obviously; so do tense words, since tense is relative to a speaker
> and/or to the event being spoken of. Spatial deictics, like 'there', exist
> too; once again, they are relative to a speaker.
"Words that explicitly or implicitly point to entities in the real
world" is not the clearest definition of deixis one could think of.
I offer instead, the following (hoping that Nick will agree):
Deictic words are partly self-referential, in the sense that the entities
they refer to are defined relative to themselves. For example, the
meaning of "me" is "person who says this word", and the meaning of
"now" is "the time at which this word is uttered". In principle
a language needs only one deictic word - a word that refers to itself.
Thus one could translate "now" as "time of xxx", where "xxx" is the
solitary deictic word. As Nick says, tense is deictic, as are
1st & 2nd person (tho not necessarily 3rd person) pronouns.