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Spatial coordinate systems in demonstrative meaning

Burenhult, Niclas LU (2008) In Linguistic Typology 12(1). p.99-142
Abstract
Exploring the semantic encoding of a group of crosslinguistically uncommon "spatial-coordinate demonstratives", this work establishes the existence of demonstratives whose function is to project angular search domains, thus invoking proper coordinate systems (or "frames of reference"). What is special about these distinctions is that they rely on a spatial asymmetry in relativizing a demonstrative referent (representing the Figure) to the deictic center (representing the Ground). A semantic typology of such demonstratives is constructed based on the nature of the asymmetries they employ. A major distinction is proposed between asymmetries outside the deictic Figure-Ground array (e.g., features of the larger environment) and those within it... (More)
Exploring the semantic encoding of a group of crosslinguistically uncommon "spatial-coordinate demonstratives", this work establishes the existence of demonstratives whose function is to project angular search domains, thus invoking proper coordinate systems (or "frames of reference"). What is special about these distinctions is that they rely on a spatial asymmetry in relativizing a demonstrative referent (representing the Figure) to the deictic center (representing the Ground). A semantic typology of such demonstratives is constructed based on the nature of the asymmetries they employ. A major distinction is proposed between asymmetries outside the deictic Figure-Ground array (e.g., features of the larger environment) and those within it (e.g., facets of the speaker/addressee dyad). A unique system of the latter type, present in Jahai, an Aslian (Mon-Khmer) language spoken by groups of hunter-gatherers in the Malay Peninsula, is introduced and explored in detail using elicited data as well as natural conversational data captured on video. Although crosslinguistically unusual, spatial-coordinate demonstratives sit at the interface of issues central to current discourse in semantic-pragmatic theory: demonstrative function, deictic layout, and spatial frames of reference. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
deixis, demonstratives, figure-ground, frame of reference, Jahai, semantic typology, space
in
Linguistic Typology
volume
12
issue
1
pages
99 - 142
publisher
De Gruyter
external identifiers
  • scopus:60949597014
ISSN
1430-0532
DOI
10.1515/LITY.2008.032
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
85567bb6-5cb5-4431-8678-590b515ae0a2 (old id 1241533)
date added to LUP
2008-09-23 13:42:51
date last changed
2017-07-09 04:32:17
@article{85567bb6-5cb5-4431-8678-590b515ae0a2,
  abstract     = {Exploring the semantic encoding of a group of crosslinguistically uncommon "spatial-coordinate demonstratives", this work establishes the existence of demonstratives whose function is to project angular search domains, thus invoking proper coordinate systems (or "frames of reference"). What is special about these distinctions is that they rely on a spatial asymmetry in relativizing a demonstrative referent (representing the Figure) to the deictic center (representing the Ground). A semantic typology of such demonstratives is constructed based on the nature of the asymmetries they employ. A major distinction is proposed between asymmetries outside the deictic Figure-Ground array (e.g., features of the larger environment) and those within it (e.g., facets of the speaker/addressee dyad). A unique system of the latter type, present in Jahai, an Aslian (Mon-Khmer) language spoken by groups of hunter-gatherers in the Malay Peninsula, is introduced and explored in detail using elicited data as well as natural conversational data captured on video. Although crosslinguistically unusual, spatial-coordinate demonstratives sit at the interface of issues central to current discourse in semantic-pragmatic theory: demonstrative function, deictic layout, and spatial frames of reference.},
  author       = {Burenhult, Niclas},
  issn         = {1430-0532},
  keyword      = {deixis,demonstratives,figure-ground,frame of reference,Jahai,semantic typology,space},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {99--142},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  series       = {Linguistic Typology},
  title        = {Spatial coordinate systems in demonstrative meaning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/LITY.2008.032},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2008},
}