3 Formal and Functional Types of Indefinite Pronoun

3.1. The Main Formal Types of Indefinite Pronoun

In the first section of this chapter I give a survey of the formal types of indefinite pronouns. We first look at the types of marker that characterize morphologically complex indefinite pronouns, and then examine the kinds of base to which these markers are attached.

3.1.1. Types of indefiniteness marker

Indefinite pronouns normally occur in SERIES1 which have one member for each of the major ONTOLOGICAL CATEGORIES2 such as person, thing, property, place, time, manner, amount, plus a few others. Some examples of different indefinite pronoun series in different languages are given in (20).

(20) (a) Englishsome-seriesany-seriesno-series
person:somebodyanybody nobody
manner:somehowanyhowno way
(b) Polishnie-seriesś-series-kolwiek-seriesni-series
('somebody', ('somebody', ('anybody', ('nobody')
etc.) etc.) etc.)
place: --gdzieśGdziekolwieknigdzie
The term series was taken from Veyrenc ( 1964).
Other equivalent terms are epistemological category ( Durie 1985: ch. 6) and knowledge category ( Mushin, 1995). Ontological category is from Jackendoff ( 1983: 51). Jackendoff's list of major ontological categories is: thing, place, direction, action, event, manner, amount. The main difference between Jackendoff's list and the lists in (20) is that Jackendoff does not distinguish between person and thing. It may well be that this distinction is located at a lower conceptual level, but practically all languages make the person/thing distinction in their indefinite pronouns at the same level as the other distinctions, so it is best to regard person and thing as two separate ontological categories.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Indefinite Pronouns


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 368

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?