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Pronouns in Laefêvëši: Substantival pronouns
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Menu 1. 1. Substantival pronouns 2. 1.1 Personal pronouns 3. 1.1.1 Forms of personal pronouns 4. 1.2 Reflexive and reciprocal pronouns 5. 1.3 Other substantival pronouns 6. 1.3.1 Interrogative pronouns 7. 1.3.2 Relative pronouns 8. 1.3.3 Unspecified pronouns 9. 1.3.4 Relative unspecified pronouns 10. 1.3.5 Indefinite pronouns 11. 1.3.6 Negative pronouns 12. 1.3.7 Total pronouns 13. 1.3.8 Manifold pronouns
There are two large classes of pronouns in Laefêvëši: substantival (or nominal) pronouns, and adjectival pronouns. As their name suggests, substantival pronouns replace nouns while adjectival pronouns replace adjectives. Each of these classes has further subdivisions.

This article covers substantival pronouns. For adjectival pronouns, see here (personal pronouns) and here (non-personal pronouns).

[edit] [top]1. Substantival pronouns

Substantival pronouns are divided into two main groups: personal and non-personal pronouns. The personal pronouns are pronouns like ós "I", "you", njûn "we", etc., as well as reflexive and reciprocal pronouns.

The group of non-personal pronouns includes interrogative pronouns (sel "who" and sei "what"), relative pronouns, unspecified pronouns, relative unspecified pronouns, indefinite pronouns, negative pronouns, total pronouns, and manifold pronouns.

[edit] [top]1.1 Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns (jubila ljaklansa) are used to denote the speaker, the addressee, or a third person - they are inflected for three persons. There is also a fourth person form of the pronouns, the obviative pronoun. Personal pronouns further inflect for number (singular, dual, plural), case, and clusivity.

The personal pronouns have unique forms for the six basic cases. Other case endings are added to these basic six forms, according to the case hierarchy.

Many pronouns also have two possible forms for each case: the long or emphatic form, and the short or unstressed form. Some pronouns have a third form in some of the cases: the preclitic form, which is a clitic form attached to the verb. The unstressed forms are used when the pronoun is not important. However, then inflecting for the subcases or additional cases, then the emphatic forms are used (along with Class II nominal suffixes, corresponding to the number, ie. singular pronouns take singular endings, and so on). Lastly, the clitic forms are often used when the verb begins in a vowel and the pronoun contracts. This is especially common in set phrases or idiomatic expressions.

Laefêvëši personal pronouns differentiate clusivity too - between inclusive (me and you) and exclusive (me and someone else) forms. Inclusive and exclusive pronouns exist in first person dual and plural, as well for second person dual and plural. However, the second person inclusive and exclusive pronouns are rarely used - the shorter inclusive forms are typically used.

There is also a fourth person pronoun, which exists only in singular. It is somewhat defective compared to other pronouns because it lacks certain forms. It is used when it's necessary to indicate that there are two separate people or things.

Third person pronouns in singular also differentiate between animate (ie. he/she) and inanimate (ie. it) forms, but only in nominative. The difference is non-existed in all other forms. There is also no gender difference or any other class difference.

Since Laefêvëši is a pro-drop language, nominative forms are rarely used explicitly. An exception to this might be the exclusive pronouns and the obviative pronoun, which tend to be used more often to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Non-nominative forms of any pronoun are frequently used.

[edit] [top]1.1.1 Forms of personal pronouns

Singular forms:
Case1st person2nd person3rd personObviative
Nominative ós, ósé, éjâ, â; dô, ôléis, lî
Genitive vrai, vastai, satrai, talau
Dative1 vriu, vi, vl-stiu, si, st-triu, ti, tr-leu
Accusative vrei, ve, vj-stei, se, sj-trei, te, tj-lei
Locative2 vrui, vustui, sutrui, tului
Instrumental vroi, vostoi, sotroi, tolou

Dual forms:
Case1st person2nd person3rd person
Nominative hat, hâxat, xâtaldal
Genitive hraixirraičaidilaikjai
Dative1 hriuxirriučiudiliukjiu
Accusative hreixirreičeidileikjei
Locative2 hruixirruičuidiluikjui
Instrumental hroixirroičoidiloikjoi

Plural forms:
Case1st person2nd person3rd person
Nominative njûnnjôrpalbal
Genitive njairjaipraibirraijai
Dative1 njiurjiupriubirriujiu, ji
Accusative njeirjeipreibirreijei, je
Locative2 njuirjuipruibirruijui
Instrumental njoirjoiproibirroijoi

Pronunciation notes:
1 In the dative, the combination ⟨iu⟩ is pronounced [ij], eg. ⟨stiu⟩ [stij].
2 In the locative, the combination ⟨ui⟩ is pronounced [y], eg. ⟨stui⟩ [sty].

