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4. Pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases in a sentence. They keep us from repeating the same words over and over again. Here's an example of a sentence without pronouns:
My mother is a teacher but my mother is also a singer and my mother sings beautifully.
It sounds clumsy and repetitive. Here's the same sentence with a personal pronoun:
My mother is a teacher but she is also a singer and she sings beautifully.
The latter sentence sounds fluent and smooth.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns refer to people. They are used in place of a person's name or title.

Singular Plural
mi vi
I, me we
tu yu
you you all
da di
he or she they

All pronouns can be used for all genders. In Pandunia, personal pronouns do not specify whether the person discussed is a woman or a man. For example, in the third person, one word – da – refers to women, men and people of other genders alike. It is a gender-neutral personal pronoun and it treats everyone equally.

The singular 2nd person pronoun tu can be used in all situations, both formal and informal, regardless of differences in social status and age of the speakers. In this way it is similar to Swedish du. However, some speakers may prefer to use tu only with family and intimate friends. Then its usage is comparable to German du, French tu, Russian ты (ty) and Hindi .

It is always acceptable to use the plural pronoun yu instead of the singular pronoun tu.

There are three first-person plural pronouns. yumi is the inclusive we that includes the audience: 'you, I and other people'. dimi is the exclusive we that excludes the audience: 'I and other people only'. Finally, vi is the neutral we that can be both inclusive and exclusive. It is also the most common first-person plural pronoun, and the other two are used only occasionally.

The possessive pronouns consists of the personal pronoun and the possessive particle se.

Singular Plural
mi se vi se
my our
tu se yu se
your your
da se di se
his or her their

Reflexive pronoun

The reflexive pronoun is used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject.

sef – self

Note! The same reflexive pronoun sef is used for all persons, so it corresponds to English myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves and themselves all at once.

mi vize sef. – I see myself.
da vize sef. – She sees herself. / He sees himself. / It sees itself.
vi vize sef. – We see ourselves.

The expression unotre is used as the reciprocal pronoun.

unotre – each other, one another

mi e tu vize unotre. – Me and you see each other.
vi vize unotre. – We see each other.

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are used with nouns to make them more specific.

Pandunia has two main demonstrative pronouns:

da this, that
di these, those

As they do not differentiate between near and far, they can be further qualified by adding hir (here) or der (there).

da haus – this or that house
di haus – these or those houses
da hir haus – this house
di hir haus – these houses
da der haus – that house
di der haus – those houses

The proximal demonstrative da hir points to things that are close to the speaker in terms of physical distance or relation. The distal demonstrative da der points to things that are futher away from the speaker in terms of physical distance or relation.

tu van da der buk, he? – Do you want that book?
no, mi van da hir buk, no da der. – No, I want this book, not that.

The demonstratives can serve as subjects and objects in the same way as nouns.

da hir es gud. – This is good.
da der es bad. – That is bad.
tu van da hir, he? – Do you want this?
no, mi van da der. – No, I want that.

When the verb is a content word, there needs to be a modal particle, like ye or no, between the subject and the verb.

mi vize du jen. – I see two persons.
da hir ye gani e da der no gani. – This one sings and that one doesn't sing.

The basic proximal and distal pronouns are used for introducing a new object. The topical demonstrative da, on the other hand, does not specify physical distance but it is used when the speaker has already mentioned the object or person in question and it is known by the audience or is topical within the discourse.

da hir es mau. da van yam da der mushu. – This is a cat. It wants to eat that mouse.

mi have un mau e un vaf. da vaf es dai. da bi yam muche yam. – I have a cat and a dog. The dog is big. It eats a lot of food.

Abstract use

The demonstrative pronouns can be used also discourse internally. Then they refer to abstract entities of discourse, not concrete objects. da refers to things previously spoken, da hir refers to things currently being spoken, and da der refers to things about to be spoken.

da hir jumla es korte. – This sentence is short.

In the above, da hir jumla (this sentence) refers to the sentence being spoken.

mi seme da der: mi love tu. – I mean this: I love you. OR I mean that I love you.
mi love tu. mi seme da. – I love you. That is what I mean.

In the above, the pronoun da der refers to the content of the next statement and da refers to the content of the previous statement.

Interrogative pronouns

There are two interrogative pronouns in Pandunia.

kua – what
hu – who

The interrogative pronoun takes the place of the questioned thing in the phrase. It is not placed in the beginning of the phrase unlike normally in English.

kua es da? – What is that?
hu es da? – Who is he ~ she?
yu van kua? – What do you want? (Literally: You want what?)
kua es a meza. – What is on the table?
hu es in haus. – Who is in the house?

The possessive interrogative pronoun is built like the other possessive pronouns.

hu se – whose

hu se haus es da? – Whose hose is that?

Adjectives are questioned with kua li.

kua li nove? – How new?
kua li koste? – How costy?
kua li meni? – How many?
kua li kam? – How few?
kua li dai? – How big?
kua li let? – How small?

tu have kua li dai mau? – How big a cat do you have?

Table of pronominals

A pronominal phrase is an expression that consists of several words and functions syntactically as a pronoun. Pandunia's pronominal phrases can be arranged in a regular table of pronominals as below.

Category Interrogative Demonstrative Indefinite Universal Negative Alternative Elective
ting kua ting da ting som ting evri ting no ting otre ting eni ting
Thing what (thing) that thing something everything nothing another anything
von kua von da von som von evri von no von otre von eni von
Individual who that one someone every one no-one another anyone
have kua von se da von se som von se evri von se no von se otre von se eni von se
Possession whose that one's someone's everyone's no-one's another's anyone's
loke kua loke da loke som loke evri loke no loke otre loke eni loke
Location where there somewhere everywhere nowhere elsewhere anywhere
tem kua tem da tem som tem evri tem no tem otre tem eni tem
Time when, what time that time sometime always, all the time never another time any time
vei kua vei da vei som vei evri vei no vei otre vei eni vei
Manner how in that way somehow in every way in no way otherwise anyway
tipe kua tipe da tipe som tipe evri tipe no tipe otre tipe eni tipe
Kind, sort what kind of that kind of some kind of all kinds of no kind of another type of any kind of
monta kua monta da monta som monta evri monta no monta otre monta eni monta
Amount how much so much some all none other amount any amount