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[[File:Neopronounflag.png|thumb|220x220px|The neopronoun user flag by uncommongenders.]]
 
[[File:Neopronounflag.png|thumb|220x220px|The neopronoun user flag by uncommongenders.]]
[[File:Neopronoun Flag.png|thumb|220x220px|Neopronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt]]
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[[File:Neopronoun Flag.png|thumb|220x220px|Neopronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt.]]
'''Neopronouns''' are any set of singular third person [[pronouns]] that are created with the intent of being a gender neutral pronoun set. These pronouns are, for the most part, not officially recognized in the language.
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'''Neopronouns''' are any set of singular third person [[pronouns]] that are not officially recognized in the language they are used in, typically created with the intent of being a gender neutral pronoun set. In English, and many other [[wikipedia:Indo-European languages|Indo-European languages]], third person pronouns can be [[wikipedia:grammatical gender|gendered]]. In English, she is most often used by women, he most often by men, and singular they by non-binary people. However, some people [[crosspronominal|deviate]] from this convention.
 
[[File:Neopronouns.png|thumb|220x220px|A neopronoun user flag by ferns-garden.]]
In English, and many other languages, people are usually called by a pronoun that implies their gender. In English, "she" is most often used by women, and "he" most often used by men, singular "they" can be used by non-binary people. However that is not always the case, some [[Non-Binary|non-binary]] people are okay with being referred to with she/her or he/him pronouns, and some [[Binary Genders|binary]] people use [[Crosspronoun|"unexpected" pronouns]].[[File:Neopronouns.png|thumb|220x220px|A neopronoun user flag by ferns-garden.]]
 
  +
Some people prefer using neopronouns as an alternative gender neutral pronoun set. This can be because they want to avoid singular they being confused with plural they, because neopronouns express something about them or their gender, or because they feel more comfortable using neopronouns over any of the standard pronoun options.
Surveys show that they/them is the most popular neutral pronoun set used by non-binary people, however some prefer to use neopronouns, as an alternate gender neutral pronoun set.
 
 
== Regional Nominative Pronouns ==
 
== Regional Nominative Pronouns ==
Some regional dialects of English throughout history have/had gender neutral pronouns that aren't used in standard English. All of these pronouns have only been recorded in their nominative form. As far as linguists know there are no other forms of these words (possessive, reflexive, etc), although it's easy to make up more forms if desired.
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Some regional dialects of English historically had or still have gender neutral pronouns that were or are not used outside their respective dialects. All of these pronouns have only been recorded in their nominative form. As far as linguists know, there are no other forms of these words (possessive, reflexive, etc.), although more forms could easily be created if desired.
   
These pronouns do not strictly fit the definition of neopronouns as they developed naturally in the language and, as far as we know, were not created by a single person with the goal of creating a gender neutral pronoun.
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These pronouns do not strictly fit the definition of neopronouns, as they developed naturally in the language and, as far as we know, were not created by a single person with the goal of creating a gender neutral pronoun.
   
=== A (Nominative Only) ===
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=== A (nominative only) ===
In 1789, William H. Marshall documented the use of "a", used by the 14th century English writer John of Trevisa. Both the OED and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of "a" in the place of he, she, it, they, and even I. This "a" is a reduced form of the Anglo-Saxon word ''he'' meaning ‘he’ and ''heo'' meaning ‘she’.<ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20100418022839/http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/history.html</ref> Some living British dialects still use the gender-neutral "a" pronoun.<ref>http://web.archive.org/web/20080630041424/http://www.bartleby.com/64/C005/004.html</ref>
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In 1789, William H. Marshall documented the use of ''a'', used by 14th century English writer John of Trevisa. Both the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of ''a'' in place of he, she, it, they, and even I. It is a reduced form of the [[wikipedia:Old English|Old English]] pronouns ''he'' meaning "he" and ''heo'' meaning "she".<ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20100418022839/http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/history.html</ref> Some living British dialects still use this pronoun.<ref>http://web.archive.org/web/20080630041424/http://www.bartleby.com/64/C005/004.html</ref>
   
=== Ou (Nominative Only) ===
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=== Ou (nominative only) ===
Ou was first recorded in a native English dialect the sixteenth century. In 1789, William H. Marshall records the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular ou: '"Ou will" expresses either he will, she will, or it will.' Marshall traces "ou" as possibly deriving from Middle English "a".
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Ou was first recorded in a native English dialect in the 16th century. In 1789, William H. Marshall recorded the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular ''ou'': '"Ou will" expresses either he will, she will, or it will.' Marshall traces ''ou'' as possibly deriving from [[wikipedia:Middle English|Middle English]] ''a''.
   
