It appears to me that simply represents a situation where definiteness has yet to be fully grammaticalized and deictics are the closest approximation. It sounds perfectly reasonable to me from a naturalism perspective. Maybe one could also interpret it as a definite article with different forms for proximity, I guess.

-----Original Message-----
From: "James Hopkins" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: ‎2/‎2/‎2018 5:10
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: This and That

I am not sure. Itlani has both. The definite article is *ta *(the). The
word "this" is *iíd *and the word "that" is *idá. *They are distantly
related I think but I am not sure how.

My suggestion would be to try out your proposed solution is as many sample
situational sentences as you can and see if any apparent ambiguity arises.

Itlani Jim

On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 12:40 AM, Michael Martin <[log in to unmask]>

> First I want to thank everyone who responded to my post about conlang
> fluency. It's a big frustration I've been having and I'm trying hard to get
> past it.
> Now, my next question. I was thinking about definite articles and I
> wondered
> if I could actually replace "the" with the equivalent of "this" and "that"
> and so on. So essentially instead of saying "the cat" you would have to say
> "this cat" or "that cat". Is this something real languages do? Is there
> anything I would need to be careful of or watch out for if I went this
> route?
> Thanks for everyone's help.