Prepositional pronoun

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This article is about special pronominal forms used after prepositions. For the contractions of prepositions and pronouns sometimes called "prepositional pronouns", see Inflected preposition.

A prepositional pronoun is a special form of a personal pronoun that is used as the object of a preposition.

English does not have distinct prepositional forms of pronouns. The same set of object pronouns are used after verbs and prepositions (e.g. watch him, look at him). In some other languages, a special set of pronouns is required in prepositional contexts (although the individual pronouns in this set may also be found in other contexts).

Inflectional forms in Romance[edit]

In the Romance languages, prepositions combine with stressed pronominal forms that are distinct from the unstressed clitic pronouns used with verbs. In French, prepositions combine with disjunctive pronouns, which are also found in other syntactic contexts (see French disjunctive pronouns). In Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian, prepositions generally combine with pronouns that are identical in form to nominative (subject) pronouns, but there are unique prepositional forms for the 1st and 2nd person singular (and 3rd person reflexive). This is also true in Catalan, but the 2nd person singular prepositional form is identical to the nominative.

Consider the Portuguese sentences below:

Vejo-te todos os dias. (enclitic object of verb)
"I see you every day."
Não te culpo. (proclitic object of verb)
"I don't blame you."
Anseio por ti. (prepositional pronoun)
"I long for you."

The verbs ver "to see" and culpar "to blame" in the first two sentences are non-prepositional, so they are accompanied by the normal object pronoun te "you". In the third sentence, the verb ansiar (por) "to long (for)" is prepositional, so its object, which follows the preposition, takes the form ti.

Prefixed forms in Slavic[edit]

In many Slavic languages (e.g. Czech, Polish, and Russian), prepositional pronouns have the same basic case-inflected forms as pronouns in other syntactic contexts. However, the 3rd person non-reflexive pronouns (which are vowel- or glide-initial) take the prefix n- when they are the object of a preposition. The following examples are from Russian:

Его здесь нет. ("Him-GEN here not" = "He's not here.")
Я это делаю для него. ("I this do for н-him-GEN" = "I do this for him.")

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