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Does Albanian have a Third Person Personal Pronoun? Let’s have a Look at the Corpus…

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Chapter Summary

The reference grammar of the Albanian language (Dhrimo et al. 1986) states that the personal pronoun paradigm includes a third person filled by the distal demonstrative pronoun ai formed by the distal prefix a- and the pronominal root -i. Besides the deictic prefix a- which is used in the formation of all distals, the Albanian language makes use of the complementary prefix k(ë)- used in the formation of the proximals. Attached to pronouns and adverbs, they form a full deictic system. Separating a subset of the deictic system to fill a slot in a different paradigm appears strained at best. In addition to an etymological and descriptive overview, the paper offers a quantitative analysis of ai ‘that one’ and ky ‘this one’ which are part of this system. A corpus of Albanian language texts is defined and built. After verification in the nine million word corpus, discrimination tests offered by the reference grammar fail to establish any distinction between the demonstrative and personal pronoun uses. An analysis of the collocations generated by applying MI and T-scoring on data from the corpus provides a new view. The analyzed words, associating with their respective deictic paradigms and filling the same syntactic roles, are unified under only one monolithic category, that of demonstratives.



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