By Maurice O'C Walshe
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Additional resources for A concise German etymological dictionary: With a suppl. on the etymology of some Middle High German words extinct in modern German
8 He shows that dies serves the same pragmatic functions as demonstratives that are deictically contrastive. Like this and that in English, dies focuses the hearer’s attention on entities in the speech situation, often in combination with a pointing gesture. Since definite articles and third person pronouns do not function to orient the hearer in the surrounding situation, dies must be a demonstrative despite the fact that it does not encode a deictic contrast. Similar demonstratives seem to occur in other languages.
Heath 1999: 61). Distance is 39 SEMANTICS thus after all a feature that occurs in the demonstrative system of all languages even though individual elements of the system may lack a distance feature. Turning to languages with three deictic terms, one has to distinguish between systems in which the middle term refers to a location in medial distance relative to the deictic center, and systems in which the middle term denotes a referent close to the hearer. Anderson and Keenan (1985: 282–286) refer to these two systems as distance-oriented and person-oriented systems, respectively (cf.
Table 24. Invisible demonstrative adverbs in Quileute (Andrade 1933: 252) (maybe partly visible) xa´ » x˜e » tci´’tc’ xu´xwa’ Another deictic dimension that is relatively frequent in my sample is elevation. Nine languages have demonstratives that indicate whether the referent is at a higher or lower elevation relative to the deictic center. These demonstratives occur in languages spoken in New Guinea (Usan, Hua, Tauya) in the Himalayan area (Lahu, Khasi, Byansi), in Australia (Dyirbal, Ngiyambaa), and in the Caucasus (Lezgian).