Gothic/2/Pronouns

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Gothic Pronouns[edit]

This section will deal with personal pronouns (including reflexive pronouns for each of the three grammatical persons), possessive pronouns, demonstratives, and relative pronouns. Each follows a particular pattern of inflection, partially mirroring the noun declension. In Gothic there exist pronouns for the dual number, referring to two people or things; the plural was used only for quantities greater than two. Thus, "the two of us" and "we" for numbers greater than two were expressed with the dual pronouns wit and weis respectively.

Personal Pronouns[edit]

Gothic is unique among Germanic languages, insofar as it is a pro-drop language, i.e subject pronouns may be omitted entirely. This is similar to languages like Latin or modern Spanish. Therefore, subject pronouns can be used for emphasis, example: Ik tawida þata (I did that) instead of tawida þata (I did that). Here are the Gothic personal pronouns.

Case First person
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative ik wit weis
Accusative mik ugkis uns, unsis
Genitive meina ugkara unsara
Dative mis ugkis unsis, uns
Case Second person
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative þu jut jus
Accusative þuk igqis izwis
Genitive þeina igqara izwara
Dative þus igqis izwis
Case Third person
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative is ita si eis ija ijōs
Accusative ina ija ins
Genitive is izōs izē izō
Dative imma izai im

The reflexive pronouns (English: myself, yourself, ourselves, themselves, etc.) in Gothic sik, seina, and sis were used for both numbers and all genders.

Accusative sik
Genitive seina
Dative sis

Possessive Pronouns[edit]

Gothic possessive pronouns (English: mine, yours, its, etc) decline like strong adjectives such as the adjective blinds (blind). The basic pronouns are: meins (mine); þeins (your); seins (his/her/their).

Case Possessive Pronouns
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative seins sein(ata) seina seinai seina seinōs
Accusative seinana seinans seina seinōs
Genitive seinis seinis seinaizōs seinaizē seinaizē seinaizō
Dative seinamma seinamma seinai seinaim seinaim seinaim

Seins is used only when it relates back to the subject of the sentence. Otherwise, the genitive forms of the personal pronoun are used: is (his); izōs (her); izē (their [masc]); izō (their [fem]). The plural possessive pronouns are: unsar (our); izwar (your [pl]); ugkar (our [1st person dual]); igqar (your [2nd person dual]). They decline the same as seins, but without the -ata forms.

Case Possessive Pronouns
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative unsar unsar unsara unsarai unsara unsarōs
Accusative unsarana unsarans unsara unsarōs
Genitive unsaris unsaris unsaraizōs unsaraizē unsaraizē unsaraizō
Dative unsaramma unsaramma unsarai unsaraim unsaraim unsaraim

Demonstrative Pronouns[edit]

The simple demonstrative pronouns sa, sō, and þata were used as pronouns for this, that, and sometimes functioned as definite articles the. It should be stressed that Gothic did not have definite articles.

Case Demonstrative Pronouns
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative sa þata þai þō þōs
Accusative þana þans þō þōs
Genitive þis þis þizōs þizē þizē þizō
Dative þamma þamma þizai þaim þaim þaim

In addition to the above forms, there existed compound demonstrative articles formed with the above pronouns + -uh. They decline the same, but where the above pronouns end in -s, it changes to -z in the compound demonstrative pronouns: therefore, þis becomes þizuh and þōs becomes þōzuh respectively. An instrumental neuter þē has been preserved in the phrase ni þē haldis (none the more).

Relative Pronouns[edit]

Relative pronouns are formed with the demonstrative pronouns + ei.

Case Relative Pronouns
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative saei þatei sōei/sei þai þō þōs
Accusative þanei þanzei þōei þōzei
Genitive þizei þizei þizōzei þizēei þizēei *þizōei
Dative þammei þammei þizaiei þaimei þaimei þaimei

Interrogative Pronouns[edit]

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask a question, such as what, who, whom, whose. The neuter ƕa is used as what and sometimes why.

Case Interrogative: Who/What
Singular
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative ƕas ƕa ƕō
Accusative ƕana
Genitive ƕis *ƕizōs
Dative ƕamma ƕizai

The plural form *ƕans (masculine accusative) occurs once as part of the indefinite pronoun ƕanzuh "each, every". An instrumental neuter ƕē is attested.

References[edit]