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idea: environment pronoun

From:Garrett Jones <alkaline@...>
Date:Monday, April 15, 2002, 7:41
i have this idea for Minyeva (my conlang) for what i will call an
"environment pronoun". I am going to describe it here, and i was just
wondering if anyone's seen anything similar in a natlang or conlang.

In english the equivalent meaning is realized as 'it'. In esperanto, it is
realized as a null subject.


-"it" is hot.
-"it" is raining.

the pronoun would refer not only to the physical environment but the
psychological environment:

-"it" got heated. (in an argument, for example: the situation got heated)
-"this" is awkward. (the situation is awkward because i cussed in front of
my conservative grandma, or whatever)
-I don't like "it here". (i don't like this place)
-"it" is boring "here".

the generic question "how is 'it' there?" could refer to many different
things such as the weather, the awkward situation, or the comfort level
because of the broken air conditioning.

The pronoun would also be used in questions of time:

-what time is "it"? (realized as: in/at which time is "it"?)
-"it" is 7 o'clock. (realized as: "it" is in/at 7 o'clock)
-what day of the week is "it"? (realized as: in/at which day.of.the.week is

Or also establishing the time/place of a story:

-"It" was in/at 1900, and everyone was happy.
-"it" is russia, 1984. (as in a movie subtitle: RUSSIA, 1984)

"It" could end up being a very useful story-telling device. That's all the
contexts that i've seen the pronoun being used for so far - can anyone think
of any more uses for it?


Levi Tooker <nerd525@...>
nicole dobrowolski <fuzzybluemonkeys@...>subjective temperature(was Re: idea: environment pronoun)
Danny Wier <dawier@...>
The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>