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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:27 pm 
Niš
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I'm working out gender pronouns for an alien language, but I had a thought...

Is there any cases of human languages where the 1p, s "I" changes according to gender, so instead of a male and female both referring to themselves as "I", it would be different depending on the gender?

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I just realized there doesn't seem to be a delete function.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:39 pm 
Smeric
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Didn't Hebrew do this? Astraios will surely be here soon to answer.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm 
Smeric
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http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix: ... lone_forms

Yes, Hebrew did this.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:40 pm 
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This isn't quite what you asked, but Hindi marks the gender of the subject on the verb. But, as it happens, not on pronouns. So actually it's not at all what you asked, it's more like the polar opposite of what you asked, but it's a different way of showing the gender of the first person.

If I were to tell you what I am doing right now, I would say:
मैं आपको उत्तर लिख रही हूँ।
Maĩ āpko uttar likh rahī hū̃.
maĩ āp-ko uttar likh rah-ī hū̃
1S.NOM 2P.OBL-ACC reply write stay-PP.F be.PRS.1S
I am writing(f) you a reply.

But, since there are no girls on the Internet, I should rather say:
मैं आपको उत्तर लिख रहा हूँ।
Maĩ āpko uttar likh rahā hū̃.
maĩ āp-ko uttar likh rah-ā hū̃
1S.NOM 2P.OBL-ACC reply write stay-PP.M be.PRS.1S
I am writing(m) you a reply.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:12 pm 
Niš
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:40 am 
Sumerul
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Hebrew doesn't do this in fact. It has a masculine and feminine form of all the second- and third-person pronouns, but the first-person pronouns are gender-neutral.

(At least one dialect of Jewish) Neo-Aramaic does it, though in verbs rather than pronouns: 1sm -ın- 1sf -an-.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:06 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:02 pm 
Avisaru
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I believe you are looking for this: http://wals.info/feature/44A.

Also consider pragmatically it doesn't make much sense to mark the gender of second person and escpecially first person pronouns since they are already known qualities. I think this is very different from marking gender on the verb of things that happen to be first or second person, because in that case the marking--as I understand it--is used for cross referencing purposes--not for establishing the identity of the substantive.


Last edited by 2+3 clusivity on Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:37 pm 
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I'm surprised Thai hasn't been mentioned yet. Phǒm for men, dìchán for women, though it changes depending on formality. I believe the forms I mentioned are neutral. Japanese also distinguishes based on gender for some registers too.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:02 pm 
Sumerul
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No, Hebrew does not have gender in either of the first-person pronouns. You're reading the table on the Wiki page wrong - there's no dividing line between masculine and feminine in the first person boxes. The pronoun is either ani or anokhi, not masculine ani and feminine anokhi, or whatever you think it says. (And neither ani nor anokhi was historically used only for masculine or feminine either. A quick Google search tells me this is a common misconception among mystics and pseudoabrahamic spiritualists.)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:17 pm 
Boardlord
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I don't know Hebrew, but I can read a grammar; I'm not sure why some folks are seeing a gender distinction in the 1st person.

Since Wikipedia was cited, note that as Serafin says, the cite shows no gender distinction. Don't be confused by the two forms; as Astraios points out, they share a merged cell. The distinction was not by gender.

The source Masako mentioned, Waltke and O'Connor, is online: http://www.areopage.net/PDF/waltke.pdf It agrees; see section 16.3. There are only "common" forms in the 1st person.

Finally, I checked Robert Hetzron's sketch in The World's Major Languages; he states right off "No gender distinction exist for the first person."


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:23 pm 
Smeric
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Too bad that map doesnt break out the "1st person" and "2nd person" languages, or singular vs plural. I was wondering why Spanish was listed but then I realized it's probably talking about nosotr(o/a)s and vosotr(o/a)s.

Nevertheless, if only 1 language in the whole world does it it's proof that it's not unnaturalistic to use in an Earth-like culture's language, and certainly okay for an alien language.

Welcome to the board, don't feel bad if you post things in the "wrong" forum, we want new people to feel welcome.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Ah, I see now...I misread the tables. Oops.

Thanks for the help everyone.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:12 pm 
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The above lists various words used as pronouns in Japanese. They do vary by region and dialect, but they also are used to indicate gender.

A few terms are confirmed in "Japanese grammar" By Nobuo and Carol Akiyama

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:56 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:27 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:37 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:50 pm 
Sumerul
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Ignoring the fact that the English forms are irrelevant, and the fact that it tells you right beneath the table, 'anokhi' is archaic.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:06 pm 
Smeric
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As far as Japanese goes, there are two informal, male first person pronouns that are very commonly used among speakers of all ages (informally or in a position of clear superiority only). Women very often use the most basic first person pronoun, which is completely gender-neutral and neither highly formal nor particularly informal. There is a female-only version that is an abbreviation of the regular one, but it is somewhat young-sounding and becomes progressively less common as the speaker's age increases.


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