Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


This paper examines the non-situational (i.e., non-exophoric) pragmatic functions of the three adnominal demonstratives, , , and in the Bantu language Lingala. An examination of natural language corpora reveals that, although native-speaker intuitions sanction the use of as an anaphor in demonstrative NPs, this demonstrative is hardly ever used in that role. It also reveals that , which has both situational and discourse-referential capacities, is used more frequently than the exclusively anaphoric demonstrative It is explained that appears in a wide range of non-coreferential expression types, in coreferential expression types involving low-salience referents, and in coreferential expression types that both involve highly salient referents and include the speaker’s desire to signal a shift in the mental representation of the referent towards a pejorative reading. The use of , on the other hand, is only licensed in cases of coreferentiality involving highly salient referents and implying continuation of the same mental representation of the referent. A specific section is devoted to charting the possible grammaticalization paths followed by the demonstratives. Conclusions are drawn for pragmatic theory formation in terms of the relation between form ( vs. ) and function (coreferentiality vs. non-coreferentiality).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Anaphora; Bantu languages; Deixis; Demonstratives; Grammaticalization
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