Pronoun Wiki
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Description

The pronoun flag

Less saturated version of the pronoun flag

Pronouns are a set of words that can be used in place of a noun or a noun phrase. The most well known example of pronouns are personal pronouns, which can refer to the person or people speaking (first person), the person or people being spoken to (second person), or other people or things (third person). In many Indo-European languages, including English, third person personal pronouns can be gendered.

In English all third person personal pronouns have five grammatical forms. The forms are:

  • Nominative: Used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. (They went to the store.)
  • Accusative: Used when the pronoun is the object of the sentence. (I met them today.)
  • Pronominal Possessive: Used to show possession/relation to a noun, coming directly before the noun in question. (They walked their dog today.)
  • Predicative Possessive: Used to show possession of a noun, coming directly after a linking verb. This is the least common pronoun form, as it requires a very specific sentence construction that is not common in normal speech. When listing out the forms of a pronoun, this is the form that it most commonly left out. (If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow theirs).
  • Reflexive: Used when the subject and the direct object in a sentence are the same. In English these pronouns always end with -self (singular) or -selves (plural). (They have to drive themself to school.)

In some pronoun sets two or more of these forms are the same. For example, in the pronoun set of he/him, the pronominal possessive and the predicative possessive forms are the same (his). In the pronoun set of she/her, the accusative and the pronominal possessive forms are the same (her). In the pronoun set of singular they/them, all five forms are different.

Since personal pronouns are frequently gendered in English and many other languages, the pronouns an individual uses are often used as a way to identify their gender. This is disliked by many transgender and non-binary individuals regardless of the language or languages they speak, and the act of using a set of pronouns that an individual does not identify with (intentionally or unintentionally) is one of the most common forms of misgendering - referring to an individual with gendered language they do not identify with. Transgender and non-binary people almost always change their personal pronouns as a part of realising their actual or chosen gender.

However, not all individuals use pronouns that "align" with their gender; this is called pronoun non-conforming. Pronouns are a form of gender expression and are related to the gender of an individual in the same way clothing, hair, and other physical characteristics may be related to one's gender. The pronouns of an individual may or may not relate to their gender, and comfort or discomfort with a given pronoun set may in turn be related to their identity as well, but no pronouns are tied to a single specific gender identity.

Some people may be comfortable going by multiple pronoun sets (multipronominal), while some people might not use any pronouns at all (nullpronominal). Some English speakers choose to go by pronouns that are not found in "standard" English, known as neopronouns - in contrast to those who use "traditional" pronouns that are found in "standard" English, called exipronouns.

Flag

Both pronoun flags were made by FANDOM user Cosmic Lemon151 on 24 March, 2021. It was made as a symbol to represent people who acknowledge the use and importance of pronouns, as well as in respect of people's pronouns as they can be important to one's identity.

The circle represents the independence pronouns have from gender. The pink stripe in the flag represent feminine pronouns, the blue stripe masculine pronouns, and the stripe green neutral pronouns. The grey area of each color represents pronouns which are not connected to masculinity, femininity or neutrality, such as: nounself pronouns, emojiself pronouns, nameself pronouns, numberself pronouns, technopronouns, xenopronouns as well as others. Then the white stripe represents how and/or when one uses their pronouns, as well as individuals who do not use pronouns.

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