Spatial deixis in Ashéninka Perené (Arawak): Semantics, pragmatics, and syntax of the demonstrative markers =ka, =ra, and =nta


  • Elena Mihas James Cook University



Língua ashéninca. Família arawak. Dêixis espacial. Distribuição sintática. Usos exofóricos e endofóricos.


The paper reports on the speaker-oriented demonstrative clitics =ka ‘near speaker’, =ra ‘not in the speaker’s interactional space’, and =nta ‘far from the speaker’. It is shown that in situational (deictic) use, the most relevant criteria for the three-way choice are the referent’s spatial contiguity to the speaker, touching or direct contact with the referent, pointing with a hand or chin, and eye gaze. Apart from serving as markers of nominal definiteness, the bound forms are found to be used anaphorically, as well as to introduce new participants and mark ‘discourse-new-but-hearer-old’ information. The bound forms are also used on the syntactic levels of predication and subordination. On the predication level, =ka, =ra, =nta function either as adverbial locality clitics or modal operators, whereas in clause combining the bound forms occur as subordinating temporal or locative conjunctions.


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Biografia do Autor

Elena Mihas, James Cook University

Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia


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Como Citar

MIHAS, E. Spatial deixis in Ashéninka Perené (Arawak): Semantics, pragmatics, and syntax of the demonstrative markers =ka, =ra, and =nta. LIAMES: Línguas Indígenas Americanas, Campinas, SP, v. 12, n. 1, p. 39–65, 2012. DOI: 10.20396/liames.v0i12.1482. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16 maio. 2022.