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The demonstrative article

Demonstratives serve to make referents concrete. Consider the following pair:

Example 1

a. Ik wol nei de film
I want to the movie
I want to go to the movies
b. Ik wol nei dy film
I want to that movie
I want to go to that movie

The definite article is used as part of the idiomatic interpretation of going to the movies, where no specific movie need be involved. The demonstrative article serves to make the movie specific. The distal demonstrative historically derives from the definite article in Old Frisian. It functions as the unmarked demonstrative. Its paradigm resembles that of the the definite article. When used independently, without a following noun, the distal demonstrative functions as a topic pronoun. Demonstrative Noun Phrases (NPs) feature prominently in an imperative construction.

Nouns may be elided following the demonstrative article, which functions as a stand-in for the definite article or the demonstrative.


More details about the demostrative article can be found following the corresponding links: