How to point at discourse referents: On anaphoric uses of complex demonstratives

  • Stefan Hinterwimmer


The topic of this paper is an unexpected contrast between complex demonstratives and definite descriptions on their respective anaphoric or bound uses: While it is entirely natural to pick up two discourse referents introduced by indefinites in the preceding sentence via definite descriptions, picking them up via complex demonstratives leads to infelicity. If only one of the two discourse referents is picked up by a complex demonstrative, while the other is either not picked up at all, or by a definite description, in contrast, the resulting minitext is again felicitous. Finally, two complex demonstratives can co-occur in a sentence if their use is accompanied by a pointing gesture in the direction of a perceptually salient individual. I will show that this pattern can be accounted for if complex demonstratives not only on their deictic, but also on their anaphoric or bound uses are assumed to be accompanied by (abstract or concrete) demonstrations (Bühler, 1934; Roberts, 2002) that may not have overlapping trajectories.
How to Cite
Hinterwimmer, S. (2019). How to point at discourse referents: On anaphoric uses of complex demonstratives. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 495-514.