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Re: Pronouns Re: Recalled to life

From:Tristan <kesuari@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 15, 2002, 12:36
bnathyuw wrote:

> --- Christophe Grandsire > > >>True. And it's true that there are plenty of >>languages which just don't mark >>plural on nouns. But even in those languages, and >>even when in those languages >>pronouns pattern like nouns, number is always marked >>in some way on pronouns. >>English is quite unique in having a 2nd person which >>doesn't distinguish >>singular from plural, and the fact that most >>dialects of English have invented >>a way to make this distinction, and use it nearly >>always mandatorily, shows >>that it must be something people really find >>necessary. >>
Ironically, English (here) seems to want to be opposite... Quite happy to mark plurals in nouns, but has this aversion to it in pronouns... I normally say 'you' for both singl. and pl... People who say 'youse' often do not have a distinction between singular and plural but between formal and informal. It is on more than one occasion that, while only two people were present, e.g. the farewell was not 'see ya later' but 'see yas later'. And 'us' is a valid first person *singular* pronoun in colloquial speech... 'Let us through', 'give it to us', ''scuse us'. 'We' can be used in the singular too, but it's a lot rarer; I wouldn't use it... (not that I'm the best indicator of colloquial Aussie speech, of course). I've never heard 'our' in the singular, with the possible exception of 'our'='my and others non-present' being taken as 'my', which does happen... 'They'/'them'/'their', on the other hand, only get used in the singular as generic pronouns Tristan.