in Pronouns

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199230242
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191710124 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory


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This introductory chapter establishes a distinction between two kinds of pronouns, called ‘personal pronouns’ and ‘proforms’, and points out why it has not been possible so far to give a satisfactory definition of the category called ‘pronouns’. It also points out the need to differentiate between free-pronoun and bound-pronoun languages. The primary function of personal pronouns is carried out by free pronouns in the former case, and by bound pronouns (clitics or affixes) in the latter.

Keywords: personal pronoun; proform; category; definition; free-pronoun language; bound-pronoun language

Chapter.  14192 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

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