1887
The referential ambiguity of personal pronouns and its pragmatic consequences
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

The German first and second person singular pronouns and allow for a referential use and an impersonal use. In their impersonal use, both pronouns behave like the impersonal pronoun (Engl. ) in generic sentences. I argue that the aspect of impersonally used singular personal pronouns that distinguishes them (i) from each other, (ii) from impersonal pronouns, and (iii) from “ordinary” generic sentences is their pragmatic effects. The semantic contribution of the three pronouns and their containing utterances is discussed before a comparative analysis of the pragmatic effects of impersonally used and and impersonal is given. The analyses are illustrated with naturally occurring data from a self-compiled data collection. Turning to a more practical topic in the second part of the paper, I discuss a methodological issue regarding corpus-based analyses of low-frequency phenomena, such as impersonally used in the second part of this paper by reporting a small-scale corpus study.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.26.3.03zob
2016-09-01
2018-11-13
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Alonso-Ovalle, Luis
    (2002) Arbitrary pronouns are not that indefinite. In C. Beyssade , R. Bok-Bennema , F. Drijkoningen , and P.Monachesi (eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2000. Amsterdam: John BenjaminsPublishing Company, pp. 1-15. doi: 10.1075/cilt.232.02alo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.232.02alo [Google Scholar]
  2. Amaral, Patricia Matos , Craige Roberts , and E. Allyn Smith
    (2007) Review of ‘The Logic of Conventional Implicature’ by Chris Potts. Linguistics and Philosophy30: 707-749. doi: 10.1007/s10988‑008‑9025‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-008-9025-2 [Google Scholar]
  3. Chierchia, Gennaro
    (1995) The variability of impersonal subjects. In E. Bach , E. Jelinek , A. Kratzer , and B.H. Partee (eds.), Quantification inNatural Languages. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishing, pp.107-143.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Cinque, Guglielmo
    (1988) On “si”constructions and the theory of arb. Linguistic Inquiry19: 521-581.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Condoravdi, Cleo
    (1989) Indefinite and generic pronouns. In E. Jane Fee , and K. Hunt (eds.), Proceedings of the Eighth WestCoast Conference on FormalLinguistics, pp.71-84.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. De Cock
    , Barbara (this volume) Non-prototypicality of personal pronouns in typical registers? A cross-linguistic analysis. Pragmatics26.3: 361-378. doi: 10.1075/prag.26.3.02dec
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.3.02dec [Google Scholar]
  7. Gregersen, Frans , and Torben Juel Jensen
    (this volume) How did ‘man’ become ‘du’, or did it? The pragmatics of generic second person pronouns in modern Danish spoken language. Pragmatics26.3: 417-446. doi: 10.1075/prag.26.3.04jen
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.3.04jen [Google Scholar]
  8. Grice, Paul
    (1975) Logic and conversation. In P. Cole , and J. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Pragmatics. New York: Academic Press, pp.41-58.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Grimberg, Mary Lou
    (1994) On Nunberg on indexicality and deixis. UCL Working Papersin Linguistics6:1-38.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Gregersen, Frans , and Torben Juel Jensen
    (this volume) How did ‘man’ become ‘du’, or did it? The pragmatics of generic second person pronouns in modern Danish spoken language. Pragmatics26.3: 417-446. doi: 10.1075/prag.26.3.04jen
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.3.04jen [Google Scholar]
  11. Grice, Paul
    (1975) Logic and conversation. In P. Cole , and J. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Pragmatics. New York: Academic Press, pp.41-58.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Grimberg, Mary Lou
    (1994) On Nunberg on indexicality and deixis. UCL Working Papersin Linguistics6:1-38.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gruber, Bettina
    (2011) Indexical pronouns: Generic uses as clues to their structure. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics47: 331-360. doi: 10.2478/psicl‑2011‑0020
    https://doi.org/10.2478/psicl-2011-0020 [Google Scholar]
  14. Helmbrecht, Johannes
    (2015) A typology of non-prototypical uses of personal pronouns: Synchrony and diachrony. Journal of Pragmatics88: 176-189. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.10.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.10.004 [Google Scholar]
  15. Hugo Rojas, Evelyn
