A word used in place of a noun or noun phrase.

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3answers
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How does Japanese word order obviate the need for relative pronouns?

According to the Wikipedia page on Japanese grammar: Head finality in Japanese sentence structure carries over to the building of sentences using other sentences. In sentences that have other ...
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0answers
27 views

Inanimate pronouns in Hindi

Could someone give me some examples of inanimate pronouns in Hindi? I can't come up with any example myself. I was reading this paper http://www.warse.org/pdfs/2014/ijacst04332014.pdf) where authors ...
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2answers
38 views

Can a personal adjective be categorized as a noun phrase?

In 'File Change Semantics and the Familiarity Theory of Definiteness' by Irene Heim, she calls 'its' in 'Every cat ate its food' a type of definite NP. Could a possessive adjective be classified as a ...
23
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6answers
3k views

Is there any language that uses different pronouns for “we” depending on whether the spoken to person is included in the group?

As in "we are going out tonight" using a different word for "we" depending on whether you mean "me and some other people" or "you and me (and potentially other people as well)".
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2answers
111 views

What is the name of this class of grammatical modifiers?

In French (and many other languages), adjectives and pronouns have different classes, e.g.: Adjectives demonstrative indefinite interrogative numerical possessive Pronouns demonstrative ...
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0answers
29 views

How common are indefinite pronouns in creole languages?

I understand that creole languages from all parts of the world share many disparate features. Amongst them, how common are third–person, singular, indefinite pronouns (like the French “on”) in creole ...
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2answers
71 views

Should common short words be left out of a concordance?

I'm writing a program which will be designed to take a text file, and parse all the words into a Concordance, e.g., a sort of dictionary list of all the words sorted in order, with a total count of ...
3
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1answer
73 views

How can a pronoun refer to a negative indefinite pronoun?

Optional Foreword: I understand pronouns such as 'none, no one, nobody', if they're the subject of one independent clause. But the quote below (encountered herein) confuses me. I ask here (and not ...
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0answers
65 views

Etymology of some personal pronouns in PIE

In PIE we have the following traditionally reconstructed personal pronouns: u̯oe̯ "you two" and u̯ei "we" (inclusive). Brengtson claims that the original forms should be tu̯oe̯ and tu̯ei ...
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2answers
63 views

pronouns with uppercase and lowercase variants

In Russian, there are two forms of the formal 2nd person singular pronoun: lowercase вы (vy) and uppercase Вы (Vy). If I understand correctly, the latter is used in situations where the speaker and ...
7
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1answer
157 views

Why do PIE verbs have suffixes -m-, -s-, -t-, while personal pronouns have m-, t-, s-?

Usually it is assumed that in PIE the verb forms for the singular first, second, and third person are respectively -m-, -s-, -t- (cfr. Latin). The personal pronouns, instead, have the second and ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Is pronoun a subset of nouns when referring to parts of speech?

To be frank, I am very unsure about this, but having two sets and not knowing how they relate, there are four possibilities so far: nouns and pronouns are own sets without any connection between ...
3
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3answers
219 views

How does the reaction against gender-specific pronouns relate to a languages' use of gender?

This is a question out of gross ignorance, so I may be way off the mark here. If that's the case, the answer should be easy to provide in the negative. My background I'm an American, I spent the ...
8
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1answer
277 views

Does Japanese have pronouns?

It is often said that Japanese doesn't really have a pronoun word class, such as in the Wikipedia article on Japanese Grammar: Although many grammars and textbooks mention pronouns (代名詞 ...
0
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1answer
74 views

“se se” in Portuguese

In Portuguese it occurs a phenomenon of se word repetition. The first se is translated to English as if, and the second is the reflexive pronoun of the singular 3rd person, as the last word of the ...
2
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1answer
81 views

2nd person convergence in other languages than English

Besides English, is there any other language where the 2nd person singular converges with the second person plural? And is there any other language where the informal singular 2nd person converges ...
9
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5answers
215 views

Has any language ever borrowed an interrogative or relative pronoun?

One of the lexical similarities between reconstructed Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic is in the interrogative and relative pronouns. For the former, in PIE there's a family of interrogatives ...
2
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2answers
132 views

Term for omitted pronouns?

In informal German, e.g. spoken conversation or text chat, it is possible to omit certain personal pronouns and sometimes inflected forms of sein ‘to be’, too (similar to Russian). Ich gehe ...
2
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1answer
138 views

Gender-specific pronouns in languages without grammatical gender?

There are various discussions, also on SE network, about the usage of "gender-neutral" language, where most controversies arise around using the pronoun "he" to address any user. Such problems are ...
2
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3answers
212 views

Pro-Drop Typology in Indo-European Languages

A different question made me wonder what is the norm for Indo-European with regard to pro-drop? I know Italic languages generally do it, while Germanic languages generally don't. What about the rest ...
2
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2answers
165 views

Are languages that can derive more meaning from context more advanced?

In English, the meaning of pronouns (the antecedents) are understood from context. And, this allows for a more abbreviated and fluid means to communicate. However, even when the antecedents are ...
4
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1answer
179 views

Is there any fusional language where pronouns and nouns share the same declension?

Some analytic languages sometimes use the same prepositions for nouns and pronouns,e.g. 'I'm proud OF him' vs. 'I'm proud OF his book'. Agglutinative languages may use the same affix for nouns and ...
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2answers
105 views

Brief question of terminology for reflexive noun phrases?

In a sentence such as "Which picture of himself will John hate?", what is considered the reflexive noun phrase (as it pertains to Condition A of traditional Binding Theory)? I know it'd normally be ...
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14answers
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Is there a language without gender in third person pronouns?

