I'm going to be talking about demonstrative pronouns, and I need to say "deictic" aloud. Looking at several dictionaries, I have three options for pronouncing the word: (1) 'dīk-tik (IPA: [ˈdaɪktɪk]), (2) 'dāk-tik (IPA: [ˈdeɪktɪk]), and (3) 'dik-tik (IPA: [ˈdɪktɪk]). I'm pretty sure the third is a British usage (I'm looking for the best choice for a standard American usage). The first appears to be the most common, but it sounds odd to me.

Random fact: the first represents a modern Greek pronunciation. The second follows the Erasmian pronunciation. I use the Erasmian pronunciation when I teach classical Greek, and this might explain my favoring the second pronunciation.

Is there any source that recommends the second pronunciation as its preferred option? How have you heard this word pronounced in academic settings? Should I just go with the first option?

  • 1
    How about dee-IK-tik? Also what did a dictionary say?
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 2:30
  • 1
    I put three options from dictionaries. As far as I know, those are the only choices.
    – parap
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


It's number 1, /'dayktɪk/. And the noun is deixis /'dayksɪs/.
A person saying /'deyktɪk/ would likely be taken for someone who didn't know the term.

See here for Charles Fillmore's Deixis Lectures:

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