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Pronouns
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Pronouns is a term used for a rather heterogeneous group of function words. In Dutch, this group covers the following sets of words:

  • personal pronouns: Ik zoek een boek maar ik kan het niet vinden. I'm looking for a book but I cannot find it.
  • demonstrative pronouns: Ik zoek dat boek maar dat is er niet meer.I'm looking for that book but it's gone.
  • relative pronouns: Ik zoek het boek dat hier stond.I'm looking for the book that was here.
  • possessive pronouns: Marc is zijn boek vergeten.Marc forgot his book.
  • reflexive and reciprocal pronouns: Hij stelt zich voor.He's introducing himself., Zij kenden elkaar niet.They didn't know each other.
  • indefinite pronouns: Iemand moet het doen.Somebody's got to do it., Men zegt dat ze getrouwd is.They say that she's married.
  • interrogative pronouns: Wat zei je?What did you say?
As the examples show, pronouns have an enormous variety of uses, and there are many further functional divisions within each pronoun type. A famous distinction, for example, is between the anaphoric and the deictic use of 3rd person personal pronouns. From a morphological point of view, pronouns are interesting because they are underived words, yet carry morphosyntactic information. Which features are expressed varies per pronoun type. The richest array of morphosyntactic information is displayed by the personal pronouns of the third person. These pronouns distinguish two numbers, three genders (in the singular) and two cases. In the second person singular personal and possessive pronouns, there is a politeness distinction: jij is used in informal, u in formal situations. The demonstrative pronouns are special in that they distinguish near ( proximal) and far ( distal).

Function words that look like pronouns and are used as attributes to a noun, such as dat huis that houseor zulke huizen such houses, are discussed in the category demonstrative pronouns.

References:
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    phonology
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    morphology
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