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Ρ. Demonstrative Pronouns

There were two demonstrative pronouns in OE: the prototype of NE that and the prototype of this. Both of them distinguished three genders in the singular and had one form for all the genders in the plural. Modern English ‘that’ descends from the neuter nominative/accusative form of ‘’, ‘this’ - from the neuter nominative/accusative form of ‘pes’ and ‘the’ - from the masculine nominative form, with [s] replaced analogously by the [ð] of the other forms. The feminine nominative form ‘sēo’ was probably the source of Modern English ‘she’.

The paradigm of the demonstrative pronoun ‘’ contains many homonymous forms. In the Nom. masc. and fem. sg. and in the Nom. pl. this pronoun has suppletive forms containing no interdental sound. Some case endings resembled those of personal pronouns, e.g. –m Dat. Masc. and Neut. sg. and in Gen. pl.; the element –r- in the Dat. and Gen. sg. and in the Dat. pl. [Rastorgueva, 2001].

During the OE period the demonstrative pronouns sē, sēo, þæt, gradually came to be used more and more in the function of the definite article. In this way ‘sē stān’ meant both ‘that stone’ and ‘the stone’. Being frequently used as noun determiners, they indicated its number, gender and case.

Note: The vowel in ‘’ when it was used as a demonstrative remained long, but when it was used as the article was shortened.


Singular Masc. Fem. Neut. Plural
Nom. sē, se sēo þæt þā
Gen. þæs þǣre þæs þāra, þǣra
Dat. þǣm, þām þǣre þǣm, þām þām, þǣm
Ace. þone þā þæt þā
Instr. þӯ, þon (þære) þӯ, þon (þǣm, þām)


Nom. sē/ sĕ stān þā stānas
Gen. þæs stānes þāra stāna
Dat. þǣm stāne þǣm stānum
Ace. þone stān þā stānas
Instr. þӯ stāne þǣm stānum


The demonstrative pronouns pes, pēos, pis.

Singular Masc. Fem. Neut. Plural
Nom. þes þēos þis þās
Gen. þisses (þeossum) þisse þisses þissa
Dat. þǣm, þām þisse þissum þissum (þeossum)
Acc. þone þās þis þās
Instr. þӯ, þon (þisse) þӯs (þis) (þissum, þeossum)

Date: 2014-12-22; view: 834

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