(1,598 words)

When a presentative particle is used to draw attention to a referent, it forms a complete clausal unit, e.g. hāḏā zaydun, ʾiḏā zaydun ‘here is Zayd’.

The presentative function of the demonstrative particles should be distinguished from their more usual function of identifying a referent (‘this one, this man’; deixis). The two functions are clearly related; in both cases, the particle points the attention of the hearer to a referent. The subtle difference lies in the fact that when the particle is used in the identifying …

Cite this page
Geoffrey Khan, “Presentatives”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 23 April 2018 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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