名詞 (noun) と代名詞 (pronoun) は2つの異なる品詞とみなすべきか，あるいは後者は前者の一部ととらえるべきか．品詞分類はなかなか厳密にはいかないのが常であり，見方によってはいずれも「正しい」という結論になることが多い．昨今は明確に白黒をつけるというよりは，プロトタイプ (prototype) としてファジーに捉えておくのがよい，という見解が多くなっているのかもしれない．しかし，最終的にはケリをつけないと気持ちが悪いと思うのも人間の性であり，やっかいなテーマだ．
［ 名詞と代名詞は異なるカテゴリーとみなすべきである (Aarts, p. 25) ］
・ Pronouns show nominative and accusative case distinctions (she/her, we/us, etc.); common nouns do not.
・ Pronouns show person and gender distinctions; common nouns do not.
・ Pronouns do not have regular inflectional plurals in Standard English.
・ Pronouns are more constrained than common nouns in taking dependents.
・ Noun phrases with common or proper nouns as head can have independent reference, i.e. they can uniquely pick out an individual or entity in the discourse context, whereas the reference of pronouns must be established contextually.
［ 名詞と代名詞は同一のカテゴリーとみなすべきである (Aarts, p. 26) ］
・ Although common nouns indeed do not have nominative and accusative case inflections they do have genitive inflections, as in the doctor's garden, the mayor's expenses, etc., so having case inflections is not a property that is exclusive to pronouns.
・ Indisputably, only pronouns show person and arguably also gender distinctions, but this is not a sufficient reason to assign them to a different word class. After all, among the verbs in English we distinguish between transitive and intransitive verbs, but we would not want to establish two distinct word classes of 'transitive verbs' and 'intransitive verbs'. Instead, it would make more sense to have two subcategories of one and the same word class. If we follow this reasoning we would say that pronouns form a subcategory of nouns that show person and gender distinctions.
・ It's not entirely true that pronouns do not have regular inflectional plurals in Standard English, because the pronoun one can be pluralized, as in Which ones did you buy? Another consideration here is that there are regional varieties of English that pluralize pronouns (for example, Tyneside English has youse as the plural of you, which is used to address more than one person . . . . And we also have I vs. we, mine vs. ours, etc.
・ Pronouns do seem to be more constrained in taking dependents. We cannot say e.g. *The she left early or *Crazy they/them jumped off the wall. However, dependents are not excluded altogether. We can say, for example, I'm not the me that I used to be. or Stupid me; I forgot to take a coat. As for PP dependents: some pronouns can be followed by prepositional phrases in the same way as nouns can. Compare: The shop on the corner and one of the students.
・ Although it's true that noun phrases headed by common or proper nouns can have independent reference, while pronouns cannot, this is a semantic difference between nouns and pronouns, not a grammatical one.
・ Aarts, Bas. "Syntactic Argumentation." Chapter 2 of The Oxford Handbook of English Grammar. Ed. Bas Aarts, Jill Bowie and Gergana Popova. Oxford: OUP, 2020. 21--39.
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