Personal and Possessive Pronouns in Hielepes

Written by Dyami Millarson

One of the best places to begin learning a language is the personal pronouns – so it is with the indigenous language of Hindeloopen!

All personal pronouns come in two pairs in Hielepes, because there is a subject-form and an object-form. I will give the former first, then the latter. The subject-object system is the last relic of a case system in Hielepes. The object-form is a merger of the dative and accusative, so it is used for both the indirect and direct objects.

I will include the possessive pronouns here as well, because it is important to see the relationship between the object-form (accusative/dative) and the formation of the possessive pronoun.

IekI; mieme; mienmy

Doeyou (singular); dieyou; dienyour

Hiehe; himhim; sienhis

she; jerher; jerreher

‘tit; ‘t it; sienits

Wiewe; uusus; uusour

Jimmeyou (pl.); jimmeyou; jimmeyour

Jèèthey; jemthem; jerretheir

There is also a special “locative” form: bie uuzent, at our place, at (our) home. Let me illustrate its use with an example sentence:

Bie uuzent sizze wie dòt nâât só. At (our) home, we do not say it that way.

The so-called “locative” (I merely called it that way based on its current function) is actually derived from a substantivisation of the possessive pronoun with the suffix -ent, which resulted in a new grammatical case being born, although itsuse remains very restricted and thus appears fossilised. One can only wonder what would have happened if it spread to adverbs and nouns; the real question is whether Hielepes could have produced a productive locative case.

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