Volume 46, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Beyond their basic function to index exophoric and endophoric referents, Thai demonstratives have a host of pragmatic functions to encode concerns regarding discourse organization, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity. Based on a detailed analysis of demonstratives used in conversation, we attempt to uncover the pattern of grammaticalization for this class of words in Thai, and to propose a mechanism that allows them to develop multiple functions. Since demonstratives are indexical signs and are qualitatively distinct from content words, we must view the grammaticalization process of demonstratives differently from that of content words. In this paper, we use the model of the based on Diessel’s earlier work and the based on the “attractor position” analysis for grammaticalization of nouns and verbs advanced by Bisang (1996) to analyze how exactly demonstratives come to acquire pragmatic functions.


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