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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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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 ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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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 ...
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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#...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
121 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 ...
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2answers
117 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 ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the correct order of Dark L articulation?

I found the extract below on a website: The Dark L is the sound English speakers (the vast majority, anyway) make when an L follows a vowel, and it’s articulated in what we might call two ways ...
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1answer
129 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 ...
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1answer
87 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(...
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2answers
116 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 ...
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1answer
203 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 ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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2answers
145 views

What is the linguistic term for 'it'

'This' is proximal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. 'That' is distal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. What is 'it' called?
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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: ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
123 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 ...
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96 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 ...
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1answer
133 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 ...
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1answer
115 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.
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3answers
213 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 ...
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2answers
146 views

Inanimate pronouns in Hindi

Could someone give me some examples of inanimate pronouns in Hindi? I can't come up with any example myself. I was reading this paper: Gazetteer Method for Resolving Pronominal Anaphora in Hindi ...
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2answers
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Can a personal adjective be categorized as a noun phrase?

In 'File Change Semantics and the Familiarity Theory of Definiteness' by Irene Heim, she calls 'its' in 'Every cat ate its food' a type of definite NP. Could a possessive adjective be classified as a ...
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9answers
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Is there any language that uses different pronouns for “we” depending on whether the spoken to person is included in the group?

As in "we are going out tonight" using a different word for "we" depending on whether you mean "me and some other people" or "you and me (and potentially other people as well)".
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2answers
141 views

What is the name of this class of grammatical modifiers?

In French (and many other languages), adjectives and pronouns have different classes, e.g.: Adjectives demonstrative indefinite interrogative numerical possessive Pronouns demonstrative indefinite ...
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0answers
48 views

How common are indefinite pronouns in creole languages?

I understand that creole languages from all parts of the world share many disparate features. Amongst them, how common are third–person, singular, indefinite pronouns (like the French “on”) in creole ...
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2answers
88 views

Should common short words be left out of a concordance?

I'm writing a program which will be designed to take a text file, and parse all the words into a Concordance, e.g., a sort of dictionary list of all the words sorted in order, with a total count of ...
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1answer
119 views

How can a pronoun refer to a negative indefinite pronoun?

Optional Foreword: I understand pronouns such as 'none, no one, nobody', if they're the subject of one independent clause. But the quote below (encountered herein) confuses me. I ask here (and not ...
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Etymology of some personal pronouns in PIE

In PIE we have the following traditionally reconstructed personal pronouns: u̯oe̯ "you two" and u̯ei "we" (inclusive). Brengtson claims that the original forms should be tu̯oe̯ and tu̯ei respectively....
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2answers
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pronouns with uppercase and lowercase variants

In Russian, there are two forms of the formal 2nd person singular pronoun: lowercase вы (vy) and uppercase Вы (Vy). If I understand correctly, the latter is used in situations where the speaker and ...
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1answer
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Why do PIE verbs have suffixes -m-, -s-, -t-, while personal pronouns have m-, t-, s-?

Usually it is assumed that in PIE the verb forms for the singular first, second, and third person are respectively -m-, -s-, -t- (cfr. Latin). The personal pronouns, instead, have the second and ...
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1answer
171 views

Is pronoun a subset of nouns when referring to parts of speech?

To be frank, I am very unsure about this, but having two sets and not knowing how they relate, there are four possibilities so far: nouns and pronouns are own sets without any connection between them ...
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1answer
480 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 ...
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3answers
441 views

How does the reaction against gender-specific pronouns relate to a languages' use of gender?

This is a question out of gross ignorance, so I may be way off the mark here. If that's the case, the answer should be easy to provide in the negative. My background I'm an American, I spent the ...
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1answer
717 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 daimeishi), ...
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1answer
105 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 ...
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1answer
110 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 ...
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5answers
318 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 ...
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2answers
169 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 ...
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2answers
319 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 ...
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3answers
344 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 ...
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2answers
196 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 ...
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1answer
235 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 ...
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2answers
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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 "...
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15answers
9k 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. ...
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1answer
242 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 ...