Instructional meanings, iconicity, and <i>l&#8217;arbitraire du signe</i> in the analysis of the Afrikaans demonstratives

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Unlike the Dutch demonstratives <i>deze</i> (<i>dit</i>) and, <i>die</i> (<i>dat</i>), which can be characterized in terms of definiteness and location, Afrikaans <i>hierdie, daardie</i> and <i>di&#233;</i> must be analyzed as signaling the meaning <sc>deixis</sc>: an instruction to the hearer to seek out and attend to some referent. Accordingly, the Afrikaans demonstratives present a clear counter-example to Langacker&#8217;s (1997) objection to instructional meanings. We support our Columbia School analysis of <i>hierdie, daardie</i> and <i>di&#233;</i> with both qualitative and quantitative data and reject alternative ones, including Kirsner (2007). The system of Deixis postulated here is congruent with Diessel (1999, 2006), who argues that demonstratives do not always indicate location relative to the speaker but rather function to coordinate the interlocutors&#8217; joint focus of attention.


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