5 May 2000

1.1.7 Pronouns, in L'Huillier, Advanced French Grammar

presentation of L'Huillier's work, by Corry Shores

[Subsection headings are my own]

Monique L'Huillier

Advanced French Grammar

1. Framework

1.1 Parts of Speech

1.1.7 Pronouns

Pronouns usually replace some other sentence element, but no all of them do. 

1) Nominal Pronouns
1a) Some nominal pronouns refer directly the their referents. This means their reference hooks-on to the referent without needing some additional noun to tell us what they refer-to. We see this for first and second person pronouns, je and tu.
1b) Other nominal pronouns refer directly to an undetermined referent without replacing any expressed words, as for example, quelqu' un.

2) Representative pronouns refer to elements that are already present in the textual context. These prior elements are called their antecedents.
The antecedent can be a noun, noun phrase, adjective, infinitive verb, clause, or whole sentence. Given this wide variety of possible antecedents, we also consider pronouns more generally to be proforms

Normally the antecedent precedes the representative pronoun. This case is called an anaphor.
Un homme est arrivé. Il es entré dans le café.

Or, the the antecedent might come after the pronoun. In this case it is a cataphor. Nonetheless, we still call the replaced noun the antecedent.
Elle est vraiment sale, ta voiture.
'Elle' refers catphorically to 'ta voiture.'
Usually the antecedent and the pronoun share the same referent or object in the world. Hence there is co-reference between the antecedent and its pronoun.

Pronouns fall under seven classes:
1) personal and impersonal
2) demonstrative
3) possessive,
4) relative,
5) interrogative and exclamative,
6) indefinite, and
7) numeral.

L'Huillier, Monique. Advanced French Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
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