Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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This paper provides a description of the morphological composition and syntactic distribution of the spatial deictic system found in Darma a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Uttarakhand, India. The description is informed by existing typologies of deictics and demonstratives (e.g. Levinson 1983; Diessel 1999, 2013; Senft 2004) with an eye towards identifying similar patterns in other Tibeto-Burman languages. In Darma, we find that the deictic roots can be meaningfully categorized into two groups based on the scale of reference: a distance-based scale (e.g. near and far), and a direction-based scale (e.g. up and down). These deictic roots combine with other morphemes to form sets of demonstratives that are categorized as Demonstrative Pronouns, Demonstrative Adverbs, and Demonstrative Quantifiers. In addition to the morphological structure of deictic elements, this paper explores the syntactic distribution of the deictic roots and combined demonstrative forms and suggests that a set of determiners is in the process of grammaticalizing. The discussion is geared towards contrasting the typology of demonstrative systems with the data attested in Darma and emphasizing topics that should be described in grammars of Tibeto-Burman languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Almora group; deictics; demonstratives; typology
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