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
thing:somethinganythingnothing
place:somewhereanywherenowhere
time:sometimeanytimenever
manner:somehowanyhowno way
determiner:someanyno
(b) Polishnie-seriesś-series-kolwiek-seriesni-series
('somebody', ('somebody', ('anybody', ('nobody')
etc.) etc.) etc.)
person:niektoktośKtokolwieknikt
thing:niecocoścokolwieknic
property:niejakijakiśJakikolwieknijaki
place: --gdzieśGdziekolwieknigdzie
____________________
1
The term series was taken from Veyrenc ( 1964).
2
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.

-21-

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