Martina Wiltschko

The composition of pronouns:
Lessons for modelling the form meaning association.


Pronouns are composed. They can be composed in different ways. To see this we discuss case-studies from Blackfoot, Halkomelem, and German (among others).  The pronouns of these languages have different morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties. These differences make it difficult to even compare pronouns to each other. What we need is a framework within which we can understand the composition of pronouns, a formal typology. Assuming that a universal syntactic spine mediates the composition of pronouns, we can come to terms with both the diversity and the variability of pronouns within and across languages. The ingredients for the composition of pronouns are also applicable to other categories such as demonstratives, case, and tense (among others).