Gothic/2/Pronouns

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There are different kinds of pronouns in a language, personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns... we'll explain them all here and teach them.



personal pronouns[edit]


Let's start with the personal pronoun. Like you can guess, a personal pronoun is about a person. I, you, he, she. The only exception is 'it', which normally is not a person(, unless you really hate somebody).

Let's start with the first (I), the second (you) and the third (he/she/it) person:

ik - I
þu - you
is - he
si - she
ita - it

So, are these words used in a lot of sentences, just like in English? No. It's more like Spanish or Polish, in English you say for example:
he did
they did

If you would omit the personal pronoun here, it would be very hard to understand what you want to say, but in Gothic, these verb conjugations were still very different, therefore, by only looking at the verb it was clear what you wanted to say and those personal pronouns weren't really needed. In the Gothic Bible however, the personal pronouns from Greek are sometimes rendered in Gothic, but you'll see that in most instances, the personal pronoun was omitted by Wulfila in his translation, probably because it sounded unnatural to the Goths. They are only used for emphasis normally or to prevent confusion. So for example:

Ik, Wulfila, melja þos bokos - I, Wulfila, write this book/those books
As opposed to:
Melja þos bokos - I write this book/those books

Like you can see, ik is used here to emphasize who is doing the action in the sentence.



Let's look at the plural forms:

Gothic English
weis we
jus you
eis they



Gothic has something special which old English had too. Dual forms. The two dual forms in Gothic are like this:
jut - you two
wit - we two

In a nice table it looks like this:

form singular dual plural
first person ik wit weis
second person þu jut jus
third person is/si/ita - eis (masc.), ija (neutr.), ijos (fem.)

genitive[edit]

We only have to explain the 3rd person here (he, it and she), because all the other words use the possessive pronouns for their genitive. The masculine and neuter words both use is (his/its) as the genitive. The feminine si has ijos (her) as the genitive. The plural of the masculine and neuter words have "ize", which can be formed by adding -e to is and changing s to z, and the female words use "izo".

masculine neuter feminine
is is ijos
ize ize izo

dative[edit]


The dative is used a lot in Gothic. Some verbs (awiliudon, which means to thank) use the dative, but also certain prepositions (miþ) use the dative. The dative forms look like this:

Gothic English
mis me
þus you
imma him, it
izai her
uns(is) us
im them


im is formed by omitting -ma from imma and by adding -s to þu you get the dative form of this word.

accusative[edit]


Finally, the accusative form is slightly different from the dative. The -s changes into -k and the m in the middle of a word changes to n.

Gothic English
mik me
þuk you
ina him, it
ija her
uns(is) us
ins (masc.) them



The nominative of the neuter and feminine plural have the same declination in the accusative.

demonstrative pronouns[edit]

In the Gothic Bible, the definite articles are often rendered by using the demonstrative pronouns, although the mean is rather "this/that" than "the".

The demonstrative pronouns take the most time to learn. But the advantage of knowing them is that they enable you to decline a lot of possessive pronouns, adjectives and nouns with ease, as they often have very similar suffixes as the demonstrative pronouns.

It is recommended that you have finished Gothic/2/Declension before you study this part!

nominative[edit]

Let's start with the three basic demonstrative pronouns:

case masculine neutral feminine
Nominative sa þata so


Some examples:
þata waurd - this/that word
so baurgs - this/that city
sa manna - this/that man

Like you can see, there is not really a big difference between this or that like in present Germanic languages.

The plural forms are very different:

case masculine neutral feminine
Nominative þai þo þos

The reason why I made -ai and -os bold, is because these suffixes reoccur a lot in other words in which they also are masculine plural or feminine plural. The possessive pronoun for 'your' is 'þein'. The word 'gift' is 'giba (feminine o-stem)'. The plural of giba is, like you have learned in the nouns-section: gibos. But the possessive pronoun has -os too:
þeinos gibos

gibos = feminine plural nominative
meinos = feminine plural, nominative

Therefore it is very important to know the demonstrative pronouns well, as a lot of words have similar endings and learning them is much easier when you know them!

genitive[edit]

The genitive form of the masculine and neutral demonstrative pronouns is the same: þis. Like you know, giba has the singular genitive: gibos, also in the demonstrative pronoun the ending is similar: þizos. In fact, you simply have to add -os to þis and change the s to z. You'll see this s to z shift more often.

The plural form of the genitive plural form is very similar to that of the nouns, do you remember dage (masculine) and waurde, while the feminine giba was gibo in the plural form? If you add -e and -o to þis, you have the plural genitive!

þize = masculine genitive plural
þize = neutral genitive plural
þizo = feminine genitive plural

dative[edit]

Just like the genitive, the masculine and neutral demonstrative pronouns have the same word in the dative too, this word is þamma. You can remember the dative form of the feminine words with giba again, remember what it's dative was? Gibai. If you add -ai to þis you get the dative form: þizai.

þamma - masculine dative singular
þamma - neutral dative singular
þizai - feminine dative singular

The dative plural form is easy, you just need to remember one word: þaim. No matter if it's masculine, neutral or feminine, you always use þaim.

þaim - all words in plural dative

accusative[edit]

All demonstrative pronouns have different forms in the accusative. The masculine word changes from sa into þana. The neutral word stays exactly the same: þata. The feminine demonstrative pronoun changes to þo, and has a shift from s to þ.

þana = masculine accusative singular
þata = neutral accusative singular
þo = feminine accusative singular

The plural forms of the accusative are like this: þans for the masculine plural, you replace -a with -s, þo for the neutral plural, the feminine accusative singular and neutral accusative plural are the same, and the female demonstrative pronoun changes into þos, the s is added to the accusative singular.

þans = masculine accusative plural
þo = neutral accusative plural
þos = feminine accusative plural

general view[edit]

Now let's look at all the forms in a table.

Header text masculine neutral feminine
Nominative sg. sa þata so
Nominative pl. þai þo þos
Genitive sg. þis þis þizos
Genitive pl. þize þize þizo
Dative sg. þamma þamma þizai
Dative pl. þaim þaim þaim
Accusative sg. þana þata þo
Accusative pl. þans þo þos

possessive pronouns[edit]

The possessive pronouns are words which tell who possesses something. The English 'my' for example, makes clear that you are the possessor of something. In Gothic, the declination of possessive pronouns is the same as the declination of demonstrative pronouns, except for the genitive plural. The possessive pronouns are always in the stronger declension, so even if a word is definite (the man), you always use this declination!

Gothic English
meins my
þeins your
(seins) his
unsar- our
izwar- your (plural)

The only exception are the following cases:
meinaizos = feminine singular genitive, so instead of -izos it becomes -aizos
meinaize = masculine/neutral plural genitive, so instead of -ize it becomes -aize
meinaizo = feminine plural genitive, so instead of -izo it becomes -aizo

I put seins between brackets, I did this because you normally don't use seins. You only use the declinations seinis, seinamma, seinaim and seinaize/seinaizo(s). For seins, the 1st person of he is normally used, ïs, an example can be seen here:
Luke 1:67 jah Zakarias, atta is, gafullnoda ahmins weihis jah praufetida jah qaþ

You know the meaning of atta. Therefore you can read that this says: "His father".

An example of 'seinamma':
Luke 15.20 jah usstandands qam at attin seinamma.

"attin seinamma" is "his father" in the dative form.

All the other words like izwar and meins are declined in the same way, therefore I won't sum them up here.