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Possessive pronouns cannot be used in a construction of noun ellipsis unless suppletive forms are used.


Possessive pronouns cannot be used in a construction of noun ellipsis:

*Wy nimme net syn auto mar myn / dyn / ..
we take not his car but my / your / ..
We do not take his car, but mine / yours / ..

Instead, a special form of the pronoun must be used, reserved exclusively for noun ellipsis. Interestingly, these special forms are not the same as the ones which are used by adjectives in constructions of noun ellipsis (-e, -en, -enien). There is also considerable variation in these special forms. The following table presents the possessor pronouns and their nominal counterparts (from Dyk (2011) and Frisian Language Corpus):

Table 1
Gloss Possessor pronoun Forms used in noun ellipsis
1SG myn mine mines, minen, minent, mynt, mynten, myntes
2SG dyn yours dines, dinen, dinent, dynt, dynten, dyntes
3SG.MSC syn his sines, sinen, sinent, synt, synten, syntes
3SG.FEM har hers harres, harrent
1PL ús ours uzes
2PL jim yours jimmes
3PL har hers harres, harrent
2SG formal jo yours jowes
3SG arbitrary jins jinnes, jinnen
The formal possessor pronoun jo yours is in the plural homophonous to the 2PL pronoun jim yours. The possessor pronoun jins roughly means of the people in general including myself. On the latter pronoun, see Hoekstra (2010).

  • Dyk, Siebren2011The morphology of Frisian nominal ellipsis
  • Hoekstra, Jarich2010On the impersonal pronoun men in Modern West FrisianThe Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics1331-59
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