Demonstratives in Afrikaans and Cape Dutch Pidgin

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Afrikaans seems to have lost the Dutch independent demonstrative dat ‘that’ as well as the pronoun het ‘it’ and the attributive element deze ‘this, these’, while independent dit ‘this’ seems to have taken over the functions of dat and het and while attributive die ‘that, those’ has acquired a proximate reading (Afr. dié week ‘this week’). In the present paper it is argued, however, that the weak pronoun het was bound to disappear anyway, that dat only underwent phonological change (so that dat and dit couldn’t be distinguished any longer) and that the changes in the system of attributive demonstratives are due to developments in Cape Dutch Pidgin.


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