Too many pronouns?

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Informer
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Too many pronouns?

Post by Informer »

I'll preface this with this being my first conlang. So, I've started work a conlang for a story I wanna write/world I'm building which is to be spoken primarily with gods who have no means of reproduction and don't really have genders. As such, I'm making the language have grammatical genders based on mortal male, mortal female, mortal neuter, immortal, and inanimate. This all seemed fine at first but once I started making all the pronouns for it it seemed to start going downhill. Currently I've gotten 22 pronouns (1st, 2nd, 3rd, for the mortal and immortal ones, 2nd and 3rd for inanimate, and plurals for the non-gendered ones) and the mortal ones all had three cases (nominative, accusative, and possessive) and as I was about to start making the different declensions for the immortal and inanimate ones which would leave me with 66 before I got the idea to make a declension for dative as well.

Only when I was about to commit to possibly making 88 pronouns counting declensions did I realize I may be going a bit overboard. What do yall think?
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Knox Adjacent
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Knox Adjacent »

It'll be fine as long as they're not all suppletive monosyallbles.
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VaptuantaDoi
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

At a glance, Hungarian has at least 144 personal pronouns (and another 119 reflexive and reciprocal pronouns) so 66 is by no means a stretch. However, much of the case marking is regular in Hungarian.
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Informer »

Thankfully I have still been able to have regular patterns for all the cases so far by changing the ending vowel of the pronoun according to a pattern/rule for each case. I'll have to make it different for the possessive mortal pronouns than the possessive immortal/inanimate ones since the latter already mostly end in /i/ sounds and the former all end in schwas but other than that it's consistent so far.
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Salmoneus
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Salmoneus »

I'm not sure why a language spoken primarily by people with no gender would both distinguishing four animate genders. That seems... counterintuitive. And not just distinguish, but distinguish in the 1st person! Even the vast majority of human languages don't do that! Why are these people so obsessed with gender!? The Finns get by with one gender in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person, and they actually HAVE genitals and gender roles. Why are these gods going around saying "well, I know we don't actually have any gender, but we'd better include some first-person female pronouns just in case one day a human wants to speak our language in a way that subordinates our own culture to human conceptions of gender!"?
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Visions1 »

These could be used in extremely formal, literary situations - as a bad example, you don't use thou when you speak, but you understand when it is used in some piece of literature.
I imagine these beings are probably bored (no struggles) and so do a lot of drama and writing.
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Khemehekis »

If they're gods, maybe they knew from the beginning that they would create races of people who did have genders?
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Informer »

I'm not sure I plan on them being truly omniscient and all-knowing but they will pretty much have creations with genders from the beginning (humans, dwarves etc. will probably have come later though when they get more bored) and only have them to differentiate for clinical purposes, but fair point on the first person gendered ones. I honestly might just co-opt the drama idea though since I'm already planning on the sentient creations being made out of boredom and that could add to the system I have planned of more poetic spells ("flames of wrath, consume them" is far more powerful than something like "fireball")being more powerful.
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Ahzoh
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Ahzoh »

I think it would be important to make a distinction between a pronoun stem and pronoun form. A language with a lot of cases may have a lot of pronoun forms but working with a very small set of pronoun stems. Moreover you could have derived stems, such as derivied reflexive stems from basic stems. Stems with gender markings may all be derived from a gender-unmarked basic stem.
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Re: Too many pronouns?

Post by Informer »

Oh, thats a good idea and could probably help cut down on my root word count. If you're wondering, here's the mess I'm currently working with https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hRk ... sp=sharing

edit: By the way, the ones in there that don't have phonetics written is just because I didn't feel like doing the tedium of copying them into there when I already had them above and could remember it anyways.
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