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Re: Pronouns or Names?

From:Geoff Horswood <geoffhorswood@...>
Date:Monday, January 3, 2005, 9:21
On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 19:37:25 -0800, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

>--- Rodlox R <rodlox@...> wrote: > >> which would be more plausible? (as a conlang or a >> natlang) ?... >> >> * a language with pronouns (he/she/it/they/you), but >> no personal names >> (Paul, Bill, Pedro, Joan). >> >> * a language with personal names, but no pronouns. >> >> thoughts? >> > >I can see using pronouns with other information in the >place of names like "He who is my brother," or "he who >dances with wolves." But then in doing so we have >created "names". > >Therefore I don't think either is plausible. > >--gary
I have to agree. Pronouns are very difficult to do without completely- what if you don't know someone's name? How do you even ask "what's your name?" if there's no word for "you"? And names are at the core of identity and self-perception. Unless you're postulating a hive mind, which might not evolve language at all, IMO, you need some form of designation, even if it's "Seven of Nine", and thus create names. I'm reminded of that tiny excerpt from one of the first few Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, where one of the witches is thinking about the names goats give themselves- "goat who is my brother", "goat who is herd leader" and "goat who is this goat" amond them, as I recall. Geoff


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Muke Tever <hotblack@...>