demonstrative or pronoun?

Viktor El=?ISO-8859-2?B?ue0=?=k viktor_elsik at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 7 17:00:23 UTC 2009

Dear David,

as for Czech:

a) One most commonly says/writes TADY (JE) HONZA [here (is) John], mostly
without the copula. Another option is to say TO JSEM JÁ, HONZA [that am I,
John] "it's me, John" (note that the copula agrees with the 1st person
pronoun) - perhaps too long a construction to be regularly used in a text
message. In the text message context, you can also write PÍŠE HONZA [writes
John] in the beginning of the message (or, of course, just sign yourself at
the end).

b) The demonstrative construction TO JE HONZA [that is John] (the copula
cannot be deleted here) can only be used in your context if Bill previously
asks KDO JE TO / KDO TO JE? [who is that / who that is] "who is it?", and
even so it is a much less felicitous response than TO JSEM JÁ, HONZA or TADY
HONZA. If Bill's question does not contain the demonstrative, e.g. KDO VOLÁ?
[who calls] "who is calling?", the demonstrative construction cannot be
used. The proximate demonstrative construction TOTO/TOHLE JE HONZA [this is
John] is impossible in your context.

c) The pronoun construction JÁ JSEM HONZA [I am John] can only be used in
your context if Bill previously asks KDO JSI/JSTE? [who are.2sg(familiar
/polite)] "who are you?".

So Czech differs from both Polish and Russian in this respect.

Best regards,

On 8/7/09 2:52 PM, "Olesya Khanina" <khanina at EVA.MPG.DE> wrote:

> Dear David,
> the same in Russian
> Regards,
> Olesya
> Siewierska, Anna wrote:
>> Dear David,
>> In Polish you would use the demonstrative, To Jan.
>> Best
>> Anna
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Discussion List for ALT [mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG]
>> On Behalf Of David Gil
>> Sent: 07 August 2009 15:09
>> Subject: demonstrative or pronoun?
>> Dear all,
>> Consider the following very similar contexts;
>> Context A:
>> John and Bill are friends.  John calls Bill on a landphone; it's a bad
>> line, Bill doesn't know who is speaking; John tries to identify himself
>> (using a predicate nominal construction)...
>> Context B:
>> John and Bill are friends.  John sends Bill a text message from a new
>> number that Bill is unfamiliar with; John identifies himself (using a
>> predicate nominal construction)...
>> My question:
>> In languages that you are familiar with, in the above contexts, is the
>> subject of the predicate nominal construction a demonstrative or a 1st
>> pronoun pronoun?
>> In English, the subject is a demonstrative; the pronoun is infelicitous
>> in the given context:
>> This is John
>> #I am John
>> But in Indonesian, the subject is most commonly a pronoun, though a
>> demonstrative is also possible:
>> Ini John [less common]
>> Aku John
>> I am curious to know what happens in other languages.  (I have a hunch
>> that the availability of the "pronominal subject" option in Indonesian
>> is correlated with the questionable status of pronouns as a discrete
>> grammatical category in Indonesian, but this hunch is easily testable
>> with a bit of cross-linguistic data.)
>> Note: I don't expect to find differences between the two contexts; I
>> provided both just in order to make the situation more natural to as
>> many respondents as possible.
>> Thanks,
>> David

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