Tag Archives: personal pronoun

About so-called tonic personal pronouns again

Let’s consider the so-called ‘tonic personal pronouns’ used in the imperative, in an affirmative (non-negative) form: parle-moi, _ , parle-lui, parlez-nous, parlez-vous, parle-leur (talk to me, , talk to him/her, talk to us, talk to you, talk to them; parla mi, _, parla li, parleti ci, parleti vi, parla li). Here again, we have the equivalence of meaning: parle-moi = parle à moi, _ , parle-lui = parle à lui/elle, parlez-nous = parlez à nous, parlez-vous = parlez à vous, parle-leur = parle à eux/elles (no difference in english; parla mi = parla à mè, _, parla li = parla ad eddu/edda, parleti ci = parleti à no, parleti vi = parleti à vo, parla li = parla ad eddi). Therefore, once again: ‘me = à moi, te = à toi, lui = à lui/elle, nous = à nous, vous = à vous, leur = eux/elles’ (mi = à mè, ti = à tè, li = ad eddu/edda, ci = à no, vi = à vo, li = ad eddi). Thus, in the so-called ‘tonic personal pronoun’ used in the imperative, the preposition placed before the personal pronoun is included. In the present model, ‘tonic personal pronouns’ cannot be considered as a category of personal pronouns, but are viewed here as a contraction, i.e. a preposition+personal pronoun group.

About personal pronouns

To begin with, there is (i) the class of autonomous personal pronouns: ‘moi, toi, lui/elle, nous, vous, eux/elles’ (me, you, he/she, we, you, they).

There is also (ii) the class of personal pronouns as direct object complements: ‘me te le/la nous vous les’ (me you him/her us you them; mi ti u/a ci vi i/e), as in ‘il me comprend, elle te comprend, je le comprends, nous nous comprenons, ils vous comprennent, je les comprends’: (he understands me, she understands you, I understand him, we understand us, they understand you, I understand them; mi capisci, ti capisci, u capiscu, ci capimu, vi capiscini, i capiscu).

There are also (iii) the so-called ‘tonic personal pronouns’: ‘moi toi lui/elle nous vous eux/elles’ (me you him/her we you them), used after a preposition: ‘de moi, à toi, devant lui, après elle, par nous, chez vous, à eux, à elles’ (of me, to you, in front of him, after her, by us, at your place, to them, to them; di mè, à tè, davanti ad eddu, dopu ad edda, da no, ind’è vo, ad eddi, ad eddi).

Finally, there is the class of person pronouns as indirect object complement: ‘me te lui nous vous leur’ (not applicable to english; mi ti li ci vi li). For example: ‘il me parle, elle te parle, je lui parle, il nous parle, elle vous parle, je leur parle’ (he talks to me, she talks to you, I talk to her, he talks to us, she talks to you, I talk to them; mi parla, ti parla, li parlu, ci parla, vi parla, li parlu). If we now analyse the personal pronouns as indirect object complements, it turns out that each of them is equivalent to the preposition followed by the tonic personal pronoun: ‘il me parle = il parle à moi, elle te parle = elle parle à toi, je lui parle = je parle à lui/elle, il nous parle = il parle à nous, elle vous parle = elle parle à vous, je leur parle = je parle à eux/elles’ (mi parla = parla à mè, ti parla = parla à tè, li parlu = parlu ad eddu/edda, ci parla = parla à no, vi parla = parla à vo, li parlu = parla ad eddi). Therefore: ‘me = à moi, te = à toi, lui = à lui/elle, nous = à nous, vous = à vous, leur = eux/elles’ (mi = à mè, ti = à tè, li = ad eddu/edda, ci = à no, vi = à vo, li = ad eddi). Thus, in the so-called ‘tonic personal pronoun’, the preposition placed before the personal pronoun is included. It is therefore a preposition+personal pronoun group. In the present context, ‘tonic personal pronouns’ cannot be considered as a category of personal pronouns: in the present model, it is it is a contraction, i.e. a group consisting of a preposition followed by a personal pronoun: PS+PRPERS.

The enigmatic grammatical status of “I love you” in Corsican language

Translating ‘I love you’ might sound trivial, but it’s not. In fact, ‘ti amu‘ is not the best translation. The best translation is ‘ti tengu caru‘ when addressed to a male person, or ‘ti tengu cara‘ when addressed to a female person. Hence the proposed translation ‘ti tengu caru/cara‘, whose (difficult) disambiguation must be done according to the context.

It is worth sketching a few ideas, in order to get some insight into this issue. First of all, let’s look at the problem synthetically. This underlines the problem inherent in the grammatical status of the sentence ‘je t’aime’ (I love you) in French or in English, as it is not known whether it is addressed to a male or a female person. If one were to assign a gender to this sentence, it would therefore be masculine or feminine, with an inherent ambiguity. Assigning in some way a gender – masculine or feminine – to a sentence may seem strange prima facie, but it could prove useful (to be confirmed) In this case, the gender associated with the sentence would be inherited from the pronoun ‘t’ (short for ‘te’) which remains unambiguated with the sentence ‘je t’aime’ (I love you, ti tengu caru/cara) alone.

Second, let’s look at the issue from an analytical perspective. For another way to solve the problem could be to assign a reference to the pronoun ‘te’ (you). The latter could be identified according to the context. This sounds more promising and more in line with the well-known problem of pronoun resolution.