Optionally blocking pronouns from possessive strategies


I need to figure out a way to allow the user to block pronouns from appearing in the possessor slot in languages that mark either of these with an adposition or clitic (so I can rule out *the cat of me). I also need to figure out a way to block pronouns from being the possessum in all cases (e.g. *the dog’s me).

The thing is that as it now stands, the grammar matrix doesn’t formally distinguish between nouns and pronouns – pronouns are just classes of noun that are defined by the user to carry certain features and have certain opinions about what determiners they can appear with. This isn’t enough to go on for my purposes – I’d need something like a PRON +/- feature on HEAD. I could presumably add a checkbox to the noun section of the Lexicon subpage that adds this feature, but I wanted to check first:

  1. If I am wandering too far out of scope – is making a formal pronoun/noun distinction the territory of another library?
  2. If people have better ideas for how to distinguish nouns from pronouns, either without this feature, or with some other, better feature.



I implemented the above idea and it can be see here: http://matrix.ling.washington.edu/ekayen/matrix.cgi. I haven’t fully tested it yet, but it seems to do the trick.


I think this is fine for now. We could in principle make the distinction a semantic one, but I’m comfortable leaving it in the syntax.


Sounds good. I’ll finish testing this and then add it to the trunk.