Distance marking

Demonstrative pronouns are deictic expressions that in a speech situation indicate the distance of the referent from the deictic center (origo), which is roughly equivalent to the speaker’s location at the time of the utterance. In the simplest case, they mark proximity and distance (or multiple degrees of the latter), but some languages can refer to the referent’s (in)visibility, height of elevation, upward or downward motion, moving toward or away from the deictic center, etc. This parameter considers the latter type of distinctions to be expressions of distances as well. Both pronominal (noun-replacing) demonstratives adnominal demonstratives (next to nouns) can be used to establish distance contrast (DC).[1]


NoDC: Demonstrative pronouns display no distance contrast.

2DC: Demonstrative pronouns display a two-way distance contrast (near and far).

3DC: Demonstratives display a three-way distance contrast.

4DC: Demonstratives display a four-way distance contrast.

MultiDC: Demonstratives display a five-way (or more) distance contrast.


[1] The parameter is defined with respect to pronominal demonstratives. In the case that adnominal demonstratives differ from pronominal demonstratives in terms of distance contrast, this should be noted in the explanatory text.