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

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2
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2answers
90 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
1
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1answer
105 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
108 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.
6
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1answer
138 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 ...
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0answers
47 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 ...
2
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3answers
153 views

Question regarding pronouns in highly inflected languages

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 ...
2
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1answer
73 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 ...
6
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2answers
170 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,” ...
9
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15answers
1k 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
89 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 ...
0
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1answer
81 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
166 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
536 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
172 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
4
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2answers
183 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, ...
10
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5answers
474 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
455 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
votes
2answers
293 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?