[edit] [top]1.2 Reflexive and reciprocal pronouns

The reflexive pronoun is used to refer back to the subject of the sentence. It inflects only for case, but not for number. It takes singular Class II case endings. There is also no stand-alone nominative form, but a nominative form exists when additional cases require it.

The reciprocal pronoun indicates that the persons or things do the same thing, feel the same way or have the same relationship. It also inflects only for case, takes singular Class II case endings, and has no stand-alone nominative form, except for additional cases.


Examples of the reflexive pronoun:
  • Nareu šillar noido.
    Take the book with you.

  • Nei lallais tvēalu.
    He saw himself in the mirror.

  • Lottallúksi nuiru.
    She doesn't want to speak about herself.

Examples of the reciprocal pronoun:
  • Nûdi grîttes neires.
    The two of them are washing each other's hands.

  • Tajatoksi nûdo.
    They don't agree with each other.

Reflexive verbs and reflexive/reciprocal pronouns
Laefêvëši also has reciprocal verbs, which also indicate that the action refers back to the subject. Because of that, there is some overlap with the reflexive and reciprocal verbs. In many cases, one can be used instead of the other, sometimes there are slight nuances in the meaning, and sometimes they convey very different information.

Some verbs are inherently reflexive. The reflexive pronoun can be added to indicate the direction of the action. Compare the three examples below:
  • Neinnasse. (reflexive without the reflexive pronoun)
    He's laughing.

  • Neinnasse niu. (reflexive with the reflexive pronoun)
    He's laughing at himself.

  • Neinnasse vi. (reflexive with a non-reflexive pronoun)
    He's laughing at me.

In other cases, the reflexive pronoun can be replaced by turning a regular verb into a reflexive verb when the reflexive pronoun isn't important.
  • Nei lallais tvēalu.Laillaisse tvēalu.
    He saw himself in the mirror.He saw himself in the mirror.

Some verbs can be used either reflexively or with a reflexive pronouns without any change in meaning, apart from emphasising the reflexivity of the action. Compare the following examples:
  • Grîtta nioreu. (non-reflexive)
    I'm washing the child.

  • Grîttare. (reflexive)
    I'm washing myself.

  • Grîtta nei. (non-reflexive with the reflexive pronoun)
    I'm washing myself.

In dual and plural, further distinctions can be made by using the reciprocal pronoun. Continuing from the previous examples:
  • Grîtteri. (reflexive) - Grîtte nei. (non-reflexive with the reflexive pronoun)
    The two of us are washing ourselves. (each person is washing themselves)

  • Grîtte nûde. (non-reflexive with the reciprocal pronoun)
    The two of us are washing each other. (person A is washing person B, and person B is washing person A)

The same applies to inherently reflexive pronouns:
  • Neinneri. (reflexive without the reflexive pronoun)
    The two of us are laughing.

  • Neinneri niu. (reflexive with the reflexive pronoun)
    The two of us are laughing at ourselves.

  • Neinneri nûdi. (reflexive with the reciprocal pronoun)
    The two of us are laughing at each other.

[edit] [top]1.3 Other substantival pronouns

Substantival pronouns, like personal pronouns, have unique forms for the basic cases, and all other case suffixes are added to the forms of the basic cases forms. The endings used are those of Class II nouns after vowel-ending forms, and Class I nouns after consonant-ending forms; singular only.

Substantival pronouns are also distinguished by animacy between animate (ie. who) and inanimate (ie. what) forms. The distinction is preserved throughout inflection. The forms of the interrogative pronouns are used as the basis for all other pronouns.

[edit] [top]1.3.1 Interrogative pronouns

The interrogative pronouns (tentandila ljaklansa) are used to introduce a question and enquire about persons, animals, objects, etc. The corresponding English pronouns are who and what.


  • Sel hjonnas?
    Who is coming?

  • San vettain nareu?
    Who did you give the book to?

  • Sak hkillanne?
    What are you afraid of? (or What do you fear?)

  • Set marranos?
    What are they looking for?

  • Simot geittaun?
    What will you pay with?

[edit] [top]1.3.2 Relative pronouns

The relative pronouns are used to introduce a relative clause, which then gives more information about someone or something mentioned in the main clause. These are substantival relative pronouns, however, which means they stand in for nouns or refer to whole clauses. The best English equivalents are (the person) who, (he) who, or (someone) who, and (the thing) which, (that) which, or (something) which.


