In the paper, the anaphoric use of the demonstrative ten in spoken narrative discourse is examined. Two questions are of main concern to the study: (i) frequency and contextual distribution of the demonstrative, and (ii) grammaticalization potential of the demonstrative in anaphoric function. Concerning (i), all nominal phrases containing the demonstrative ten (determined NPs; 230 in total) are contrasted with their non-determined lexical counterparts, i.e. those not containing the demonstrative (bare NPs; 400 in total). Each item is then inspected in terms of a set of linguistic parameters. It turns out that determined NPs dominate over the bared NPs in the data — speakers use them in more than 60 % of repeated mentions. The most decisive factors are animacy of the referent and sentence perspective (theme — rheme structure). In this way, two functions are identified in the anaphoric use: (i) contextualizing, and (ii) strongly demonstrative, none of which seems to be a plausible source of potential grammaticalization of the demonstrative into a definite article.