Questions tagged [pronoun]

A word used in place of a noun or noun phrase. This includes personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, relative pronouns and others.

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17
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any languages that have a pronoun which is only used to refer to royalty?

I can recall reading an article years ago which claimed that some languages have unused "royal" pronouns. That is, these pronouns were only used to refer to royalty as a show of respect or ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Question about cross-linguistic pronoun use regularities

In English, you can use the same pronoun (say "she") in three (seemingly) distinct ways: deictically ("she is wise"), anaphorically ("Mary thinks that she is wise"), or ...
6
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2answers
234 views

Are there languages where pronouns are marked entirely with conjugations?

I know of languages (Arabic in particular comes to mind) where the subject pronoun can be dropped because verb conjugation encodes at least as much information as a pronoun might. I also know that ...
4
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1answer
58 views

Finnish Indefinite Pronouns [closed]

I'm looking for a native speaker who could give me their opinion about the following sentences: 1.Joku soitti. Arvaa kuka (se oli)? 2.Joku soitti, mutta en saa-nut nime-stä selvää. 3.Hän haluaa ...
6
votes
2answers
245 views

“She” and “they” in West Germanic languages

In English, the third person singular feminine subject pronoun (she) and the third person plural subject pronoun (they) are phonetically different. However, they are phonetically the same in some West ...
1
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1answer
90 views

How did these first person plural pronouns come to be in Catalán?

I recently saw this image comparing different first person plural masc. pronouns to Pokémon. For reference the pronouns listed are Nosaltres (Cat. Central) Natros (Tortosí) Moatros (Val. Central) ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

What is the distribution of pronominal “one”?

(Based on the comments this question has received, more is needed to avoid confusion. The original question remains as stated below the line below. What is added here now is a more complete rendition ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Xp-pro-v word order in middle english

I am a bit confused with the xp-pro-v word order in middle English and was hoping, that someone could help me. Can someone explain, what exactly the term "xp-pro-v" means? I do understand, that it is ...
11
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1answer
212 views

What is the origin of the “redundant” pronouns in the Venetian language?

From the examples taken from Wikipedia: • Venetian: (Ti) te jèra onto or even Ti te jèri/xeri onto (lit. "(You) you were dirty"). • Venetian: El can el jèra onto (lit. "The dog he was dirty"). It ...
0
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0answers
160 views

Genderless referral to a person as existent in Thai language

While learning Thai I came across something I never knew from other languages: The titles Khun (คุณ) and Than (ท่าน) while Than is said in down tone ('): Thai people would most often refer ...
2
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2answers
336 views

Did/Do most languages use a similar pronoun to the plural for formal singular?

I don't think the title is super clear, but I couldn't a better way to word it, let me give a few examples From what I understand, the "original" pronouns were English: Singular Informal: Thou ...
-1
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2answers
87 views

what languages lack gender pronouns? or more [duplicate]

I have been reading meta, and there is quite an uproar about the gender neutrality of the new CoC. Without going into merits of this discussion, got me wondering. Gendered pronouns arent really ...
-1
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2answers
112 views

How to know when to use a direct and indirect object pronoun [closed]

Il faut les rendre actifs - we have to make them active Nous devons leur donner le choix - We have to give them the choice Please can someone explain why the second sentence takes an indirect object ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Have pronoun introductions spread to non-English-speaking communities/languages?

There seem to be two forms of these pronoun introductions, intended to promote transfeminism, one voluntary/declarative and one interrogative: For an example of a voluntary/declarative one: Kamala ...
22
votes
9answers
5k views

Do any languages mark social distinctions other than gender and status?

Many languages have pronouns that reflect gender, and some have pronouns that reflect relative social hierarchy or formality. (To pick an example I actually know, in Dutch the second person singular ...
6
votes
1answer
308 views

Are there any examples of neopronouns for non-binary or third gender people being fully incorporated into a language's grammar?