    (2011) Las formas de segunda persona singularcomo estrategias evidenciales [The forms of second singular person as evidential strategies]. Revista de Linguistica Teorica y Aplicada Concepcion (Chile)49: 143-167. doi: 10.4067/S0718‑48832011000100007
    https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-48832011000100007 [Google Scholar]
  16. Kamp, Hans
    (2008) Discourse structure andthe structure of context. Ms., IMS Universität Stuttgart.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Kaplan, David
    (1989) Demonstratives. In J. Almog , J. Perry , and H. Wettstein (eds.), Themes from Kaplan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.481-563.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kitagawa, Chisato , and Adrienne Lehrer
    (1990) Impersonal uses of personal pronouns. Journal of Pragmatics14: 739-759. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(90)90004‑W
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(90)90004-W [Google Scholar]
  19. Kluge, Bettina
    (this volume) Misunderstanding or (deliberately) misinterpreting the second singular –how speakers politely deal with referential ambiguity. Pragmatics26.3: 501-522. doi: 10.1075/prag.26.3.07klu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.3.07klu [Google Scholar]
  20. Krifka, Manfred , Francis Jeffry Pelletier , Gregory N. Carlson , Alice ter Meulen , Gennaro Chierchia , and Godehard Link
    (1995) Genericity: An introduction. In G. Carlson , and J. Pelletier (eds.), The Generic Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp.1-124.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Laberge, Suzanne , and Gillian Sankoff
    (1979) Anything youcan do. In T. Givón , (ed.), Discourse and syntax. New York: Academic Press, pp.419-40.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Malamud, Sophia A
    (2006) Semantics and pragmatics of arbitrariness. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. (2012) Impersonal indexicals: One, you, man, and du . Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics15:1-48. doi: 10.1007/s10828‑012‑9047‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10828-012-9047-6 [Google Scholar]
  24. Moltmann, Friederike
    (2006) Generic one, arbitrary PRO, and the first person. Natural Language Semantics14: 257-281. doi: 10.1007/s11050‑006‑9002‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11050-006-9002-7 [Google Scholar]
  25. (2010) Relative truth and the first person. Philosophical Studies150: 187-220. doi: 10.1007/s11098‑009‑9383‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-009-9383-9 [Google Scholar]
  26. (2012) Two kinds of first-person-oriented content. Synthese184:157-177. doi: 10.1007/s11229‑010‑9730‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-010-9730-6 [Google Scholar]
  27. Nogué, Neus , and Òscar Bladas
    (this volume) “Que bé, tu!” (“That’s great, you!”): Non-prototypical uses of the second person singular pronoun tu(you) in spoken Catalan. Pragmatics26.3: 473-500. doi: 10.1075/prag.26.3.06bla
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.3.06bla [Google Scholar]
  28. Nunberg, Geoffrey
    (1993) Indexicality and deixis. Linguistics and Philosophy16: 1-43. doi: 10.1007/BF00984721
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00984721 [Google Scholar]
  29. Potts, Chris
    (2005) The Logic of Conventional Implicatures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Siewierska, Anna
    (2004) Person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511812729
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511812729 [Google Scholar]
  31. Tarenskeen, Sammie
    (2010) From you to me (and back):The flexible meaning of the secondperson pronoun in Dutch. Master’s thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Thurmair, Maria
    (1989) Modalpartikeln und ihreKombinationen. Linguistische Arbeiten 223. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Zifonun, Gisela
    (2000) Man lebt nur einmal. Morphosyntax und Semantik des Pronomens “man”. Deutsche Sprache28: 232-253.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Zimmermann, Malte
    (2011) Discourse particles. In C. Maienborn , K. vonHeusinger , and P. Portner (eds.), Handbook Semantics (HandbücherzurSprach-und Kommunikationswissenschaft HSK33.2). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp.2011-2038.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Zobel, Sarah
    (2010) Non-standard uses of German 1st person singular pronouns. In K. Nakakoji , Y. Murakami , and E. McCready (eds.), JSAI-isAI, LNAI6284, pp.292-311.
  36. (2014) Impersonally Interpreted Personal Pronouns. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Göttingen. Available athdl.handle.net/11858/00-1735-0000-0023-991B-2
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.26.3.03zob
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error