Demonstrative Pronouns in English and Arabic: Are they Different or Similar?

  •  Reem Rabadi    


The present study is a contrastive analysis that delves into the demonstratives in Arabic (Standard Arabic) and English. The aim of the study is to reveal the similarities and differences between the demonstratives of the two languages by delineating their phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties. Exposing these differences will specify what language teachers have to teach and what language learners whether Arabic or English learners have to learn.

The interesting point found is that both Arabic and English demonstratives share more linguistic similarities than differences. Regarding similarities, both demonstratives are indeclinable in both languages except for the Arabic dual case. The demonstratives’ phonemes and their referents are in some way obtained in both languages. English and Arabic languages use demonstratives in several positions within a sentence in consistent with the syntactic function of the demonstrative. Demonstratives in both languages are ambiguous words; their meaning can be defined through their context. As for the differences, English has only two-dimensional deictic points for demonstratives i.e., proximal or distal, but Arabic displays more deictic points i.e., proximal, medial, and distal.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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