On the basis of a cross-linguistic study of more than 250 languages, this book brings to light several fascinating characteristics of pronouns. Dr Bhat argues that these words do not form a single category, but rather two different categories called 'personal pronouns' and 'proforms'. He points out several differences between the two, such as the occurrence of a dual structure among proforms but not among personal pronouns. These differences are shown to derive from the distinct functions that the two categories have to perform in language. The book also shows that the so-called interrogative pronouns of familiar languages are less concerned with interrogation than with indefiniteness. The author shows that the notion of indefiniteness that can be associated with these and other pronouns is quite different from the one that can be associated with noun phrases. He goes on to postulate certain typological distinctions such as 'two-person' and 'three-person' languages and 'free-pronoun' and 'bound-pronoun' languages.
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