Forthcoming: Demonstratives in discourse

Åshild Næss   Anna Margetts   Yvonne Treis  


This volume explores the use of demonstratives in the structuring and management of discourse, and their role as engagement expressions, from a crosslinguistic perspective. It seeks to establish which types of discourse-related functions are commonly encoded by demonstratives, beyond the well-established reference-tracking and deictic uses, and also investigates which members of demonstrative paradigms typically take on certain function. Moreover, it looks at the roles of non-deictic demonstratives, that is, members of the paradigm which are dedicated e.g. to contrastive, recognitional, or anaphoric functions and do not express deictic distinctions. Several of the studies also focus on manner demonstratives, which have been little studied from a crosslinguistic perspective. The volume thus broadens the scope of investigation of demonstratives to look at how their core functions interact with a wider range of discourse functions in a number of different languages. The volume covers languages from a range of geographical locations and language families, including Cushitic and Mande languages in Africa, Oceanic and Papuan languages in the Pacific region, Algonquian and Guaykuruan in the Americas, and Germanic, Slavic and Finno-Ugric languages in the Eurasian region. It also includes two papers taking a broader typological approach to specific discourse functions of demonstratives.


  • Introduction
    Anna Margetts, Åshild Næss
  • Beyond exophoric and endophoric uses
    Additional discourse functions of demonstratives
    Ekkehard König
  • The use of manner demonstratives in discourse
    A contrastive study of Wan (Mande) and Kambaata (Cushitic)
    Tatiana Nikitina, Yvonne Treis
  • Morphosyntactic and functional asymmetries in Vatlongos discourse demonstratives
    Eleanor Ridge
  • Tracking and recognitional use of Kalamang "opa"
    Demonstrative of cognitive accessibility
    Eline Visser
  • Stsíkiistsi ki stsíkiistsi
    The ubiquity of Blackfoot demonstratives in discourse
    Heather Bliss, Martina Wiltschko
  • Pilagá determiners and demonstratives
    Discourse use and grammaticalisation
    Doris L. Payne, Alejandra Vidal
  • Referential shift potential of demonstrative pronouns
    Evidence from text continuation
    Melanie Fuchs, Petra B. Schumacher
  • Psychologically distal demonstratives in Scandinavian are not “discourse new”
    Janne Bondi Johannessen
  • Space, contrast and joint attention
    Demonstrative adverbs in Russian, Estonian and Finnish
    Tiina Nahkola, Maria Reile, Piia Taremaa, Renate Pajusalu
  • Manner deictics in quotative indexes of Finno-Ugric
    Denys Teptiuk
  • A typology of demonstrative clause linkers
    Holger Diessel, Merlijn Breunesse
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