V. R. Rajasingh

Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, India




Demonstratives in Muöt


Demonstratives are a class of lexical items, identified in a language with distinct semantic function of pointing to objects in a given place of spatial reference. Muöt refers to one of the Nicobarese languages and is spoken by the ethnic Nicobarese of Kamorta, Trinket, Nancowry and Katchal islands of Nicobars, India.  Demonstratives in Muöt fall under the morphological category of Adjectives and seem to have different realizations by way of inflection and derivation. Syntactically, they function as attributes. Attempting for a language specific definition and classification followed by an exhaustive analysis for exploring, to the extent possible, various linguistic functions of demonstratives in the day to day communication of the Nicobarese would be the aim of this paper. Besides, the paper would survey earlier classics on Muöt for the treatment of demonstratives. It would also try to make necessary departures from them ensuring the merits of the current study in the context of modern trends especially with lesser known languages. The paper would conclude with a list of findings and a bibliography. Data for the investigation would be drawn from the Andaman Commissioned Project database collected from Nancowry Island between September and December of 2004, just before the killer tsunami.