[Lingtyp] person markers derived from deictic adverbs

tangzhengda tangzhengda at 126.com
Mon May 4 18:24:58 UTC 2020

Dear Professor,

Considering the dialogistic nature and therefore the high identifiability of participants regarding 1 and 2 persons (both are here-and-now), it may not be as necessary for them to derive from spatially deictic terms as, say, for the 3rd person, which is apparently 'is not here' and has widely been attested crosslinguistically. 

However, as the dialogistic nature is weakened or the social distancing is widened, for example, as in written or formal styles especially when honorifics are involved,  the likelihood may grow. In classic Chinese,  'zai-xia (at-downside)' for 1s could also be regarded as social deixis, showing self-humbleness and respect for the superior addressee. Occasionally, 'zheli (here)' is used to achieve the similar social value, but of highly idiosyncratic nature, like in the appology 'zheli gei nin peibushi-le' (here to 2s.HONOR appologize-PERF). 

All the best,



Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
No.5 Jianguomennei Dajie, Beijing, China; 100732

At 2020-05-04 22:21:11, "Vladimir Panov" <panovmeister at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I wonder if there are is any typological overview of the historical development of 1st and 2nd person non-agent markers from deictic adverbs ("here, toward the speaker" and "there, away from the speaker") and of the synchronic coexpression of these functions.
I am only aware of one relatively uncontroversial case: the standard Italian ci 'us' and vi 'you(pl)' seem to have derived from the Latin ecce hic "hither" and ibi 'there', respectively.

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