Demonstrative pronouns

Червень 10th, 201210:22 pm


Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns differ quite distinctly from other groups of pro­nouns, since they point out a person, a thing, an event directly. The demon­strative pronouns are very different both morphologically and syntactically. For example, only the pronouns this and that have the category of number: this these, that those. The demonstrative pronouns arc subdivided into two groups. The pronouns this, these point out objects, located close to the speaker in time or in space. The pronouns that, those arc used to refer to objects, temporally or spatially remote.

The demonstrative pronouns function as noun modifiers, equal to the ar­ticle and possessive pronouns: this lady, this young lady, the lady, the young lady.

Syntactically, the demonstrative pronoun may take the place of a nominal sentence part or that of an attribute. The pronoun that (those) may be a head element of an of-phrase: His salary was higher than that of his colleagues. Besides, the demonstrative pronouns may be used without any noun. If it is the case, the meaning of a pronoun is defined by the context: The shop was full of worthless secondhand junk such was my conclusion.

Sometimes, as it has already been mentioned, such words as thus, there, here, so, then are also treated as demonstrative pronouns. This, however, lacks consistency, since these words perform adverbial functions, strange for the demonstrative pronouns. The issue is even more complicated with so which, apart from the function of the adverbial modifier of manner, measure and degree, may perform the function of object or predicative, replacing an entire predicative unit or just a word: Jack wasn’t responsible for the loss. The boss told me so himself. Jean was inventive in finding a celebrity to interview and there is no reason for her to stop being so.

Interestingly, the pronoun that is rather frequently used as adverbial modifier of degree, which up to now has been typical of so alone: I didn’t expect it to be that bad! This use is characteristic of colloquial speech, but it only proves that so and that are quite close. As a result, since so exhibits both adverbial and pronominal features, it is located by proponents of the field structure theory on the overlapping part of the adverb and the pronoun.

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