The thesis describes how Äiwoo formally expresses different kinds of referents; how they are introduced into discourse and later, how these referents are tracked and re-mentioned. Äiwoo has no rich system of reference-tracking. Subject and object markers on the verb only denote person and number, and there often is a potential for conflicting referents. In such circumstances overt NPs must be employed.
Since Äiwoo has no articles and a relatively poor nominal morphology, it has to employ other formal tools to express the identifiability of the referents. The numeral nyigi ‘one’ is used almost as an indefinite article for human referents, while non-human referents mostly are introduced by the quantifier dä. While numerals and quantifiers in general basically seem to be verbs, dä is formally considered a quantifier with quite another distribution than the others; it is a clitic which can attach to both VPs and NPs.
Identifiable referents are expressed by bare nouns or nouns and the demonstrative determiners enge PROX(IMAL) and eângâ DIST(AL), depending on the activation state of the referent.
The thesis also describes some aspects of the use of deixis in the organisation of information in Äiwoo. The locational clitics =Ce PROX and =Câ DIST, attaching to both VPs and NPs, are found to mark given information. The deictic particles le PROX and lâ DIST, preceding both VPs and NPs, amongst others mark arguments in unexpected positions. Together the deictic particle and the locational are employed to demarcate (parts of) clauses, expressing backgrounding, temporality etc. This is probably related to subordination.