Palenquero has no definite articles in the singular (contrary to Spanish); scholars (e.g. Patiño Rosselli) had generally argued that the creole does have a definite plural marker, i.e. ma — Kikongo-derived ma (Pluralia tantum). Note, however, that this definite plural marker ma is never obligatory, and therefore never predictable, and may (upon closer analysis) not signal ±definite. At the same time, it is true that when ma is present, the noun is always marked for plurality (but not necessarily for definiteness), as shown in Example 14 un ma kusa 'some things', or ma ngombe 'cattle (in general)', often spelt mangonmbe because it is perceived as a single indefinite (group) entitiy. Schwegler (2007) examines this and related issues in detail.
While the role of ma has been studied to considerable extent, the same is not true of ese 'this', a demonstrative (derived from Spanish ese 'that (one)', which often seems to have article-like functions (implying definiteness), as in ese ma mona lo ke ta aí 'that/the boy that is over there'. The precise role(s) or function(s) of ese deserve closer study. To date, no published information on its use is available.