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--- Garrett Jones <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> i have this idea for Minyeva (my conlang) for what i
> will call an
> "environment pronoun". I am going to describe it
> here, and i was just
> wondering if anyone's seen anything similar in a
> natlang or conlang.
>
> In english the equivalent meaning is realized as
> 'it'. In esperanto, it is
> realized as a null subject.
>
> examples:
>
> -"it" is hot.
> -"it" is raining.
>
> the pronoun would refer not only to the physical
> environment but the
> psychological environment:
>
> -"it" got heated. (in an argument, for example: the
> situation got heated)
> -"this" is awkward. (the situation is awkward
> because i cussed in front of
> my conservative grandma, or whatever)
> -I don't like "it here". (i don't like this place)
> -"it" is boring "here".
>
> the generic question "how is 'it' there?" could
> refer to many different
> things such as the weather, the awkward situation,
> or the comfort level
> because of the broken air conditioning.
>
> The pronoun would also be used in questions of time:
>
> -what time is "it"? (realized as: in/at which time
> is "it"?)
> -"it" is 7 o'clock. (realized as: "it" is in/at 7
> o'clock)
> -what day of the week is "it"? (realized as: in/at
> which day.of.the.week is
> "it"?)
>
> Or also establishing the time/place of a story:
>
> -"It" was in/at 1900, and everyone was happy.
> -"it" is russia, 1984. (as in a movie subtitle:
> RUSSIA, 1984)
>
> "It" could end up being a very useful story-telling
> device. That's all the
> contexts that i've seen the pronoun being used for
> so far - can anyone think
> of any more uses for it?

Why not use it to say "there is/are" with some verb?
The choice of verb is up to you. The French say "il y
a" lit. "it there has". The Germans say "es gibt" lit.
"it gives". The Spanish have a separate verb for it,
"haber", which is "hay" without a pronoun in the
present tense. And of course, in English we use the
verb "to be".

For example, to say "There is a book." you would say:

(environmental pronoun)(some verb)("a book").

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