The German Demonstratives

A Study in the Columbia School Framework

  • Lin Lin

Part of the Peking University Linguistics Research book series (PKULR, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Lin Lin
    Pages 1-22
  3. Lin Lin
    Pages 23-64
  4. Lin Lin
    Pages 65-115
  5. Lin Lin
    Pages 117-156

About this book


This book explores, analyzes, and compares the use of German and Chinese demonstratives. Discourse and textual uses of the forms are considered, as well as their locative and temporal uses. The author observes that in both languages the demonstratives can be used to refer to referents. However, she departs from the common assumption that proximal demonstratives refer to entities or places close to the speaker, while non-proximal demonstratives refer to entities or places far from the speaker. 

Having analyzed a representative sampling consisting of a German text and a Chinese text, the author argues that both German and Chinese proximal demonstratives can signal the meaning of HIGH DEIXIS in a system of DEIXIS in the Columbia School of linguistics framework, whereas their non-proximal demonstratives can signal the meaning of LOW DEIXIS. In addition, Chinese demonstratives can be used under more circumstances than German demonstratives due to the lack of articles in Chinese. The author also argues that Cognitive Linguistic analysis is more helpful for new language learners, whereas the Columbia School of linguistics may be better suited to advanced learners who wish to know more about the intrinsic differences between words with similar meanings and uses.

This book aims to help German learners better understand the German reference system. Readers with a Chinese language background will definitely benefit more from the book, as well as Chinese learners with a German language background. For pure linguistic enthusiasts and multi-linguals, the book offers an extensive introduction to the Columbia School of linguistics, and can open a new horizon for learning a new language comparatively.


Columbia School Linguistics German Demonstratives System of NUMBER in German System of DIFFERENTIATION in German Chinese Demonstratives

Authors and affiliations

  • Lin Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Peking UniversityBeijingChina

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Peking University Press 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-981-13-8557-5
  • Online ISBN 978-981-13-8558-2
  • Series Print ISSN 2662-3129
  • Series Online ISSN 2662-3137
  • Buy this book on publisher's site