=== Yo (Nominative Only) ===
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=== Yo (nominative only) ===
In addition to an interjection and greeting, "yo" is a gender-neutral pronoun in a dialect of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) spoken by middle school students in Baltimore, Maryland, the student body of which is 97% African-American. These students had spontaneously created the pronoun as early as 2004, and commonly used it. A study by Stotko and Troyer in 2007 examined this pronoun. The speakers used "yo" only for same-age peers, not adults or authorities. The speakers thought of it as a slang word that was informal, but they also thought if it as just as acceptable as he or she. "Yo" was used for people whose gender was unknown, as well as for specific people whose gender was known, often while using a pointing gesture at the person in question. The researchers only collected examples of "yo" used in the nominative form. That is, they found no possessive forms such as "yo's" and no reflexive forms such as "yoself".<ref>https://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://nonbinary.wiki/&httpsredir=1&article=1203&context=honors</ref>
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In addition to an interjection and greeting, ''yo'' is a gender-neutral pronoun in a dialect of [[wikipedia:African-American Vernacular English|African-American Vernacular English]] (AAVE) spoken by middle school students in Baltimore, Maryland, the student body of which is 97% African-American. These students had spontaneously created the pronoun as early as 2004, and commonly used it. A study by Stotko and Troyer in 2007 examined this pronoun. The speakers used ''yo'' only for same-age peers, not adults or authorities. The speakers thought of it as a slang word that was informal, but they also thought if it as just as acceptable as ''he'' or ''she''. ''Yo'' was used for people whose gender was unknown, as well as for specific people whose gender was known, often while using a pointing gesture at the person in question. The researchers only collected examples of ''yo'' used in the nominative form, finding no possessive forms such as ''*yo's'' and no reflexive forms such as ''*yoself''.<ref>https://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://nonbinary.wiki/&httpsredir=1&article=1203&context=honors</ref>
   
 
== List of Neopronouns ==
 
== List of Neopronouns ==
There have been many instances of people creating new pronouns to refer to a singular gender neutral person over the past 200 years. Particularly, several neopronouns showed up in the mid-late 20th century. Many new neopronouns were created in the age of the internet, as the existence of non-binary people becomes more widely known. This page attempts to listen some of the most notable and most popular neopronouns. Pronouns are listed in order of oldest to newest.
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There have been many instances of people creating new pronouns to refer to a singular gender neutral person over the past 200 years. Particularly, several neopronouns showed up in the mid-late 20th century. Many new neopronouns were created in the age of the internet, as the existence of non-binary people becomes more widely known. While there is no way to list all possible neopronouns, this page attempts to list some of the most notable and most popular examples. Pronouns are listed in order of oldest to newest.
   
 
=== Thon ===
 
=== Thon ===
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|/ðɑnsɛlf/
 
|/ðɑnsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
One of the first known instances of someone purposely creating a new gender neutral pronoun set in English is that of American composer Charles Crozat Converse who proposed the pronoun set thon/thons/thonself in 1858<ref>https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=43422</ref>. It was based on a contraction of "that one". The "thon" pronoun was included in some dictionaries such as Webster's International Dictionary (1910), and Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary (1913), and Webster's Second International (1959). The pronouns are not widely used in the present day. In the 2019 Gender Census, 18 (0.2%) people said that they were happy to be referred to using "thon" pronouns<ref name=":0">https://gendercensus.com/post/183832246805/gender-census-2019-the-full-report-worldwide</ref>.
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One of the first known instances of someone purposely creating a new gender neutral pronoun set in English is that of American composer Charles Crozat Converse who proposed the pronoun set thon/thons/thonself in 1858.<ref>https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=43422</ref> It was based on a contraction of "that one". The ''thon'' pronoun was included in some dictionaries such as Webster's International Dictionary (1910), Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary (1913), and Webster's Second International (1959). The pronouns are not widely used in the present day. In the 2019 Gender Census, 18 (0.2%) people said that they were happy to be referred to by ''thon''.<ref name=":0">https://gendercensus.com/post/183832246805/gender-census-2019-the-full-report-worldwide</ref>
   
