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A pro-form is a word, substituting for other words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, whose meaning is recoverable from the linguistic or extralinguistic context.

But how do you establish a word as a proform and are there rules that guide the classification of a Pro-Form?

Sources:

Schachter, Paul. 1985. "Parts-of-speech systems." In Shopen 1985b 24–25

Crystal, David. 1985.A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 2nd edition. New York: Basil Blackwell. 247

glossary.sil.org/term/pro-form

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  • 1
    Pronouns are well known; perhaps this Wikipedia article on pro-verbs will help you. I'm not clear what you mean by 'establish one': do you mean 'identify when one is being used'? Jan 4 at 18:57
  • 2
    @EdwinAshworth well a quick google search would tell you that, Pronoun comes under the banner of a Pro-Form along with Interrogative Pro-Form, Pro-Adjective, Pro-Adverb, Pro-Verb
    – Knotwood V
    Jan 4 at 19:21
  • If the question has a definition of "pro-form" from a source, the source must be attributed. Apart from that, the OP needs to provide more context; and as weird as it might sound, focus.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 4 at 19:53
  • 2
    @Cascabel, Schachter, Paul. 1985. "Parts-of-speech systems." In Shopen 1985b 24–25, Crystal, David. 1985.A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 2nd edition. New York: Basil Blackwell. 247 - glossary.sil.org/term/pro-form , cascabel did google go down or somthing ?
    – Knotwood V
    Jan 4 at 20:53
  • 4
    A great deal depends on the language. English uses do as a pro-verb in several ways, but that's the only really big one. There are languages with a couple dozen that are used in almost every sentence, if you want to call them pro-verbs instead of "small verbs" or whatever term is current. As for NPs, in a language like Malay, pronoun is an open class; for instance, any noun that has human reference may be used as a personal pronoun.
    – jlawler
    Jan 5 at 0:42

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