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Pronouns

Pronouns are a special type of noun.  Pronouns represent another noun or idea, so the exact meaning of a pronoun depends on context.

List of Pronouns

Primal has seven basic pronouns, and one special "set" of pronouns that can be defined by a writer or speaker.

Pronoun Pronounced Meaning Description
Wy (wee) me Refers to the speaker(s), like "I", "me", "we", or "us".
Yw (yooh) you Refers to the person(s) being spoken to, like "you".
Ww (wooh) it Refers to obvious noun(s), like "she", "it", or "they".
Ww * (wooh*) specific-it This is a set of 18 different user-defined pronouns.
Wyx (weesh) self Refers back to the subject noun.
Yy (yee) that Links to the next (following) sentence.
kr (kur) what Requests information, like "what", "where", or "who".
zu (zuh) imperative Commands the listener(s) to perform a task.

Personal Pronouns

The pronoun Wy (wee, "me") means both "I" and "me", because Primal has no case distinction.  Plurality is determined by noun prefix, so Wy (wee, "me") means "me" and vuWy (v'wee, "plural me") means "us".  The Pronoun Plurality section of this lesson gives more detail on this.

The pronoun Yw (yooh, "you") means "you".  (Yes, it sounds just like the English word.)

The pronoun Ww (wooh, "it") means "he", "she", or "it".  There is no distinction by gender, so Ww (wooh, "it") is only used when its meaning is clear from context.

In most cases, Primal speakers prefer to repeat names rather than use Ww (wooh).  All Primal nouns are one syllable long, so for simple nouns, using a pronoun doesn't make sense.  For more complicated phrases, and for long names, the "base" noun is most often used as an abbreviation.  Actual sex or gender words may be used in place of pronouns, if a gender-based reference is useful or desired.  This is similar to using the words "man" and "woman" as if they were "he" and "she".

Primal also has a unique method for "defining" a set of pronouns to combine large concepts into a single word.  There are 18 of these, one for each consonant that can end a syllable in Primal: Wwp (woohp), Wwf (woohf), Wwv (woohv), WwT (woohts), WwD (woohdz), Wwq (woohth), WwQ (woohdth), Wwx (woohsh), WwX (woohzh), Wwj (woohch), WwJ (woohj), Wws (woohs), Wwz (woohz), Wwk (woohk), WwH (woohkhh), Wwm (woohm), Wwn (woohn), and WwN (woohng).  The function of the user-defined pronouns is discussed in detail in the (advanced) Special Phrases lesson.

English demonstrative pronouns such as "one" or "this" don't exist as nouns in Primal.  These concepts are similar to generic classification nouns like nufr (n'fur, "indefinite person") for "one", or RuDu (r'dzuh, "this thing") for "this".

There are no possessive pronouns in Primal.  Possession is indicated by prepositions, as discussed in the Prepositions lesson.

Syntactic Pronouns

The non-personal pronouns are collectively called syntactic pronouns.  There are four of these.

The pronoun Wyx (weesh, "self") refers back to the subject noun.  For example:

  • A cat sees a cat: QufaQ xr su QufaQ. (dth'fadth shur s'dth'fadth, "a cat see containing a cat.")
  • A cat sees itself: QufaQ xr su Wyx. (dth'fadth shur s'weesh, "a cat see containing self.")

Use Wyx (weesh, "self") as an object to refer to the subject noun.  When Wyx (weesh, "self") appears as the subject, it means "the previous sentence's subject".  It is used as a more definitive alternative to Ww (wooh, "it") when repeating a subject from one sentence to the next.

The pronoun Yy (yee, "that") is used to tie sentences together, similar to English "that" when used as a conjunction, such as, "I heard that you were coming to visit."  Its use is described in the (advanced) Special Phrases lesson.

The pronoun kr (kur, "what") is used to ask questions.  Wherever the word kr (kur, "what") appears in a sentence, the speaker is requesting the listener to respond with a noun that will make the sentence correct.  This is similar to English "who", "what", "where", and "when" in sentences such as, "What time is it?"  Examples of correct usage are given in the (advanced) Requests lesson.

The pronoun zu (zuh, "imperative") is used to give commands.  Wherever the word zu (zuh, "imperative") appears in a sentence, the speaker is telling the listener to act in such a way as to make the sentence true.  This is similar to imperative statements in English, such as, "Shut the door."  Examples of correct usage are given in the (advanced) Requests lesson.

Pronoun Plurality

Because pronouns reference a specific noun, all pronouns automatically imply a "specific" nature like English "the" or "these".  This changes the meaning of Ru (ruh, "this") and Ry (ree, "these") when used in conjunction with pronouns.  For example, let's see the meaning of the pronoun Wy (wee, "me") when used with each of the noun prefixes:

Noun Pronounced Meaning Description
Wy (wee) me Me, or some/all of my group (by context).
nuWy (n'wee) indefinite me The general concept of "me".
QuWy (dth'wee) a me Me (specifically singular).
vuWy (v'wee) plural me Us (my group).
juWy (ch'wee) each-of me Each of us, separately.
JuWy (j'wee) all-of me All of us, together.
,luWy (l'wee) none-of me None of us.
QUWy (dthul-wee) some-of me Some of us, including me.
RuWy (r'wee) this me One member of my group, other than me.
RyWy (ree-wee) these me Members of my group, other than me.
kuWy (k'wee) proper me A person, thing, or group named "Me".

When used with pronouns, Ru (ruh, "this") and Ry (ree, "these") imply that one or more members of the pronoun's group perform the action, while the specific member referred to by the pronoun does not.

<< Nouns

Primal > Tutorial > Basic > Pronouns

Unary Suffixes >>