Questions tagged [pronouns]

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2 answers
192 views

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

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) ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 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 ...
20 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
217 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
129 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, ...
29 votes
10 answers
6k 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".
0 votes
1 answer
66 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
100 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
37 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.
12 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why did English stop using thou?

In Shakespearean English, thou/thee/thy/thine were used for second person singular, and you/your/yours were used for second person plural. In modern English, you is used for both singular and plural. ...
5 votes
1 answer
129 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
100 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
26 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
425 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? ...
5 votes
1 answer
274 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
328 views

How do pro-forms get their meaning?

How do pro-forms get their meaning? For example, does the word 'he' in the sentences Harry got a toy. He was happy. get it's meaning from the context, or what the speaker meant by "he"?
20 votes
4 answers
3k 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), ...
0 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
130 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 (...
4 votes
1 answer
243 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 ...
-3 votes
3 answers
98 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.
0 votes
0 answers
422 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
104 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, ...
14 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
58 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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
144 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
200 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
127 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,...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
154 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 ...
6 votes
0 answers
113 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
102 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
51 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 ...
27 votes
17 answers
17k 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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
346 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 ...
38 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
99 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
2 answers
365 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
347 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
236 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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
281 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
487 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
402 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 votes
2 answers
183 views

Their class has more singers than (we/us) -- possible syntactical derivations?

Forgive me if this is not the right sort of question to post here, but I was curious as to the derivation of the above sentence. (Apparently the correct choice is 'we'). Their class has more singers ...
-1 votes
2 answers
417 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 votes
2 answers
193 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
1 answer
186 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
9 answers
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 ...
-4 votes
3 answers
175 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