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Summary Details

Query:   'In Them There Hills'
Author:  Neal R. Norrick
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Summary:   Regarding query: http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-3618.html#2

Summary of responses to LINGUIST query 'In Them There Hills'

Thanks to everybody for their comments:
Jakob Dempsey, Bruce Despain, Nora Wiedenmann, Herb Stahlke, Karin Ryding,
Pavel Iosad, Hans Lindquist, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Steve Hewitt, Michael
Becker, Dan Loehr, Doris Stolberg, Sascha Michel, Chris Cleirigh

The general consensus is to interpret ''this/these here'' and ''that/them
there'' not as a demonstrative followed by a locative adverb but rather as
a grammaticized deictic demonstrative. It represents a sort of diachronic
change in which the bare demonstrative has lost most of its deictic
function and the locative adverb is added to strengthen the deixis.

Similar constructions are found in other Germanic Languages.
Various respondents (Karin Ryding, Pavel Iosad, Hans Lindquist, Madalena
Cruz-Ferreira, Steve Hewitt, Michael Becker, Dan Loehr) pointed out similar
constructions in Swedish:
Swedish demonstrative phrases use ''dem där'' and ''dem här'' to indicate
deictic distance/proximity contrasts. (dem här böcker = 'these books', dem
där böcker = 'those books').

Doris Stolberg cites examples from spoken Danish

denne bil er rød (this car is red) written form
den her bil er rød (this car is red) spoken form
den bil her er rød (this car is red) spoken form

dette hus er stort (this house is big) written form
det her hus er stort(this house is big) spoken form
det hus her er stort(this house is big) spoken form

A similar construction has been fully grammaticized in Afrikaans (Seth
Cable, C.Rowe)

Standard Afrikaans possesses the determiners 'hierdie' and 'daardie', which
analyzable as 'here-the' and 'there-the'.

Sascha Michel points to western German dialects with combinations like
''der do Wagen'', ''der da Mann'' etc. which can be interpreted as the
grammaticalization of a local adverb (da/do) to a demonstrative particle
(derda) (these processes are documented in the Mittelrheinische
Sprachatlas). He offers the references below.

Bellmann, Günter (1990): Pronomen und Korrektur: Zur Pragmalinguistik der
persönlichen Referenzformen. Berlin/New York.

Brugmann, Karl: Die Demonstrativpronomina der indogermanischen Sprachen.
Eine bedeutungsge-schichtliche Untersuchung.

Girnth, Heiko (2000): Untersuchungen zur Theorie der Grammatikalisierung am
Beispiel des Westmitteldeutschen. Tübingen.

Lorenz, Gunter (2002): Really worthwile or not really significant? A
corpus-based approach to the delexicalization and grammaticalization of
intensifiers in Modern English. In: Wischer, Ilse/ Diewald, Gabriele
(Hgg.): New Reflections on Grammaticalization. Amsterdam/Philadelphia.

Mittelrheinischer Sprachatlas Band 5 (2002). Morphologie (Forschungsstand,
Strukturgrenzen,...). Von Günter Bellmann, Joachim Herrgen und Jürgen Erich
Schmidt. Unter Mitarbeit von Georg Drenda, Heiko Girnth und Marion Klenk.

Sandhöfel-Sixel, Judith (1988): Modalität und gesprochene Sprache.
Ausdrucksformen subjektiver Bewertung in einem lokalen Substandard des

Antonio Vicente Casas Pedrosa cites a publication dealing with this and
other noun phrase constructions in which the noun is premodified by an
adverb in English (e.g. the then president, the back garden, the upstairs
room, etc.).

''A Corpus-based preliminary overview of noun-premodifying adverbs, or
adverb shift''.
by Rosa María Viera Huertas, Antonio Vicente Casas Pedrosa and Ramón Mesa
The Grove (Working Papers on English Studies), 2000.

Chris Cleirigh notes related constructions in Irish:

an = the
anseo = here (seo! = here!)
ansin = there

an cat seo = this cat
an cat sin = that cat

seo bord agus sin cathaoir = this here is a table and that there is a chair

LL Issue: 17.178
Date Posted: 18-Jan-2006


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