Demonstratives are deictic expressions such as English ‘this’ and ‘that’ which indicate the relative distance of a referent in the speech situation in relation to the speaker’s location. This chapter considers the order of adnominal demonstrative and noun.
Demonstratives are often homonymous with, or derive from, deictic locational adverbs such as ‘here’ and ‘there’, and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from them. Among the criteria for the demonstrative status of such elements are the following:
The demonstrative differs in shape from the spatial adverbs (French cette femme-ci ‘this woman’ vs. ici ‘here’).
The spatial adverbs are the only available demonstratives in the language, as in Papiamentu, where ‘this house’ can only be rendered by e kas aki, lit. ‘the house here’; e kas without aki means ‘the house’ and not ‘this house’.
The combination of the demonstrative and the adverb is obligatory, i.e. if in a given language only this house here may be used, but not *this house.
This chapter is based on Dryer 2005h; see also Chapter 33 in this volume on distance contrasts in demonstratives.
We distinguish the following three values:
|Demonstrative word precedes noun||36||20||56|
|Demonstrative word follows noun||19||15||34|
|Demonstrative simultaneously before and after noun||0||7||7|
Value 1 (demonstrative word precedes noun) is the most widespread value among the APiCS languages. It occurs in all areas and in all language types.
Value 2 (demonstrative word follows noun), like value 1, occurs in all areas and in all language types, but is less frequent than value 1, although still fairly common.
Value 3 (demonstrative simultaneously before and after noun) only occurs as a shared value in seven languages. There are two subtypes: (i) the same element precedes and follows the noun, and (ii) the demonstrative precedes and a locative adverb follows the noun.
The second subtype occurs in two English-based creoles (Creolese and Krio), in two French-based creoles (Martinican Creole and Reunion Creole), and in one Portuguese-based creole (Casamancese Creole). In Creolese, we find dem tings o [dem.pl.dist things dem.dist] ‘those things’ (Devonish & Thompson 2013), in Reunion Creole se fanm-la ‘this/that woman’ [dem.sg woman dem] (Bollée 2013), and in Casamancese Creole e kacor-li [dem dog-here] ‘this dog’ (Biagui & Quint 2013). The other examples are:
Almost all authors claim that the constructions of both subtypes are topic constructions or otherwise emphatic.
Note that in the case of the second subtype of value 3, it is not fully clear whether criterion (iii) of §1 applies, so one might say that these circumposed elements are not demonstratives, but combinations of demonstratives and spatial adverbs (remember that all languages share this value with one of the other values which only imply one demonstrative element). It is only in Casamancese Creole that the situation is more complicated. The simple prenominal demonstrative e has only a deictic (proximal) function, whereas the simple prenominal demonstrative kel has exclusively anaphoric functions; in order to fulfil a deictic function, kel must obligatorily combine with a postnominal locative adverb.
There is no specific areal distributional pattern for value 1 (noun-demonstrative) and value 2 (demonstrative-noun), and also no specific distributional pattern according to language type or lexifier(s).
The languages in WALS show a clearer picture: value 2 is predominant in Africa and Southeast Asia, whereas value 1 predominates in Europe, in the rest of Asia, and in the Americas. Numerically, there is almost no difference between value 1 and value 2 in WALS. The predominance of value 1 (against value 2) in the APiCS languages is related to the influence of the European lexifiers in the formation of these languages. Inversely, where APiCS languages have value 2, substrate influence may be invoked, except in cases where the lexifier itself has postnominal demonstratives, as is the case with Lingala or Juba Arabic.