Comparing Demonstratives in Kwa

  • NAA Amfo
  • SB Norgbe


This paper is a comparative study of demonstrative forms in three Kwa languages, Akan, Ga and Ewe. It examines the syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics of the demonstrative systems in these languages: The existence of various categories such as demonstrative determiner, demonstrative pronoun, demonstrative adverb, demonstrative identifier and the under-described 'particular' demonstratives in these three languages is examined. Semantically, we observe a basic two-way deictic contrast for most of the demonstrative systems, even though there are a few variations. The most significant qualitative feature distinction observed is one of humanness. The dearth of the morphology of these forms is noted. Finally, the role of the demonstratives in the organisation of speech flow is considered. The description of the demonstrative systems of these languages could lead to an eventual reconstruction of the demonstrative system in the proto-language.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502