Datapoint Sango/Definite articles

In Samarin (1967) I made the mistake of considering ni (with high tone) as both the "restrictive" (now called the "determinant", i.e. definite article) and a pronoun. The latter is ni with a mid tone, which has a logophoric function.

In the 1990s I found that the determinant is being used as a pronoun for inanimate objects since lo 3SG is used for human beings. But as early as the 1950s one could say (and can still say) ni laa [DET FOC] 'That's it.'

The co-occurrence of ni so as in Example 99 is common; they clearly have two functions.

Values

Definite article distinct from demonstratives

Example 59-96:
mbeni melenge ti wali ni, akoli ago na peko ti lo, lo ken’
mbeni
certain
melenge
child
ti
of
wali
female
ni,
det
a-koli
pl-male
a-gwe
pm-go
na
prep
peko
back
ti
of
lo,
3sg
lo
3sg
ken’
reject
This girl, men courted her, but she rejected them.
French: La femme, les hommes la courtisaient, mais elle refusait tous .
Example 59-97:
lo mu melenge ti wali ni, ala kiri
lo
3sg
mu
take
melenge
child
ti
of
wali
female
ni,
det
ala
3pl
kiri
return
He married the girl and they returned home.
French: Il prit la fille, ils rentrent ensemble.
Example 59-95:
tongana angarage ni abaa nyama na ti ti azo so, na ala tene, mu na mbi nyama ni
tongana
when
a-ngarage
pl-ngarage
ni
def
a-baa
pm-see
nyama
animal
na
in
ti
hand
ti
of
a-zo
pl-person
so,
this
na
and
ala
3pl
tene,
say
mu
give
na
to
mbi
1sg
nyama
animal
ni
the
When the Ngarage see an animal in someone's hands, they say, "Give the animal to me."

Source: Samarin 1967a: 63

Example 59-98:
wango so, la ni mo mu so, anzere mingi
wa-ngo
warn-nmlz
so,
this
la
day
ni
def
mo
2sg
mu
give
so,
thus
a-nzere
pm-taste.good
mingi
much
The advice you gave me on that day pleased me a great deal.

Source: Samarin 1967a: 64

Example 59-99:
la ni so mbi gwe na kotoro [...]
la
day
ni
def
so
dem
mbi
1sg
gwe
go
na
to
kotoro
village
[...]
[...]
That day when I went home [...]. OR: When I went home [...].

Source: Taber 1965: 100

Confidence:
Very certain