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Pronoun Deletion

Pronouns in the NOMINATIVE case may often be deleted from a sentence since their semantic information is repeated by the PNG marker of the verb. When there is ambiguity, as in the 1st person plural (both naanka `exclusive' and Ծ naama `inclusive' take the same PNG marker ѣ -oom), deletion is rarer. However, it may still occur, even with modals and negatives, where there is no PNG marking on the verb. Thus in a sentence like Ԩ ؽŨ naan pooreen `I am going' the Ԩ naan can be deleted to get just ؽŨ pooreen, which is still unambiguously `I go'. But a sentence like Ԩ ؽԴԾ? naan poohalaamaa `May I go?' or Ԩ ؽԴ naan poohalle `I didn't go' may also have the pronoun deleted, with the resulting ؽԴԾ? poohalaamaa `May (someone) go?' and ؽԴ poohalle `(Someone) didn't go' ambiguous as to person; mother-tongue speakers know from the context what or who is meant, but novice learners may be confused.

As a rule of thumb, delete only when no ambiguity will result. For emphasis, leave the pronoun in, e.g., Ԩ ؽŨ naan pooreen 'I will go.'



Harold_F.Schiffman