Pronoun: Grammatical categories

June 13th, 20128:20 pm


Pronoun: Grammatical categories

Morphologically, pronouns represent quite a diverse group. Thus, the category of case is a property of the personal pronouns, in which one may observe the distinct opposition “nominative case – objective case”. The in­definite-personal pronoun one and derivatives with the components -body and -one are also marked for the case category, since they demonstrate the opposition of the common and the possessive cases.

The category of number marks the demonstrative pronouns, the indefi­nite-personal pronoun one and the defining pronoun other as well as the reflexive pronoun yourself.

Syntactic functions of pronouns are also diverse. The personal pronouns, several interrogative pronouns, the possessive pronouns in the absolute form, derivatives of some, any, no and every perform functions peculiar to the noun, whereas the possessive pronouns, some indefinite pronouns take syntactic positions typical of the adjective. The demonstrative pronouns, several interrogative pronouns, the indefinite pronouns some and any, the defining pronouns each and other may carry out both nounal and adjectival functions.

This diversity of morphological categories and syntactic functions leads to controversial views on pronouns as such and also on linguistic units that should be treated as pronouns. As a result, some scholars deny the very existence of this part of speech. According to this point of view, the words that are usually treated as pronouns should be referred, depending on their morphological and syntactic properties, to specific subgroups of adjectives or nouns. Indeed, it is impossible to deny similarities between the pronoun, the noun and the adjective but, on the other hand, it is impossible to over­look the lexical meaning, i.e. absence of a permanent reference, that makes pronouns different from either of the two parts of speech. It is this lexical meaning that unites pronouns of different types into a part of speech, though they may share the rest of their properties with other word classes.

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