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I am working on the pronoun system for my conlang.
The table below illustrates what I have ended up with so far.

enter image description here

I am looking for suggestions on how - if even needed - to implement a plural form that only includes the first and second person, but not the third (1+2+2+...).
Should I replace the dual form and let it be up to the context, wether its 1+2 or 1+2+2+...
Or should I implement a total new form for it and how would I name it then?

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  • You can do whatever you want. Languages collapse distinctions in lots of various ways. For example, English used to have separate singular and plural second person pronouns (as well as different case forms), now it doesn't, but in some informal English varieties it does again. So just do whatever you want.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 14, 2021 at 22:20
  • Is your language spoken by a fictional group or just for fun?
    – Vir
    Apr 15, 2021 at 2:56
  • It's not related to any. I treat mine as an intelectual projekt - so rather just for fun, yes.
    – Simplicius
    Apr 15, 2021 at 8:55
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    In that case, especially, you should do what appeals to you. What are your thoughts about one way or the other?
    – Vir
    Apr 15, 2021 at 15:27
  • Interesting question! This seems like a reasonable thing to do, but I can’t find a language which does it. I’m pretty certain at least that it wouldn’t fit into the ‘dual’ paradigm — my understanding is that first person dual is pretty straightforwardly two people, me and you. Perhaps you’re best off giving it an entirely new place in the paradigm?
    – bradrn
    Apr 16, 2021 at 2:38

2 Answers 2

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After thinking about this a bit, I realised that you are basically describing a minimal–augmented pronoun system. In a minimal–augmented system, each person comes in two pronominal forms: minimal, which is singlar for 1, 2 and 3, but dual for 1+2; and augmented, which is more than minimal. Slotting your pronominal table into this system gives the following:

Minimal Augmented
1 1+3+3+…
1+2 1+2+3+…
2 2+2+…
3 3+3+…

But now that I look at this table, I notice something odd. See, the augmented form of 3 is many 3s, and the augmented form of 2 is many 2s. But the augmented form of 1 refers to many 3s! This is odd, especially considering that a first person plural pronoun is usually 1+1+… — no need to drag random third persons into it. Similarly, your augmented 1+2 pronoun should be many first and second persons, without third persons. Thus, your 1+2+2+… form should be the augmented 1+2 pronoun:

Minimal Augmented
1 1+1+…
1+2 1+2+1+2+…
2 2+2+…
3 3+3+…

Or, if you prefer, you can shoehorn it into a more ‘traditional’ form and call it a first person inclusive plural:

table of minimal/augmented pronouns

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Have you considered agglutinative pronouns? At least initially, in the precursor language, henceforth "Old Simplicius". Start with three pronouns that are strictly 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person with a singular and plural form. Then to specify "me and you" just straight up say "me and you", and so on for the other combinations. As Old Simplicius evolves into Middle Simplicius, these get ossified into particular forms - so "me and you" is always "meyou" rather than "youme" or whichever way you go, it's up to you. Then as Middle becomes Modern, they get smushed up by sound changes until they look as little or as much like each other as you please.

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