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The demonstrative article used as a topic pronoun
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When used independently, the distal demonstrative functions as a topic pronoun. The distribution of antecedents for the demonstrative functioning as topic pronoun is rather a complex matter.

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When used independently, without a following noun, the distal demonstrative functions as a topic pronoun:

Example 1

Gerke? Dy soe soks nea dwaan
Gerke that.CG would such.a.thing never do
Gerke? He would never do such a thing

The distribution of antecedents for the demonstrative functioning as topic pronoun is a rather complex matter, but it seems that it must be free in the sentence in which it occurs, seeing that it may not corefer with antecedents in the sentence:

Example 2

*Gerke sei dat ik dy min behannele hie
Gerke said that I that.CG bad treat had
Gerke said that I had treated him badly

In fact, even if the antecedent does not c-command the topic pronoun while occurring in the same sentence, coreference is nevertheless forbidden. In the following sentence, the antecedent is a possessor embedded in the subject:

Example 3

*Gerke syn âlden seine dat ik dy min behannele hie
Gerke his parents said that I that.CG bad treat had
Gerke’s parents said that I had treated him badly

In the following sentence, the antecedent is embedded in a possessor in a Adposition Phrase (PP) in a relative clause:

Example 4

*De man dy't mei Gerke syn âlden yn it tsjerkebestjoer siet sei dat ik dy min behannele hie
the man who with Gerke his parents in the church board sat said that I that.CG bad treat had
The man who was on the church board with Gerke’s parents said that I had treated him badly
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