I was going through Jurafsky book. It says following about pronouns in the context of tag set:

Wh-pronouns (what, who, whom, whoever) are used in certain question forms, or act as complementizers (Frida, who married Diego...).

But there are two categories for Wh-pronouns in Penn tagset:

  • WP: Wh-pronoun
  • WP$: Possissive wh-pronoun

I was guessing which Wh-pronouns are possessive and which are not. I feel only "whose" is possessive and rest all (which, where, who, whom etc) are not possessive. Am I correct with this?

  • 1
    In your example "Frida, who married Diego...", "who" is not a complementizer. It can't be since it does not introduce a complement clause. Its POS is pronoun and its function is subject of the relative clause.
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 10:48
  • I must admit it's odd to think of who as a complementizer. That would make nonrestrictive relative clauses (and their shrapnel, appositives) into noun complements.
    – jlawler
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


You are right. There only 'whose' is possessive:

The tag for WHOSE is WPRO$.

he_PRO asked_VBD hir_PRO ... whos_WPRO$ was_BED the_D child_N within_P her_PRO$ body_N

and_CONJ by_P whoos_WPRO$ commandement_N

Look up here for more explanations of the Pen tagset: https://www.ling.upenn.edu/hist-corpora/annotation/index.html

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