Demonstratives are commonly divided into pronominal demonstratives, which substitute for a noun (phrase), and adnominal demonstratives, which accompany a coreferential noun. In English, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have the same forms: this and that may function as independent pronouns, as in (1a), or they may cooccur with a noun, as in (1b).
I don’t like that.
In other languages, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives are often formally distinguished: they may have different stems or they may have different inflectional features. For instance, in French pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different stems: celui and celle are used pronominally and ce and cette accompany a noun.
‘Give me that book and keep this one for you.’
In Turkish, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have the same stems; both involve the proximal demonstrative bu and the distal demonstrative o. However, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives differ in their inflectional behavior: pronominal demonstratives are inflected for case (and number) (see (3a)), whereas the adnominal demonstratives are uninflected particles that precede an inflected noun (see (3b)).
‘Ali is unable to forget this.’
Map 42A shows the geographical distribution of three types of languages: languages like English, in which the demonstratives have the same forms (value 1); languages like French, in which the demonstratives have different stems (value 2); and languages like Turkish, in which the demonstratives have different inflectional features (value 3).
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|Different inflectional features||21|
Note that demonstratives of the third type may or may not have different stems; what is crucial is that they have different inflectional features. For instance, in Tamil the pronominal demonstratives have the stems itu ‘proximal’ and atu ‘distal’, which are combined with gender-number affixes. The adnominal demonstratives, on the other hand, are expressed by intu ‘proximal’ and antu ‘distal’, which do not occur with gender-number markers. Since pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different inflectional properties in Tamil, Tamil is classified as a language of the third type regardless of the fact that the demonstratives also have different stems.
In the great majority of languages, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives are independent words. However, adnominal demonstratives can also be clitics. Demonstrative clitics are bound forms that attach to a noun or another word in the noun phrase. Two examples from Lango (Nilotic; Uganda) are given in (4a-b).
‘this big dog’
In contrast to adnominal demonstratives, pronominal demonstratives are virtually always free forms (Diessel 1999b: ch. 2). Languages in which adnominal demonstratives are clitics and pronominal demonstratives are independent forms are classified as languages in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different stems (i.e. they have been assigned to the second type).
Some languages do not have a separate class of demonstrative pronouns. For instance, in Korean demonstratives are uninflected particles that must be accompanied by a noun. The semantic equivalent of a pronominal demonstrative in English is a noun phrase consisting of the demonstrative particles i ‘near speaker’, ku ‘near hearer’, or ce ‘away from speaker and hearer’ and a “defective noun” (Sohn 1994: 295) that indicates the type of referent (e.g. il ‘thing/fact’):
‘Who would be able to block that?’
There are other languages in which similar expressions are formed by combining an adnominal demonstrative with a third person pronoun, a classifier, or some other element that functions as the head of the construction (Diessel 1999b: ch. 4). Although, strictly speaking, these languages do not have a separate class of demonstrative pronouns, one can think of the construction in (5) and parallel constructions in other languages as complex pronominal forms. On the map, languages like Korean have been classified as languages in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different stems (i.e. they also have been assigned to the second type).
Apart from pronominal and adnominal demonstratives, many languages employ a separate class of identificational demonstratives, which in many descriptions are not properly distinguished from pronominal demonstratives (Diessel 1999b: ch. 4). Identificational demonstratives occur in copular and nonverbal clauses. For instance, in Pohnpeian (Oceanic; Micronesia) me(t) ‘near speaker’, men ‘near hearer’, and mwo ‘away from speaker and hearer’ are used as pronominal demonstratives in verbal clauses, whereas ie(t) ‘near speaker’, ien ‘near hearer’, and io ‘away from speaker and hearer’ function as identificational demonstratives in nonverbal clauses.
‘This will wither.’
‘Here is your knife.’
Like Ponapean, Tümpisa Shoshone (Uto-Aztecan; North America) distinguishes pronominal demonstratives in verbal clauses from identificational demonstratives in nonverbal clauses. However, in Tümpisa Shoshone pronominal and identificational demonstratives have the same deictic roots, but differ in their inflectional behavior. The pronominal demonstratives are inflected for number and case and may take a “proximate marker” (Dayley 1989a: 136) that is prefixed to the deictic root. By contrast, the identificational demonstratives are unmarked for number, take the suffix –sü(n) in place of a regular case ending, and never occur in the proximate form.
‘This one saw it.’
‘This is our pet.’
While identificational demonstratives can be seen as pronouns of some type, they should be distinguished from pronominal demonstratives in verbal (and non-copular) clauses. For the purposes of this map the category of pronominal demonstratives has been restricted to demonstratives that function as arguments of verbs in verbal clauses - i.e. identificational demonstratives have been disregarded.
In most languages, pronominal and adnominal demonstratives are morphologically identical. In 71.1% of the languages shown on the map pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have the same forms, in 18.4% pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different stems, and in 10.4% they differ with regard to their inflectional features.
If we look at the geographical distribution of languages in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives are formally distinguished, we find a concentration in two large areas. Languages in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives differ in terms of their inflection are especially frequent in Asia and south-eastern Europe. They occur in a region ranging from Turkey and the Caucasus in the west to India and Japan in the east. In the majority of these languages, adnominal demonstratives are uninflected particles that precede an inflected noun, whereas pronominal demonstratives are inflected for number and case, and less frequently also for gender. Outside of this area, there are only a few other languages on the map in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different inflectional features (Somali, Tauya, Epena Pedee, and Lealao Chinantec).
Languages employing different stems are especially frequent in northern and central Africa. The majority of the Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in this region have demonstratives with different stems in pronominal and adnominal positions. Apart from the Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan languages, there are various other languages throughout the world in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have different stems. Such languages occur for instance in Europe (e.g. French), Asia (e.g. Mulao), South America (e.g. Wari’), and the Pacific region (e.g. Ambulas).
There are two large areas in which all demonstratives have the same morphological forms. One is Australia, where not a single language shown on the map differentiates between pronominal and adnominal demonstratives. The other area is North America with the exception of a small region in the Pacific Northwest. The languages that are spoken in the latter region belong to the Salishan and Wakashan language families, which tend to have complex systems of articles and determiners that are formally distinct from the corresponding pronouns. In all other areas of North America, adnominal and pronominal demonstratives are expressed by the same forms.
If a language employs different demonstratives in pronominal and adnominal positions, it is reasonable to assume that the demonstratives in these positions are categorially distinguished: pronominal demonstratives are independent pronouns and adnominal demonstratives are articles or determiners. However, what is the categorial status of adnominal demonstratives in languages in which pronominal and adnominal demonstratives have the same forms? Are they demonstrative pronouns, or do they function as determiners that happen to have the same forms as pronominal demonstratives?
There is good evidence that the adnominal demonstratives of many languages are independent pronouns that are only loosely adjoined to the noun in some kind of appositional structure. In particular, in languages in which the ordering of demonstrative and noun is flexible and/or discontinuous, it is reasonable to assume that adnominal demonstratives are independent pronouns in apposition to a noun (Diessel 1999b: ch. 4). Languages of this sort usually belong to the non-configurational language type, in which words are organized in appositional constructions rather than in hierarchically structured phrases (Hale 1983). Interestingly, languages of the two areas where pronominal and adnominal demonstratives always have the same forms, Australia and North America, are well-known for their non-configurational properties. An interesting hypothesis is thus that the pronominal and adnominal demonstratives in the Australian and North American languages are formally identical because the adnominal demonstratives of these languages are demonstrative pronouns in apposition to a noun.