perception verbs used as deictic (or non-deictic) presentational particles

Vanhove vanhove at VJF.CNRS.FR
Tue May 2 07:39:27 UTC 2006

Dear Nick,

Dialectal Arabic (at least Moroccan, Tunisian, Algerian and some Yemeni 
varieties, for those I know of)) have grammaticalized a verb meaning 'see' 
as a 'deictic presentational' particle, but also often as an aspectual 
marker. There is a vast literature on the subject. Here is one where you'll 
find other references:
Caubet, Dominique. 1992. Deixis, aspect et modalité : les particules hA- et 
RA- en arabe marocain. in Morel, M.-A. et Danon-Boileau, L. (éds.), Actes 
du colloque : La deixis. Paris: PUF, p. 139-149.A 17:17 30/04/2006 +0200.



Nick Bailey a écrit :
>Dear Colleagues,
>I am looking for examples in different languages where a perception verb,
>maybe something like 'see', has been grammaticalized as a 'deictic
>presentational' particle, or anything functionally close to that (for
>example, it might also function as a non-deictic presentational particle, in
>an 'existential' construction meaning 'there is a X.').
>Can anyone help me?
>The only two clear examples of deictic presentational particles that I know
>of so far are from French and from Classical and Koine Greek:
>Voilà mon ami. 'There's my friend'
>Voici mon frère, Trey. 'Here's my brother, Trey'
>Le voilà. 'There he is' (le is unambiguously the object case, not
>idou hudOr 'Here's/There's (some) water!'  (idou is unmarked for near/far
>idou egO 'Here I am!' (egO is unambiguously nominative case)
>Knud Lambrecht counts voilà as 'a frozen form of the imperative of voir "to
>see" meaning literally "see there".'
>Greek idou derives from the singular imperative of the middle aorist stem
>eidon '(I) saw'. As far as I understand, middle forms were slowly falling
>out of classical Greek, and by Koine times, the middle of eidon is only used
>as this grammaticalized deictic presentational particle. (The active forms
>of eidon, however, continued to be in use, so the real aorist imperative
>'see!' or 'look at!' was ide [singular] or idete [plural].)
>I would be very grateful for any examples people could share with me, or
>references to literature. If possible, please explain what case the
>introduced NP is in (object or subject case, etc.), and whether or not the
>construction is neutral for near/far deixis (Greek idou is neutral).
>Many thanks for your attention.
>Nicholas Bailey
>nicholas_bailey at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list