  • Sol nevvanas, nevant ás.
    A person who teaches is a teacher.

  • Tannar, sut ullan.
    Do what you want.

  • Pol sanlás, sumot tajataker.
    This is the only thing which I disagree with.

  • Pol, sut lonnais, nalj áksi.
    What he said isn't true. (or more literally, That which he said isn't true.)

[edit] [top]1.3.3 Unspecified pronouns

The unspecified pronouns are similar to interrogative pronouns but refer to an unspecified person, animal, object, etc. They are never used to introduce a question. There are no direct English counterparts, the closest are who, anyone, someone, and what, anything, something.


  • Sannar vi, søt lallavan.
    Tell me if you see anything.

  • Sannar vi, siu ehtiavausse.
    Tell me if anything changes.

  • Ynnake, sân vettaha pei.
    I don't know who I should give this to.

  • Njainnahas sēl fjøljade.
    Someone should call the doctor. (or May someone call the doctor.)

  • Yssynnanasse, suj ti sēl søt vettas.
    It always makes him happy when someone gives him something.

  • Ynnaike, synot lottai.
    I didn't know who I was talking to.

[edit] [top]1.3.4 Relative unspecified pronouns

The relative unspecified pronouns are similar to the relative pronouns but with a suffix added to indicate an optional or arbitrary, random choice. They are similar to English whoever or anyone, and whatever or anything.


  • Sientóleu niounnallés soles.
    Anyone can read this letter.

  • Soŋesot annan, ljecyissár.
    Whoever you go with, be careful.

  • Suðeseru ǯiuissás.
    I'm ready for anything. (alternatively also I'm ready for whatever [may happen].)

[edit] [top]1.3.5 Indefinite pronouns

The indefinite pronouns are used to refer to unknown people, animals, objects, etc. They are equivalent to English someone or somebody, and something.


  • Tel se naittais.
    Someone called you.

  • Tes ennas øxlu.
    She has something in his pocket.

  • Eillais ve timot.
    He hit me with something.

  • Tan gyttai nareu, či ʒaillai, sân.
    I lent the book to someone, but I've forgotten who.

[edit] [top]1.3.6 Negative pronouns

The negative pronouns indicate the non-existence of persons, animals, objects, etc. Their English equivalents are nobody, no-one, and nothing. They also require the predicate to be negated (double negation).


  • Tol hjannaiksi.
    Nobody came.

  • Toi lallaike.
    I saw no-one.

  • Tok tinnaike.
    I found nothing.

  • Mønnølu møttaiksi tok.
    He bought nothing in the shop.

This pronoun partly overlaps with its corresponding adjectival negative pronouns - see here for more information.

[edit] [top]1.3.7 Total pronouns

The total pronouns (sometimes also known as the universal pronouns) are used to indicate the total number of persons, animals, objects, etc. involved. The animate pronoun is often referred to as the distributive pronoun because they refer to each individual, and the inanimate pronoun as the summative pronoun because it refers to the class collectively. Their English equivalents are everyone, everybody, and everything, all.


  • Feu donnanas.
    He greets everyone. (in the sense of greeting each person separately)

  • Yvynekja tajatakses fînot.
    The professor doesn't agree with everyone.

  • Pol fei lás, sut sella.
    This is everything that I know.

  • Fâk i ynnake.
    I don't know how to do everything.

[edit] [top]1.3.8 Manifold pronouns

The manifold pronouns are a set of unspecified pronouns with prefixes (and as such, they are declined identically to the unspecified pronouns).

There are four prefixes:
  • lae- "many"
  • xae- "many" (rarely used)
  • tue- "hardly"
  • jae- "rarely"

The first two types, lae- and xae-, are identical in meaning but lae- forms are prevalent and xae- forms have largely fallen out of use. They refer to multiple people or things and can be translated similarly to English "many a person" and "many a thing".

The other two types, tue- and jae-, are also similar in meaning, both referring to the scarcity or low number of people or things. Of these, tue- is somewhat more common, but both prefixes are used. They can be translated as "hardly anyone" and "hardly anything".


  • Laessēl stoido tajatakses.
    Many a person will not agree with you.

  • Vēalu laessiu ehtiaisse.
    Many a thing has changed in the city.

  • Laessâk ynnake.
    I don't know many a thing. (or There are many things I don't know.)

  • Tuessēl ksynnas aisóleu.
    Hardly anyone knows this song. (or Very few people know this song.)

  • Vēalu tuessiu ehtiaisse.
    Hardly anything has changed in the city.
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