Many non-binary people now request that new third person pronouns (neopronouns) be used to refer to them, for example xe or ze. These have not been widely used by English speakers yet, but it's still ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

What's the equivalent of the reciprocal pronoun 'each other' in Taqbaylit Berber (spoekn in Northern Algeria)? [closed]

Berber languages spoken in Northern Africa show some degree of variation in relation to the reciprocal, but not the reflexive pronoun. For example, in northern Moroccan Berber (Tarifit), they say ...
-4
votes
3answers
131 views

An idea to phonetically relate Indo-European first-person singular personal pronouns [closed]

The chart shows what i guess about the succession using probable changes like e>ye or s>sh>ch or a>ya PS: I'm not a linguist, just a curious language learner
14
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3answers
6k views

Is English unusual in having no second person plural form?

In Spanish, there are the "vosotros" (only used in Spain) and "ustedes" (formal in Spain) forms for use when talking to a group of people. These also use specific conjugations different different from ...
11
votes
1answer
578 views

Pronoun introduced before its antecedent

I was speaking to a college-educated American woman in her 80s, born and raised in the metropolitan east coast of the United States. We were on a new topic, and without any preceding context, she ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Combining pro-drop with null morphemes

Some languages combine pro-drop with null or zero morphemes – inflectional morphemes, more particularly. Turkish is an example of this. To illustrate, the verb istemek = to want is inflected as ...
8
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1answer
190 views

Etymology of impersonal pronoun “one”

The 'impersonal' pronoun in Germanic and Romance languages seems to come from one of two paths: Cognate with the word for 'man' Proto-Germanic: *mann- Dutch: men German: man Old English: man (< ...
1
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1answer
98 views

Why is it thought that definite articles develop from deictic markers, and not the other way around?

I read here that "it is cross-linguistically common for definite articles to develop from deictic markers"; "deictic" referring to words such as "I" or "here" whose meaning is dependent on context. ...
1
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2answers
57 views

Can the need for ambiguity lead to merge of grammatical person, or other semantic merge?

My mother tongue doesn't distinguish 3.SG.F and 3.SG.M in speech. In some cases I feel the redundancy of it and the need for ambiguity of the grammatical person when I speak a language which ...
5
votes
3answers
462 views

Plural form as respect form - based on what?

Many languages use the plural as respected mood for a singular (even English use "you" which is basically a plural form of thu). Now my question is: based on what those who started to speak in ...
6
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0answers
194 views

Is there any dialect of English with clusivity?

What it says on the tin. The closest thing that I'm aware of is in Tok Pisin, a creole language which involved English in its creation, which distinguishes “we without you” (mipela) from “we with you” ...
4
votes
1answer
298 views

Portuguese: Inconsistencies in use of second person pronouns and conjugation

I observed that both colloquial Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese show some inconsistencies in the way they use the second person pronoun (or its conjugation) and would like to know if my ...
1
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1answer
536 views

Why are pronouns considered grammatical (functional) morphemes?

Grammatical/functional morphemes are generally defined as morphemes that modify meaning, as opposed to lexical/content morphemes which supply a root meaning. In my intuition, a pronoun – although its ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Are there languages that have different forms of “we”? [duplicate]

I find the pronoun "we" to be lacking due to its ambiguity regarding whether or not the listener and/or a 3rd party is included. Are there languages which address this by having either multiple forms ...
1
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0answers
118 views

Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun for formal speech?

Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun (Lei) for formal speech, regardless of the gender of the 2nd person singular addressee? cf. T–V_distinction#...
0
votes
1answer
288 views

Inclusive pronouns—can there be more than one?

Many languages have two forms of the pronoun "we": an inclusive one and an exclusive one. In the examples I am aware of, there is just one inclusive we, meaning "i/we and you (sg./pl.)". Are there ...
1
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0answers
46 views

This/that: a determiner or pronoun? [duplicate]

Is there commonly accepted opinion on what lexemes this/that are, determiners or pronouns? E.g. in the following phrase: ... can help you work these out these seem to show some properties of ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What statistical test is appropriate in a corpus analysis of pronoun resolution preferences?

