The personal pronoun


The Old English personal pronoun similar to the Old English noun had the grammatical categories of gender, number and case.

 

Gender

Three genders could be distinguished in the pronominal paradigm: masculine, feminine and neuter, but different forms for different genders were found only in the third person singular, the rest of the forms being indifferent to gender.

 

Masculine feminine neuter

 

Nom. Sing. Hē (he) hēo (she) hit (it)

 

 

Nom. Plur. hī (they)

 

 

Number

The category of number differs from that of the noun as in the first and second person we find three categorical forms: singular, dual and plural, for instance:

 

Singular dual Plural

Ic (I) wit (two of us)(we)

Case

 

The category of case is built up the opposition of four categorical forms, similar to those of the noun: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative.

Unlike the Old English noun, the paradigm of which was composed of forms that mainly differed in the ending, the paradigm of the Old English personal pronouns is built up by suppletive forms and the homonymty of pronominal forms is not great. We find it only in the Dative and the Accusative cases.

 

Declension of the personal pronoun Ic

 

Number Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative Genitive Dative Accusative ic mīn mē mec, mē wit uncer unc unc wē ūser, ūre ūs ūsic, ūs

 

 

Other pronouns

All Old English pronouns with the exception of personal pronouns with the exception of personal pronouns were declined almost alike. They expressed the grammatical categories of gender (three forms: masculine, feminine and neuter), number (two forms: singular and plural) and case, which was built up by five categorical forms: the nominative, the Accusative, the Dative, the Genitive and the Instrumental, different from the Dative only in the singular.

If we compare the paradigm of these pronouns with those of the noun and the personal pronoun we cannot but take notice that they differed in number of the categorical forms composing the category of number.

Thepersonal pronoun unlike the rest of the pronouns and the noun possessed three categorical forms composing the category of number.

All the other pronouns unlike the personal pronoun and the noun had five cases.

 

Declension of the demonstrative pronoun sē

 

Number Case Masculine Singular Feminine Singular Neuter Singular Plural
Nominative Genitive Dative Accusative Instrumental (that) Þæs þǽm þone þý, þon sēo (that) þǽre þǽre þā Þæt Þæs þǽm þæt Þa Þāra þǽm þā þý

 

The adjective



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