As a subject of universal appeal, spatial demonstratives have been
studied extensively from a variety of disciplines. What marks the
present study as distinct is that it is an English-Chinese
comparative study set in a cognitive-linguistic framework and that
the methodology features a parallel corpora-based, discourse
analysis approach. The framework illuminates the nature of the
demonstratives' basic and extended meaning and use, the connections
between them, and the mechanisms that govern and constrain their
trends of extension. The corpora place the English and Chinese
demonstratives in comparable discourse contexts and processes,
providing an "ecological" environment for the observation of how
their behavior fits into the respective structural and discourse
systems of the two languages. The study also illuminates important
issues such as the subjectivity of language, language as a
representational system and a vehicle of communication, the
interface between form and function, and the role of context in
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