I have extracted data from a corpus that collected sentences with an antecedent and a next sentence with a pronoun or a stressed pronoun in subject position. Now, the anaphora can either refer back to ...
2
votes
0answers
335 views

What is the intuition behind the rules of Hobbs Algorithm?

I am trying to understand the Hobbs Algorithm. I am able to follow the algorithm and solve tree walking questions to find the antecedent of a pronoun, but I do not get the intuition behind the rules ...
1
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0answers
39 views

Are there languages that distinguish “us-not-you” from “us-including-you”? [duplicate]

In the languages I’m familiar with, the first-person plural pronouns (e.g., “us”, “we”, “ours”) apply regardless of whether the listener is included in the group. It seems to me that this often ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

'm' in the words meaning first person

I have read in a book about the theory that explains why in many languages pronouns meaning first person contain letter 'm' (e.g. me, moi, меня, mich) and pronouns describing second person contain ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Negation and Pronouns in Finnish

For a small research project, I am looking at the negation in Finnish. I don’t actually speak Finnish, but I understand that there is a special auxiliary verb – the negation verb – which is used to ...
0
votes
1answer
436 views

Are there any natural languages that actually have gender neutral 3rd person pronouns? [duplicate]

You see this a lot in the auxlang movement that having gendered pronouns is sexist. But making conlangs of my own, I find its absence to be often annoying. No one seems to realize how useful it is to ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Are first-person and second-person pronouns always co-referential for a given speaker at a given context?

For the first-person singular pronouns, it seems obvious that these pronouns can only refer the speaker, since there is always only one speaker, so it must be always coreferential, as in I(i) took my(...
-2
votes
2answers
146 views

Does any other language have as many reflexive pronouns as English?

1st person: myself, ourselves 2nd person: yourself yourselves 3rd person: himself, herself, itself, themselves, oneself In Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and German there is only one reflexive ...
2
votes
1answer
442 views

How do you coreference a possesive pronouns with an x-bar tree?

Following Chomsky's linguistic theory (The Minimalist Program), r-expressions must be free, where free means that nothing should c-command it such that the indices have a non null intersection (if I ...
1
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1answer
85 views

What part of a non-restrictive relative clause corefers?

I am trying to figure out what components of a non-restrictive relative clause (if any) corefer with a previously mentioned antecedent. Here is the example I am working with: “Mandy Monroe, one of ...
1
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2answers
268 views

What is the linguistic term for 'it'

'This' is proximal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. 'That' is distal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. What is 'it' called?
1
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0answers
474 views

When do C-Domain and Binding Domain mean different things?

I'm reading the paper Constraints on Null Pronouns by Speas, in which the author defines two constraints for a cross-linguistic OT analysis of the occurrence of null pronouns across languages: ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Possessive pronoun position in north germanic languages

I begin with the following translations of the sentence "This is my father": Icelandic: Þetta er faðir minn. Bokmål: Dette er faren min. Danish: Det her er min far. Swedish: Det här är min far. All ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Noun Phrase “they both”

I am attempting to catogorize the different parts of this Noun Phrase produced by a child. I need to assign a head noun, as well as figure out what the dependants are. They both were fighting about ...
1
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0answers
124 views

Reciprocal Pronouns (one another, each other) and Head Noun

I have a question about Reciprocal Pronouns (a part of the category anaphors). I can't seem to find the entire answer that I am looking for anywhere, so I'll ask here. I have tried to make my question ...
0
votes
1answer
192 views

Find head noun, “he himself”

I have run into a problem when I am trying to find the head noun for a NP in this sentence. I haven't been able to find any rules explaining why one of them would be head, or if they even belong in ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

What is the name for the phenomenon or process by which the brain knows what “it” in a sentence refers to?

What is the name for the phenomenon or process by which the brain knows what "it" in a sentence refers to ? For example : I left my book on the table but when I came back, IT wasn't there.
2
votes
3answers
240 views

How does Japanese word order obviate the need for relative pronouns?

According to the Wikipedia page on Japanese grammar: Head finality in Japanese sentence structure carries over to the building of sentences using other sentences. In sentences that have other ...