Skip to main content

Questions tagged [pronouns]

A (usually closed) class of words that can replace nouns.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
0 answers
19 views

Do "he" and "she" signify sex or gender? Hunt for existing work [closed]

I'm hunting for existing work on the question of whether "he" and "she" signify sex or gender. This seems to be a big deal in the public sphere, but I can't find any academic work ...
Remster's user avatar
  • 129
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

Are all pronouns proforms?

The definition of a pronoun according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "any of a small set of words... that are used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases". The definition of a pro-...
shea's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
71 views

Languages with distinct pronouns for concrete and abstract things

I was wondering which languages (spoken or otherwise) have distinct separate pronouns (more specific than the words "this" and "that") for referring to concrete and abstract things,...
Joselin Jocklingson's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
496 views

What effect does the wrong T-V pronoun have on truth-value?

Suppose someone uses the wrong T-V pronoun in a sentence, e.g. a French person uses "tu" instead of "vous". Is that considered to render the sentence (a) false or (b) without truth-...
Remster's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
1 answer
204 views

Is it a coincidence that both Italian and German use third person feminine pronouns for formal second-person address?

In both Italian and German, the third person feminine pronouns ("lei" and "Sie," respectively) also serve as the formal second person pronoun. Etymologically, is it a coincidence ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
1 answer
134 views

Possessive reflexive pronouns (himself's, herself's, myself's, etc.)

"He looked out the window and saw his car." Does "his" mean the same person initially called "he", or someone else? In English, it could be either one. If the English ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
271 views

Could it be that the pronoun *eǵh₂om ("I") in PIE is not an innovation?

I think, it is generally believed that the word for "I" in PIE was an innovation and in more ancient branches the 1st person singular pronoun was similar to the plural one, "min/men&...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,655
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

On an argument concerning whether weather *it* is truly an expletive

Morgan (1968) claims that many instances of unstressed it are meaningless. He offers the following argument: the pronoun he in (1a) can refer to either John or Bill but the gap in (1b) can only refer ...
Deep_Television's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
95 views

Are there any languages with second-person pronouns marked for a proximal/distal distinction?

I am curious if there are any natural languages where the personal pronoun used to refer to the addressee varies in some way depending on their distance to the speaker. For instance, one form might be ...
AlphaModder's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
125 views

Grammatical person and the generic you

In English, the second-person pronoun you can be used indefinitely. Wiktionary labels the generic you as an indefinite personal pronoun. Nonetheless, unlike pronouns such as one and anyone, the ...
apprenant's user avatar
  • 127
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

Is there a term for mixed gender in plural pronouns (as opposed to masculine, feminine, or neuter)?

In English, there is only one third person plural pronoun to refer to groups of any gender or genders. Multiple "he"s becomes they, multiple "she"s becomes they, multiple "it&...
ThornShadow's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Question about coordination

I encounter something interesting about coordination in binding theory. (1) John1 picked [his own] 1/*2 shoes and [his]*1/2 clothes. (2) John1 picked [his] 1/2 shoes and [his own]1/*2 clothes. (3) ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
  • 653
3 votes
1 answer
71 views

Using 'it' in sentences with indefinite noun phrases

I was looking at indefinite noun phrases like 'a man' or specifically sentences of this form: 'If I were to bring a chicken home, my dog would try to eat it. Why is it that 'a chicken' does not refer, ...
Confused's user avatar
  • 283
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

Dropping repeating pronoun phenomena

Consider this sentence: "I took the garbage out and read a book "-x this is short form for: "I took the garbage out and I read a book"-y This sentence could naturally appear in a ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 433
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

Are there four potential readings in the examples?

I read that Fiengo & May (1994: 115-117) points out that through the analysis of strict and sloppy readings in elliptical environments, it has shed light not only on more general notions of ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
  • 653
3 votes
0 answers
139 views

Pronouns referring to parts of the same sentence other than the subject

Many European languages have specific pronouns for the case that the subject and an object are identical, e. g. Reflexive Non-reflexive Engl. "Peter sees himself (in the mirror)" "...
Albjenow's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
219 views

Are there languages without T-V distinction (but with two pronouns, one exclusive to singular, the other to plural)?

What I mean is modern English only has "you" for any number of individuals. French (my native language) has tu that is exclusive to a single person, vous is mostly used for at least two ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Does a pronoun share the subject of a noun it is referring to?

I have been reading the Cambridge Dictionary punctuation guide (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/punctuation), and a couple of things struck me as queer. Especially the "...
Yuri Kotsar's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
456 views

What is the evidence that pre-Islamic Arabic had a plural of majesty?

I'm starting to read the Quran and I've found many theologians argue about God referring to himself in the plural, mainly claiming it is a plural of majesty (example: M. A. S. Abdel Haleem's ...
K Pomykala's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
129 views

Do any languages do without the word for "this" (or "that"), or treat them somehow as nouns/verbs/adjectives?

A lot of words are defined in terms of "this", such as "here: this place". But "this" can be a pronoun ("is this your bag?") or determiner ("don't listen ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,340
4 votes
2 answers
162 views

what's this linguistic phenomenon?

I am currently working on coding and standardizing the language of my community. There is something we do when we speak, that so far I haven't encountered in the other languages that I've delved into, ...
jello's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

How to recognize Heads [closed]

I'm reading "Introduction to English linguistics" and in the chapter 4, there is a paragraph that I don't understand : The other crucial cluster of properties of heads concern their ...
LinguistNoob's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
116 views

Do English words have a sort of de-facto inherrent gender (or gender stereotype) to them?

