Last modified on 10 June 2008, at 01:18

Novial/AIL Pronouns

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PronounsEdit

Most of the pronouns and pronominal words have already been mentioned, as their inflexions are the same as those of other words. This will be the place to enumerate them and arrange them according to the ordinary grammatical classification.

Personal: 1 me, nus. 2 vu, vus. In the singular there will be no need to distinguish two degrees of familiarity, as in F tu, vous, D du, Sie; the forms tu, te, which might have been chosen for the familiar address, are otherwise employed; and an international language should be democratic or polite enough to treat everybody alike. 3 le (lo, la), les (los, las); lum, les.

Reflexive: se, used where there is identity of subject and object: la odia se she hates herself; las odia se they hate themselves. Not used (as Slavs would be inclined to do) in the first and second person: me non odia me (self). The genitive sen must like se be used for both numbers: los renkontrad sen patro they met their father.

Reciprocal: It is, of course, possible to use such combinations as les odia un altre or les odia li un li altre they hate each other; but these combinations are not very convenient, and one may hesitate whether to use or omit the article; further there is a difficulty when we speak of more than two persons: should one say li tri fratres odia li un li altres, or li unes li altres? Further there is some difficulty with the position of a preposition: les promena (li) un kun (li) altres, or kun un-altres. There seems to be a general tendency to let such pronouns coalesce: instead of the earlier expressions "they walk each with other, one with another" we now say "with each other, with one another", and the coalescence is complete in D mit einander, Dan med hinanden, med hverandre, Dutch met elkander, met mekaar; cp. also Greek allélous, Magyar egymas (Philos. of Grammar, p. 224). We get out of all difficulties if from the international mutual we derive the uninflected pronoun mutu: li tri fratres odia mutu the three brothers (sisters) hate one another; li amantes promena kun mutu. The genitive of course is mutun: les envia mutun feliseso e omnitem parla pri mutun fortune they envy each other's happiness and are always talking of each other's good luck. Los konkorda kun mutu = los konkorda mutualim.

Demonstrative: Ti (te, to, tes, tum, etc.) that; disi (dise, disum, etc.) this.

Tali (-e, etc.) such; tanti (-es, -um) so much, so manu. Sami same; self, invariable: les ha self dikte lum they have said it themselves. Selfadmiro; selftuo suicide.

Interrogative: Qui (adjunct: qui home, qui kose) with the natural inflected forms que (quo, qua), quum. Pro quum why? The other interrogative words, too, begin with qu: quand when, quali what kind of, qualim how, quanti how much, how many (quanti pane how much bread, quanti panes how many loaves), quantum how much (standing by itself).

Relative: In most constructed languages the same forms are used for relative and interrogative words, and it is true that this rule finds some support in many national languages. But there is no intrinsic necessity for this identity, and even where in national languages the same roots are used, there is often some distinction, as in L quis, quid interrogative, qui, quod relative, F quoi int. (ce) qui rel. (though this distinction is not carried through), D wann int., wenn rel.; in E the distinction between which and what is not the same in the two classes; moreover many languages have relative pronouns that are not used interrogatively: D der, Dan som, der. Some examples in the following paragraphs will show the desirability of having separate forms for interrogative and relative words: the function of the latter is to connect clauses, and a better term would therefore be connective words (pronouns, etc.). Connective words begin with k. Corresponding to interr. que the systematic form would be ke, but that form is naturally put in requisition for the most general connective word, the "conjunction" that (me kreda ke lo sal veni pro ke lo promised lum I think he will come, because he promised it). Therefore we take as the ordinary relative pronoun kel, generally without any ending: li libre kel lo lekted the book that he was reading; li libre pri kel nus parlad, that we were talking about, etc.

Genitive kelen: li profesoro, kelen libres nule lekte.

In the plural no ending is generally required: li profesoro skripte libres kel (or keles) nule lekte. Indication of sex and number may sometimes make it perfectly clear what word the relative refers to: li marita del direktero, kela esed vestat in nigrum (who, viz. the wife, was dressed in black =li direkteron marita, kel). Multes audid li kanto, keles pasad li hause many heard the singing, who passed the house.

In adjunct position keli: me deskovrad dar li servista, li gardenisto e lon marita, omni keli persones had varta me non-patientim. Such constructions are never elegant. La restad du hores sur li lite, durant keli tempe nule darfed parla. In keli kasu in which case (shorter kelikas).

Indefinite: Under the name of indefinite pronouns most grammarians comprise various pronominal words that do not fit into the other classes. I shall mention them here in the personal form in -e; the other forms have already been mentioned and are easily formed: nule, omne, irge (any one, a convenient form taken from D irgend), kelke some, sertene a certain (whom we do not choose to mention), chake each, altre. Genitive: lo voli audi nulen opinione he will hear no one's opinion.

Irge (irgi hom) pove vida tum anyone can see that, irge kel ha vida lo, estima lo anybody who has seen him esteems him. Irgum kel lo dikte es stupidi.