Oct 29, 2008

Sixth - Pronouns

Pronouns are words (a pro-form) that substitute a noun (or a noun phrase) that generally were already included during the communication process.
They usually refer to a person or things and mark its position in the sentence (personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, etc) and also, certain type of pronouns are used to question about the noun (i.e. interrogative pronouns)
The are called "pro-nouns" because they substitute or are equivalent in meaning to a noun.

1. Personal pronouns:
They are words used to substitute any of the 3 grammatical persons without using a noun. They mark the relation between the speaker, the addressee and a third party in a conversation, story, etc.
In Mapuzugun there is 3 grammatical persons (first, second & third) and each of these also have 3 grammatical numbers (singular, dual & plural)

Pronouns in Mapuzugun do not present grammatical gender (there is no difference among the personal pronouns with respect to the gender of the substituted noun).

Based on the material seen up to now, Mapuzugun would not have noun cases.

1.a. Singular:
...iñce: I
...eymi: you (actually: thou)
...fey: he/she/it (it marks a 3rd person or thing in a conversation)

1.b. Dual:
It marks 2 persons or nouns
....iñciw: we two (including the speaker)
...eymu: you two
...feyegu: they two

1.c. Plural:
It marks more than 2 persons or nouns
....iñciñ: we all (including the speaker)
...eymvn: you all (including the hearer)
...feyegvn: they all

The grammatical person is also marked in the verbal desinence (suffix), therefore sometimes the personal pronoun can be omitted during conversation. E.g. the verbal desinence for "iñce" is "-n" and the sentence: iñce nien kawej can be also said nien kawej.

2. Possession marker in Mapuzugun
Personal pronouns are used together with the possessive particle (PP) "ñi" to mark possession Example:
...iñce ñi ruka = my house
...feyegvn ñi kawej = their horses (of them all)
The possessor in the response to a question is usually marked by the personal pronoun:
Question...¿iney ñi ruka tvfa? = ¿whose house is this?
Response:...iñce = I (instead of: iñce ñi ruka = my house)
To mark the possession of a thing, the possessor (and not the possessive marker) is expressed
Question:...¿feyegvn ñi kujiñ bay*? = ¿their animals (of them all) died?
Response:...may, feyegvn = yes, theirs (instead of may, feyegvn ñi kujiñ = yes, their animals)
Note: may = yes.
* The verb in 3rd. person plural should be: bayegvn (i.e. the root "ba-" of the infinitive ban = to die) plus the desinence 3rd. person "-y-" plus the plural marker "-(e)gvn" - although it can be used marking only the 3rd person if the pronoun is included in the sentence.

3. Demonstrative pronouns:
Mark the relative position with respect to the speaker and addressee in the communication process.
The words are:
"fa" marks a place that is close to the place the conversation takes place
"fey" marks a place that is not the place where the conversation takes place or that is close to
"ye" marks a place that is away from the place the conversation take palce.

These particles can work alone but usually are added the particle "tv":
These words, called position markers, are used individually or in combination with other words or particles.

mark a place[1]
...tvfa mew = in this place; here (literally: in here)
...tvfey mew = in that place; there (literally: in there)
...tvye mew = over there

. to mark a place or thing[1]
...tvfa (ta) kawej = this is* (a) horse; this horse (that is here close to us)
...tvfa (ta) ñi peñi = this is* my brother; my brother (he is here)
Note: the particle "ta" marks a relation between 2 words (in Mapuzugun we do not use the verb "to be" in these kind of sentences)
¿tuci? - ¿which?
tvfey - that, those; the one/s there.

iii. To mark or specify a person or thing (or a group of people or things) within another group; this is, to mark that a thing or person excluding others. The particle "ci" is then added to the previous constructions[1]
...tvfaci kawej = this horse, these horses
...tvfeyci wenxu = that man, those men
...tvyeci mawiza = that mountain, those mountains

These words can be used individually as pronouns
...tvfaci = this, these (that is close to where we are / where I am)
...tvfeyci = that, those (that is away from where we are / where I am but close to a 3rd person or object)
...tvyeci = that, those (that is away from where we are / where I am and also away from a 3rd person or object)

They can also occur without the particle "tv-"
...faci kawej = this horse, these horses
...feyci wenxu = this man, these men
...vyeci = that mountain, those mountains

Sometimes, the particle "ci" is used without specifying the position:
...ci kawej = this/these/that/those horse/s

In my next entry I will introduce other pronouns (interrogative, indefinite, etc)

[1] Mapucezugun Ñi Cumgeel - Descripción de la lengua Mapuche (Description of the Mapuche language), Cañumil, T. Versión electrónica,
[2] Gramática del idioma Mapuche del profesor Raguileo Lincopil, Agrupación Mapuche “Wixaleyiñ”, Marta Berretta, Dario Cañumil, Tulio Cañumil.

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