English (as most Indo-European languages) has a gender-neutral third person pronoun, it, but it is typically not used for people; if one wants to be gender neutral, one is often stuck using he or she. ...
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1answer
71 views

Looking for three-place predicates to study anaphora

I'm trying to check whether an anaphor is obviative (in Kiparsky's (2002) sense). Since my pronoun seems subject free, I need predicates with higher arity (ternary or four-place). An additional ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Are there other languages where pronouns behave like they do in Japanese, Korean, and Ryukyuan?

In Japanese and Korean (and I have to assume the Okinawan / Ryukyuan languages also), pronouns are quite different from most other languages from most families in at least two ways I can think of: ...
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2answers
596 views

Is 'It' anaphoric or cataphoric, and what is its antecedent/postcedent?

Question 1a: What does 'It' refer to in the following sentence: It was clearly in the mood to place acknowledgements at the bottom of questions. The context for the above sentence is provided ...
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1answer
297 views

Are personal pronouns in English different lexemes or just inflected forms of the same one?

Take for example the words 'I' and 'you' (or 'I' and 'we'). Is it more reasonable to analyze them as different lexemes, or as different forms of a same lexeme inflected for grammatical person (or ...
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2answers
126 views

They for “he/she”

How did the word "they" come to represent "he or she"? For example, "They forgot their coat" can be used to represent a single person of either sex.
8
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1answer
325 views

Universals and emphatic pronouns

In (spoken) English, the object pronouns "me/you/her/him/us/them" are, in some sense, the "unmarked" pronouns. (I only claim native knowledge of English as it is spoken in parts of the US). By this I ...
0
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0answers
58 views

“Such” as a pronoun and “Reduction Transformations”

I just ran into this in the novel "Pride and Prejudice" -"Ah! you do not know what I suffer." -"But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into ...
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6answers
552 views

Difference between Genitive Personal Pronoun and Possessive Pronoun

I'm currently studying Icelandic. Right away at one of the first steps I found a bit of difficulty and I wonder if any of you might be able to help me as the question might be answered based on any ...
3
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1answer
146 views

Are the demonstrative determiners “this” & “that” inflected to become “these” & “those” or are they different lexemes altogether?

If I'm not mistaken, nouns (and nominals) are the only words that can inflect for grammatical number. E.g.: cat (Sg), cats (Pl); writing (Sg), writings (Pl). "This" and "that" as singular ...
7
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2answers
255 views

Are there any natural languages that mark the distinction between cataphoric and anaphoric pronouns?

Are there any natural languages that mark the distinction between cataphoric and anaphoric pronouns? Just to make sure I got the terms straight, I looked up “cataphora” and its opposite, “anaphora,” ...
10
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17answers
2k views

Do any languages form plural pronouns by adding a suffix to the singular form?

Are there languages whose plural pronouns ('we', 'they', etc.) are formed from singular pronouns ('I', 'he', etc.) plus a plural marker? For example, if English were such a language, instead of "we" ...
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0answers
122 views

Are there more languages with complex system of interrogative pronouns?

By 'complex system' I mean a system of interrogative pronouns which includes more than just 'animate/inanimate' classes of prounouns, like these of 'who' and 'what' in English (e.g. a special ...
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1answer
137 views

Their class has more singers than (we/us) — possible syntactical derivations?

Forgive me if this is not the right sort of question to post here, but I was curious as to the derivation of the above sentence. (Apparently the correct choice is 'we'). Their class has more singers ...
7
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2answers
361 views

Personal vs. Demonstrative Pronouns

I've read in a number of places (e.g. Wikipedia) that Proto-Indo-European had first and second-person personal pronouns, but no third-person pronouns. Instead, a system of anaphoric demonstrative ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Why did English stop using thou?

In Shakespearean English, thou/thee/thy/thine were used for second person singular, and you/your/yours were used for second person plural. In modern English, you is used for both singular and plural. ...
3
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2answers
464 views

Are deictic pronouns at all apparent in written language?

Considering the nature of deixis, I have trouble coming up with written examples where the pronoun is of a deictic nature, other than quotes from speech etc. Or maybe I have misunderstood the meaning ...
5
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1answer
284 views

How did the Portuguese pronoun “se” take on these other functions?

In Portuguese, the third person accusative pronoun se ("himself/herself/itself/themselves") can be used for four different purposes: 1.) Most straightforwardly, as a reflexive pronoun: Mantém-se ...
23
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4answers
4k views

What languages lack personal pronouns, and why?

The Japanese language lacks personal pronouns in the IE sense. Japanese is very pro-drop, and often sentences will be constructed so personal pronouns do not appear, and the agents which the pronouns ...
5
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2answers
208 views

The meaning of “what”?

"What" is defined grammatically as an interrogative pronoun ... used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc. (Wiktionary) In dictionaries, ...
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7answers
1k views

Are the Finnish pronouns related to their Indo-European counterparts?

Although not belonging to the Indo-European family, Finnish has personal pronouns that resemble (to a layperson, at least) the corresponding pronouns in Indo-European languages. For example, the ...
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2answers
695 views

Are there any fundamental differences in personal pronoun acquisition across languages?

I am interest in reversal errors in personal pronoun acquisition. My knowledge comes mostly from studies done with English-speaking children, and I was wondering if there is any languages where this ...
5
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2answers
351 views

Can the /m/ sound in a 1st person pronoun be considered a linguistic universal?

For example, english: me, mine, my Russian: мне, меня, мой Estonian: mina, mind, mulle How prevalent is this in world's languages and what should it be attributed to?