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Re: GROUPLANG: Pronouns

From:Pablo Flores <fflores@...>
Date:Friday, October 16, 1998, 2:15
Nik Taylor wrote:
> >I'll go for inclusive/exclusive in 1st person, but not 2nd person. I >don't know of any natlangs with that distinction in 2nd person. >
It was just an idea... grammaticalize something that English does by idiomatical means, i. e. "you all" vs. "you people". But the no-natlang-has-that is no excuse! We're creating something here! :-) Let's forget it if you (I mean you all :) prefer.
> >If we want a really interesting (and complicated) system, how's about >this: >singular/dual/paucal/plural (or singular/dual/trial/plural) for at least >1st and 2nd persons
Why not 3rd persons too? I'd be fine with those numbers... Which reminds me we've not discussed THAT either.
>Gender in 1st and 2nd person
(Assuming "gender" includes "sex") I'd rather not, tho it wouldn't hurt me to use it.
>Regular (or nearly regular) declinsion
Yes, please.
>More cases than nouns
Such as?
>Polite/Informal (perhaps more than two distinctions) in *all* persons, > or at least 1st and 2nd. > For example, 3rd person polite would express respect towards the > person referred to
I agree with polite/informal for all persons, tho I don't quite get what it would mean in 1st person (respect for myself?) -- maybe it'd mean you consider yourself a great respectable person. :-) Shouldn't we mark politeness on verbs, too (at least in very formal or pompous speech)?
> >Any other ideas? >
This fountain's gone dry.
>> And of course, the proximate/obviative distinction in the >> third person; OR the three-step deixis marker I proposed >> in my previous post. > >Either one would fly with me. Gender should be included, tho.
Gender should indeed be compulsory on all nominal forms. (Not necessarily in predicates; Carlos proposed compulsory aspect, not tense, and I agreed.)
> >So, if we have proximate/obviate in the third person (4 persons, if you >will), 4 numbers, 2 levels of politeness, and inclusive/exclusive in 1st >person, 10 cases (is that the consensus?), and, say, 4 genders, then >we'd have 1560 pronouns - of course, these would be formed regularly, so >no need to memorize hundreds of pronouns. >
Well, we seem to have set on agent patient undergoer absolutive causative modifier determinant predicate Mathias told us about the 10 "universal" cases. I personally think we can make do with the ones we have so far, which are already not a few. --Pablo Flores