Questions tagged [person]

For question about grammatical person, a category affecting pronouns and verbs in many languages.

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Generic you and notions of a fourth-person

A colleague used the word "you" in a way that I wanted to point out and clarify. Doubtful that "second-person indeterminate" was correct, I searched for an answer and landed on a ...
  • 111
5 votes
1 answer
410 views

On the etymology of Balearic Catalan personal articles "en/na"

Catalan (like certain regional dialects of Spanish and Italian) uses definite articles before proper names: El Pere ha arribat tard aquest matí. La Maria ha arribat tard també. In eastern (Balearic) ...
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5 votes
0 answers
153 views

Are there any languages where the first person cannot be an object?

In some languages, nouns low on the animacy hierarchy, particularly inanimates cannot surface as A, and if a situation arises where they are underlyingly A, some reparative strategy such as a passive ...
  • 286
14 votes
5 answers
5k views

Are there languages with no first person?

Fiction is rife with characters who always speak in third person. Often, such characters are portrayed as having a native language or culture that lacks the concept of a first person, and hence they ...
  • 251
4 votes
1 answer
841 views

Is there a language without words which correspond to the concepts 'I', 'They', 'We'

I was wondering if a language exists without the ability to express the notions of 'I', 'We', 'they' etc. Would it be possible to communicate without these concepts being expressible as a ...
4 votes
1 answer
188 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 ...
  • 377
6 votes
2 answers
443 views

What is the functional or semantic distinction between proximate and obviative person deixis?

What is the functional or semantic distinction between proximate and obviative person deixis? From what I've read ... "Deixis is reference by means of an expression whose interpretation is ...
5 votes
1 answer
219 views

Do any natural languages vary the form of the 2nd person markers according to whether the intended audience is present or absent?

For example, does any natural language have 2nd person pronouns or verb conjugations that vary according to whether ... a) All of the people for whom the speaker's remarks are intended are present. ...