Fourth person was Re: CONLANG Digest
|From:||Peter Clark <pclark@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 26, 2000, 11:46|
On Fri, 26 May 2000, Muke Tever wrote:
>Are there any languages, (natural or homemade) that have a sort of double
>pronoun... ack, I don't know how to say it.
>"He told him the truth about his mother."
My terminology is a little rusty, but I would say that the words
you are looking for is "fourth person".
>From this in English we can gather that 'he' and 'him' are different people,
>but out of context we have no idea whether 'his' refers to the 'he' man or
>the 'him' man. To make it clear in English would want something like:
>"He told him the truth about his (John's) mother."
>but would it be common (or practical?) for a language to mark _his_ to match
>the relevant pronoun, like:
>"He1 told him2 the truth about him2's mother."
From what I gather, this sort of marking is relatively
common. Russian has it:
On skazal jemu pravdu o jego matjeri.
He1 told to+him2 truth about his2 mother.
On skazal jemu pravdu o svojej matjeri.
He1 told to+him2 truth about his1 mother.
Here, "svoj" (declined in the sentence to "svojej" to indicate the
prepositional case) shows that the subject is the owner. "Svoy" is
actually a very versatile word, and can appear in the first and second
person, as well as third person.
Ja ljublyu cvoju zhjenu OR Ja ljublju moju zhjenu
I love my (own) wife I love my wife
Ty ljubish' cvoyu zhjenu OR Ty ljubish' tboju zhjenu
You love your (own) wife You love your wife
On ljubit cvoju zhjenu
He loves his (own) wife
On ljubit jego zhjenu
He loves his (another's) wife
One could get into potentially uncomfortable situations if one is not
There are also languages that have a true "fourth" person. Can't
think of any off the top of my head, except for Enamyn, but I haven't
gotten around to specifying the details of what the fourth person will be
like. But I am sure that there are other nat- and conlangs that have this
very handy feature...