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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
0answers
77 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
votes
1answer
39 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
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
82 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
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
89 views

What to call the content of pronouns

English and most Indo-European languages have gender-based pronouns, it can be seen he (3SG: +masculine) or she (3SG: +feminine) in English. Some other languages do not have gender-based pronouns but ...
1
vote
3answers
106 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
votes
2answers
105 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
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
14
votes
11answers
4k views

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. ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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
votes
2answers
139 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
168 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
vote
1answer
129 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
114 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.
7
votes
1answer
169 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
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
283 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 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
votes
2answers
196 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
votes
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" ...
1
vote
0answers
102 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
votes
1answer
94 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
193 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
785 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
votes
2answers
208 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
197 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
188 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
votes
5answers
654 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
505 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
304 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?