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Indefinite Pronouns

Martin Haspelmath


Most of the world's languages have indefinite pronouns, that is, expressions such as someone, anything, and nowhere. This book presents an encyclopaedic investigation of indefinite pronouns in the languages of the world, mapping out the range of variation in their functional and formative properties. It shows that cross-linguistic diversity is severely constrained by a set of implicational universals and by a number of unrestricted universals. Topics include formal and functional types of indefinite pronoun, theoretical approaches to the functions of indefinite pronouns, the grammaticalization ... More

Keywords: cross-linguistic diversity, implicational universal, unrestricted universal, indefinite pronoun, language, functions of indefinite pronouns, grammaticalization, negative indefinite pronoun

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780198235606
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198235606.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Martin Haspelmath, author
Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany