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Re: Personal pronoun idea

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Friday, March 2, 2007, 18:28
Den 27. feb. 2007 kl. 22.05 skrev John Vertical:

> Has anyone tried switching 1st vs. 2nd person for a system of > discussion initiator vs. non-initiator? It seems to work in most > cases; but a third person in the discussion would require some sort > of a way to distinguish between 1P and 2P non-initiators. The > simplest solution would be to add a third-tier pronoun, but since a > discussion is generalizable to n persons, it's not much of a > solution really. A few others I can think of would be addressees > using a proximal pronoun ("this") for themselves when there's more > than 1-2 of them, or retaining normal person congruence despite the > weird pronouns themselves.
The me-you-other distinction seems to be very fundamental to our hardwiring. But perhaps it can be generalised to primary-secondary- other, because we have other such parallel relationships, for example this-that-yonder, present-past-perfect, singular-dual-plural, some people only have one-two-many in their numeric systems. To add to this you could perhaps utilise another part of our hardwiring, the spheres of different degrees of intimacy, of which we have at least 4. I'd guess some natural languages already do grammatise these spheres, to some extent. LEF