- Grammatical person
Grammatical person, in
linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event, such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns. It also frequently affects verbs, sometimes nouns, and possessive relationships as well.
Grammatical person in English
English distinguishes three grammatical persons:The personal pronouns "I" (singular) and "we" (plural) are in the first person. The personal "you" is in the second person. It refers to the addressee. "You" is used in both the singular and plural; "
thou" is the archaic informal second-person singular pronoun.
"He", "she", "it", and "they" are in the third person. Any person, place, or thing other than the speaker and the addressee is referred to in the third person.
English personal pronouns, and the following articles on specific grammatical persons, or their corresponding personal pronouns:
Indo-European languages, first-, second-, and third-person pronouns are all marked for singular and pluralform, and sometimes dual form as well (see grammatical number). Some languages, especially European, distinguish degrees of formality and informality. See T-V distinction.
Other languages use different classifying systems, especially in the plural pronouns.One frequently found difference not present in most Indo-European languages is a contrast between inclusive and exclusive "we", a distinction of first-person pronouns of including or excluding the addressee.
Other languages have much more elaborate systems of formality that go well beyond the T-V distinction, and use many different pronouns and verb forms that express the speaker's relationship with the people they are addressing. Many
Malayo-Polynesian languages, such as Javanese and Balinese are well known for their complex systems of honorifics; Japanese and Korean also have similar systems to a lesser extent.
In many languages, the
verbtakes a form dependent on this "person" and whether it is singular or plural. In English, this happens with the verb "to be" as follows:
*I "am" (first-person singular)
*you "are"/thou "art" (second-person singular)
*he, she, one or it "is" (third-person singular)
*we "are" (first-person plural)
*you "are"/ye "are" (second-person plural)
*they "are" (third-person plural)
The grammars of some languages divide the semantic space into more than three persons. The extra categories may be termed "fourth person", "fifth person", etc. Such terms are not absolute but can refer depending on context to any of several phenomena.
Some languages, including among
Algonquian languagesand Salishan languages, divide the category of third person into two parts: "proximate" for a more topical third person, and "obviative" for a less topical third person. The obviative is sometimes called the fourth person.
The term "fourth person" is also sometimes used for the category of indefinite or generic referents, that work like "one" in English phrases such as "one should be prepared" or "people" in "people say that...", when the grammar treats them differently from ordinary third-person forms. For example, the so-called "passive tense" in Finnish and related languages is actually not a tense, and has the same meaning as a phrase with subjects "one" or "people" in English.
English personal pronouns
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
grammatical person — noun A linguistic category used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to whom or about whom he is referring; implemented in most languages by a variety of pronouns, and in inflected languages by variation in word endings … Wiktionary
Grammatical number — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality Focus … Wikipedia
Person (disambiguation) — Person may refer to: *Person, any of various established definitions of personhood; people is often used in English as the suppletive plural of person *Grammatical person, concerning the ways in which languages address people and describe their… … Wikipedia
Grammatical gender — This article is about noun classes. For uses of language associated with men and women, see Language and gender. For methods of minimizing the use of gendered forms, see Gender neutral language. For other uses, see Gender (disambiguation).… … Wikipedia
Grammatical conjugation — Part of the conjugation of the Spanish verb correr, to run , the lexeme is corr . Red represents the speaker, purple the addressee and teal a third person. One person represents the singular number and two, the plural number. Dawn represents the… … Wikipedia
Grammatical category — A grammatical category or functional category is a linguistic term encompassing, among other things: *Grammatical aspect *Grammatical case *Grammatical mood *Definiteness *Specificity *Animacy *Evidentiality *Noun class *Grammatical gender… … Wikipedia
Grammatical case — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality … Wikipedia
Grammatical mood — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality Focus … Wikipedia
Grammatical polarity — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality Focus … Wikipedia
Grammatical tense — is a temporal linguistic quality expressing the time at, during, or over which a state or action denoted by a verb occurs.Tense is one of at least five qualities, along with mood, voice, aspect, and person, which verb forms may express.Tenses… … Wikipedia