demonstrative or pronoun

claude-hagege claude-hagege at WANADOO.FR
Sat Aug 8 15:49:35 UTC 2009


Dear all, 

- French says c'est Jean or c'est moi. 
- Chinese says wo shi X ("I am X").
- Colloquial Tunisian Arabic, and literary Arabic (when used at all in oral conversation by phone!), which have no verb be in the present, say ana ("(it's) me") or Mohammed ("(it's) Mohammad"), or huna Mohammad "here Mohammed". This stresses that the deictic adverb meaning "here" is a third option, in languages, beside demonstratives and pronouns, all three being semantically linked, since "here", for instance, is "the place where ego is". Cf. also the relationship, in Japanese, between kochira "here" and ego: beside X desu,mentioned by Siva Kalyan, it is usual, in Japanese, to say kochira Tanaka "here (="ego") Tanaka".

    Demonstratives and pronouns seem to be equally distributed in this context among languages . Recall that diachronically, in many languages, pronouns originate from deictic forms.

All best

Claude Hagège, Collège de France, Paris
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