Friday, July 7, 2017

An Important Note For This Blog

Greetings, readers~!
     From this point on, I will be using a pronoun system on this blog you may not be familiar with.
     Instead of your typical he/she system, I will use a different pronoun system that differentiates people by a "fourth person" system, also known as an "obviative/proximate" system. (I will explain that shortly and provide brief examples).
     Now, there may be two different versions of the system that I use for this blog, however, they both tie together in that they both use the obviative/proximate aspect that I mentioned. One version is completely genderless while the other uses the genders, but only in the subject pronouns. I will clarify that shortly.
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The Basic (Genderless) Obviative/Proximate System:
This system, also known as a "fourth person" system is a system that distinguishes one third person who is more in focus and another who is less in focus. The former is marked with a "proximate" pronoun (PROX.) and the latter is marked with an "obviative" pronoun (OBV.). In this version of the system, there are no gender markers.

Pronouns In Use:
zei, en, huir, huirs, enself (PROX.)
nei, nem, neir, neirs, nemself (OBV.)

Examples:
  1. "Zei(PROX.) told nem(OBV.) that zei(PROX.) liked neir(OBV.) art." (First speaker told second speaker that first speaker liked second speaker's art.)
  2. "Zei(PROX.) told nem(OBV.) that zei(PROX.) liked huir(PROX.) house." (First speaker told second speaker that first speaker liked first speaker's house.)
Some Concerns: 
There are still plural pronouns. The third-person plural they pronoun still exists—it is not to be confused with zei, which is used in a singular fashion. "They are," vs "zei is" (for reference). All the pronouns remain the same for the most part—except for the he/she pronouns. The only real difference with my pronoun system and the one already established is that he and she are both replaced with the genderless singular pronoun, zei. This pronoun is declined the same way as he/she.
     However, the issue with condensing he/she into one genderless pronoun creates the problem of more ambiguity between third persons. In order to solve this problem, I created the nei pronoun, (which is also declined the same way as he/she). The nei pronoun tends to be the subject "less in focus." I will explain that promptly. 
     Generally speaking, when assigning zei and nei to subjects, the zei pronoun will accompany a name and the person/thing doing an action to another person/thing, while nei is assigned to the other third person that is being acted upon. "Kiri was angry. Zei lashed out at nem" (for reference). Basically, Kiri (in the first sentence) turns into zei (in the second sentence), while nem belongs to a being Kiri is acting upon. So regarding the reference point, zei and nei are just two third-persons in reference to each other.  
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The Obviative/Proximate System (Modified By Genders):
In this version of the system, shehe, and two trans pronouns zi (commonly used by trans men without hormones/surgery) and vi (commonly used by trans women without hormones/surgery) replace the proximate subject pronoun, zei, when necessary. However, the gendered subject pronouns do not decline into their own separate gendered variations, unlike usual English. (I will show examples later). As well, the obviative nei pronoun stays the same. Basically, the only difference between this version and the former is that zei can turn into she/he/zi/vi depending on the gender of the subject. One thing to note is that in a sentence, a gendered subject pronoun will turn into zei within the same sentence. 

Pronouns In Use:
zei/vi/zi/she/he, en, huir, huirs, enself (PROX.)
nei, nem, neir, neirs, nemself (OBV.)

Examples:
  1. "She(PROX.) told nem(OBV.) that zei(PROX.) liked neir(OBV.) art." (First speaker told second speaker that first speaker liked second speaker's art.)
  2. "He(PROX.) told nem(OBV.) that zei(PROX.) liked huir(PROX.) house." (First speaker told second speaker that first speaker liked first speaker's house.)
  3. "Zi(PROX.) liked to go for walks often as a child, but now zei(PROX.) was too scared to even set foot outside." (First speaker liked to go for walks as a child, but now first speaker was too scared to even set foot outside.)
  4. "Vi(PROX.) told nem(OBV.) that zei(PROX.) wanted a new pair of headphones, however, nei(OBV.) said to en(PROX.) that they needed to save money." (First speaker told second speaker that first speaker wanted a new pair of headphones, however, second speaker said to first speaker that they needed to save money.)
  5. "For most of huir(PROX.) life, zei(PROX.) lived in the solitude of the grass plains." (For most of first speaker's life, first speaker lived in the solitude of the grassy plains.)

Some Concerns:
If a subject is already mentioned in a sentence, the subject pronoun will turn into zei if used later in the sentence. The only time a gendered variation is used is if it is the first subject referent in a sentence. One thing to also note is that the obviative pronoun does not have gendered variations. In other words, nei will not be replaced with gendered variations, unlike zei.  
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Why this system, you may ask? Unfortunately, I have no short, simple answer. Truthfully, trans issues did prompt it, but what I can say for now is that it came to my mind after years of mind wars and various iterations of what would someday become what I have now. And so I wished to use my artistic license to execute it. It is meant as a thought experiment and not intended for forcing on people to use in our own reality. If you believe you can have an open mind and handle this seemingly significant difference in English language use, then by all means, I hope you enjoy the writings on this blog. 

With love,
Aber N.T.

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