Grammatical Gender - Gender Inflection - Dummy Pronouns

Dummy Pronouns

A dummy pronoun is a type of pronoun used in non-pro-drop languages, such as English. It is used when a particular verb argument is nonexistent, but when a reference to the argument (a pronoun) is nevertheless syntactically required.

In languages with a neuter gender, the neuter gender is usually used: in German: Es regnet, means literally "It rains." (In fact, the English word 'it' comes from the Old English neuter gender). In languages with only a masculine and a feminine gender, the dummy pronoun, is usually the masculine third person singular. For example, in French Il pleut, literally means "He rains." But there are exceptions: the corresponding sentence in Welsh is Mae hi'n bwrw glaw, "She's raining."

Read more about this topic:  Grammatical Gender, Gender Inflection

Other articles related to "dummy pronouns, pronouns, pronoun":

Personal Pronoun - Syntax - Dummy Pronouns
... In some cases pronouns are used purely because they are required by the rules of syntax, even though they do not refer to anything they are then called dummy pronouns ... This can be seen in English with the pronoun it in such sentences as it is raining and it is nice to relax (This is less likely in pro-drop languages, since such pronouns would probably be ...

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