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Demonstratives in the languages of Europe

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Abstract

The definition of ‘demonstrative’ used in this research is based on Diessel’s study (1999): in particular, semantic and pragmatic features of demonstratives have been the main topic of this study. I have compiled a questionnaire for the elicitation of the data. Because demonstratives seem to straddle the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics, two parameters have been considered: distance (semantic parameter) and the reciprocal orientation between speaker and hearer (pragmatic parameter). The questionnaire including 48 pictures is based on the notion of “dyad of conversation” (Jungbluth 2001). The results have been visualized by typological maps and checked also by the use of parallel texts. The research shows that also systems that at a first glance seem to be relatively simple can vary in a very subtle way in their conditions of use.

References

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