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2009/5/16 Matthew Turnbull <[log in to unmask]>

> I was just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a pronoun system with the
> following distinctions, in particular the second and third person inclusive
> and exclusives.
>
> 1SG -- I
> 2SG -- thou
> 3SG -- s/he
> 1-2PL -- we inclusive
> 1-3PL -- we exclusive
> 2-3PL -- second person with some of them not present
> 2PL -- second person plural with all present
> 3-2PL -- third person plural with some second persons not important to the
> story*
> 3PL -- they
>
> *like a story about Jim, and you're talking to Mary, and Jim did something,
> and Mary was with him. In English we would say you, but here you would say
> "they" because the fact that Mary was with Jim was not important.
>

Well, it's probably cheating, but Vietnamese has some very exact pronouns
(if they can be called as such) which are not unlike what you're proposing
there. There is, for example, the word "*ong ba*" which is used as a pronoun
for married couples. If only one of them is present, it would be a second
person inclusive. (If both are present, it's second person exclusive,
however.)
I don't think I've ever encountered something like your third person
inclusive. I suppose most languages (if not all) will either say both Jim
and Mary were doing the act (in which case it's second person), or else Jim
was doing it, and Mary was accompanying him (in which case Mary would be in
some object role, like "with you, beside you..."). Is there any language at
all allowing different groups in the subject (or any other role) in such a
way that one of the groups is more important than the other ones?


-- 
Migh foghgl adzankh edung, vonglerung.