Demonstrative is the technical term for words like 'this' and 'that'. English has only the two; where 'this' denotes something near or associated with the speaker and 'that' denotes something not so. Most other languages that I've seen (Spanish, Latin, Japanese) separate 'that' into one that denotes something near or associated with the listener, and one that denotes something distant from both of you. So basically a first, second and third person.

Spem has four person-distinctions for this. A first person, a second person, a third person, and a "first and second" person, which denotes something near or associated with both the speaker and the listener.

There's also a time axis. In English (and as far as I can tell the other languages I've seen with three) this/that has a connotation of "the present or the near future" versus the past. For example:

Note also the existence of place versions of the demonstratives: here and there. There are also time versions: now and then.

Spem uses a prefix-suffix structure for these words: there are prefixes for each of the demonstrative persons, and suffixes for thing, place, time, and a couple others. There are also quantifier prefixes, which allow building words like "everywhere", "somewhere", "often" and "never".


For demonstrative persons, remove the initial d to form the past version.



Here are some use examples for the demonstrative persons:

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