I apologize in advance if this question goes all over the place, I was just randomly thinking today about gender in the English language. One thing in English that I find is overlooked is gender in ...
Franglishman24's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Concept of clitics

Are there any differences between pronominal clitics and clitic pronouns? I wonder whether these two terms are interchangeable or not. Thanks.
Alec's user avatar
  • 11
5 votes
1 answer
149 views

On the use of possessive pronouns instead of definite articles in AmE

Consider the following examples: I have to go now, my Uber driver has arrived. So, have you already learned your ABCs? I now will put my eggs into the dry ingredients. All of these are examples of a ...
Pedro's user avatar
  • 301
0 votes
1 answer
166 views

Is there reason to believe that English will drop declension of personal pronouns "soon?" [closed]

I am sure I am not alone in having to think about whether to use "I" or "me" etc. and I also I sure I and others get it wrong frequently. What's really the point in retaining these ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 547
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

can a binder bind two bindees where one is in secondary predicate and the other is in third predicate

(1)[Zhangsan] zhidao [ta] zuo de dui. Zhangsan know he do right (2)??[Zhangsan] zhidao [ta] zuo le zhejian shiqing. Zhangsan know he do ASP this thing Huang1988 proposed that the ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
  • 653
6 votes
3 answers
539 views

Why do two English personal pronouns — "you" and "it" — lack an objective case?

Most English person pronouns have an objective case — I/me, we/us, thou/thee, he/him, she/her, they/them, who/whom. But "you" and "it" have no such form. Did they every have one? ...
Leisureguy's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
353 views

What is the function of a gender distinction in nouns?

In German and some other languages, I understand there are different forms of the definite article 'the' depending on the gender of the noun. Also personal pronouns have different forms depending on ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 433
1 vote
1 answer
275 views

Why does the pronoun and verb order vary in Polish language?

My go nie lubimy - we do not like him On nie kocha mnie - he does not love me Why in the first example go is followed by nie lubimy, but in the second sentence we have the opposite: nie kocha followed ...
mercury0114's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
597 views

why in Polish we change ją to jej when negating the phrase?

ja lubię ją - I like her ja nie lubię jej - I do not like her Do I understand correctly what these sentences mean? If yes, why do we change ją to jej when negating the phrase? In both cases the ...
mercury0114's user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
121 views

What is the difference between plurality and gender?

I have just started creating my own conlang, and I was wondering if anybody could help me. I can't find anything that'll help me differentiate plurality and gender.
McKay Clemens's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
1k views

Are WH-determiner, WH-adverb and WH-pronoun mutually exclusive?

I was going through this article. It describes WH-determiners, WH-adverbs and WH-pronouns. Below are examples for each from the article: WH-determiners What book are you reading? Which plane is he ...
RajS's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
1 answer
381 views

Possessive vs non possesive WH-pronouns

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 (...
RajS's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
1 answer
141 views

Addressing others using names/titles vs pronouns

In some languages like Japanese, personal pronouns tend to carry strong connotations and are often avoided in favor of names and titles, in both formal and informal contexts. In others like Finnish, ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Reflexive Pronouns and Relative Clauses

At least in my dialect of English, sentences like the following are perfectly grammatical: The picture of himselfi that Tomi most liked is on the table. How does one account for the binding here? If ...
Spike Wolf's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
192 views

Is it possible to pro-drop/null anaphora in Turkish without any reference to the pronoun at all?

My question is inspired from: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/466749/what-do-we-call-the-process-of-dropping-the-subject-at-the-beginning-of-a-senten Person 1 >> "Hey, when are ...
aesking's user avatar
  • 109
29 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there a technical name for when languages use masculine pronouns to refer to both men and women?

I know a little Arabic, and I also know English. They both have the notion of "gender" built into their syntax. I am Persian and I speak Farsi, which does not have "gender" built ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
180 views

Do any languages fail to distinguish "who and "what"?

English distinguishes interrogative pronouns "who" referring to humans and "what" referring to non-humans, and the same distinction is made in Lushootseed, any Bantu languages that ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
8 votes
2 answers
250 views

How can you establish that a word is a proform?

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 ...
Knotwood V's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
226 views

Languages with overt determiners AND pronouns/proper nouns

I am currently performing a cross-linguistic investigation of determiner phrases, and I was wondering if there are languages out there where an overt determiner can occur with a pronoun or proper noun,...
JKodner's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Ambiguity in "Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening" [duplicate]

Is there a specific term for the ambiguity in the sentence, "Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening," the ambiguity arising from the use of "his" when it could ...
x6c4576gvyugasdhjftguaidiugy's user avatar
30 votes
10 answers
8k views

Is there a language where there are personal pronouns for the first or second person that have gender?

Is there a language where there are personal pronouns for the first or second person that have gender? Like a feminine "I" or a masculine "you".
Pablo's user avatar
  • 429
3 votes
2 answers
715 views

When did the Ivri (Hebrew) possessive pronoun "Shel-y" (של-י) replace the biblical suffix "-y"?

In Modern Hebrew, the possessive pronoun "Shel-y" (של-י) is used for the English possessive pronoun "My". In Biblical Ivri (עברי), the possessive pronoun for "My" is ...
חִידָה's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
438 views

Are there any languages with gender neutral pronouns for unknown gender?

There are proposals to introduce in several languages gender-neutral pronouns to refer to groups of mixed gender or single individuals of unknown gender. Are there examples of existing languages that ...
Udik's user avatar
  • 31
37 votes
8 answers
7k views

Are there languages that don't have this kind of ambiguity?

In the sentence "John told James that he's happy.", the pronoun "he" is ambiguous, since it could refer to either John or James. Are there any languages which try to solve this ...
John's user avatar
  • 373
22 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
ZZZ's user avatar
  • 323
6 votes
2 answers
517 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 ...
Breaking Bioinformatics's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
119 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 ...
Jakub Dekier's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
432 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 ...
AlexW36's user avatar
  • 61