demonstrative or pronoun?

Annie Montaut montaut at EHESS.FR
Sun Aug 9 00:12:40 UTC 2009

it is 'I' in Hindi for the context A
main X bol rahâ hûn
1s      X speak progr prest-1s
For context B, I don't even what I would do in my native French, except 
sign at the end!!!

David Gil a écrit :

> 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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