Semantic domains of demonstratives and articles: A view of deictic referentiality explored on the paradigm of Croatian demonstratives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We argue that the meanings of demonstratives and articles can be analysed in terms of a combination of the spatial domain and a small set of semantic domains. We propose that deictic terms have a 'fast semantics' in the sense that they get their meaning in the course of the communicative act, as a result of an interaction between the interlocutors, which ultimately leads to referential anchoring. We focus on the semantics of demonstratives, presenting a case study of the very rich paradigm of Croatian demonstratives. We submit that articles refer to an 'epistemic' domain that forms part of the semantic space of the common ground that is built up during a discoursive act. Finally, we compare the semantics of deictic expressions with the specificatory and predicative functions of adjectives.


External organisations
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Rijeka
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Languages


  • Articles, Cognitive semantics, Croatian, Demonstratives, Pointing, Semantic domain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-118
Early online date2017 Nov 27
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan
Publication categoryResearch

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