 
=== E ===
 
=== E ===
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|E
 
|E
|''E ''went to the store.
+
|''E'' went to the store.
 
|/i/
 
|/i/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Em
 
|Em
|I met ''em ''today.
+
|I met ''em'' today.
 
|/ɛm/
 
|/ɛm/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Es
 
|Es
|E walked ''es ''dog today.
+
|E walked ''es'' dog today.
 
|/iz/
 
|/iz/
 
|-
 
|-
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|Reflexive
 
|Reflexive
 
|Emself
 
|Emself
|E has to drive ''emself ''to school.
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|E has to drive ''emself'' to school.
 
|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
There are several very similar sets of pronouns with the nominative form of "E" which have been independently proposed over the last hundred years. The earliest known example may be created in 1890 by James Rogers of Crestview, Florida<ref name=":1">http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm</ref><ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20070310130020/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/listing.html</ref>. It was made in response to the "thon" set, and was derived from the "he" and "them" pronoun sets. This version does not have a recorded predictive possessive or reflexive form.
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There are several very similar sets of pronouns with the nominative form ''e'' which have been independently proposed over the last hundred years. The earliest known example may be created in 1890 by James Rogers of Crestview, Florida.<ref name=":1">http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm</ref><ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20070310130020/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/listing.html</ref> It was made in response to the ''thon'' set, and was derived from the ''he'' and ''them'' pronoun sets. This version does not have a recorded predicative possessive or reflexive form.
   
In 1977, a version where all forms starts with capital letters was independently created by psychologist Donald G. MacKay of the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1989 an identical version it was independently created by Victor J. Stone, Professor of Law.
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In 1977, a version in which all forms starts with capital letters was independently created by psychologist Donald G. MacKay of the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1989 an identical version it was independently created by Victor J. Stone, Professor of Law.
 
=== Ae ===
 
=== Ae ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
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|/ɛɹsɛlf/
 
|/ɛɹsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
In his 1920 novel ''A Voyage to Arcturus'', David Lindsay invented the "ae" pronoun set for an alien race, which were born from air and of a third sex. These pronouns are still somewhat well known on the internet.
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In his 1920 novel ''A Voyage to Arcturus'', David Lindsay invented the ''ae'' pronoun set for an alien race, which were born from air and of a third sex. These pronouns are still somewhat well known on the internet.
   
 
=== Co ===
 
=== Co ===
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Co
 
|Co
|''Co ''went to the store.
+
|''Co'' went to the store.
 
|/ko/
 
|/ko/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Co
 
|Co
|I met ''co ''today.
+
|I met ''co'' today.
 
|/ko/
 
|/ko/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
|Cos or Co's
+
|Cos/Co's
|Co walked ''cos ''dog today. OR Co walked ''co's'' dog today.
+
|Co walked ''cos''/''co's'' dog today.
 
|/koz/
 
|/koz/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/kosɛlf/
 
|/kosɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
Co was created by Mary Orovan in 1970. It is derived from the Indo-European ''*ko'', as an inclusive alternative to he or she.<ref>http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm</ref> Today, "co" is still used in some communities, such as in the legal policies of Twin Oaks in Virginia, which provides information on the pronoun in its visitor guide web page<ref>https://www.twinoakscommunity.org/twinoaks-visits-60/visit-tour-intro</ref>.
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''Co'' was created by Mary Orovan in 1970. It is derived from the Indo-European ''*ko'', as an inclusive alternative to he or she.<ref>http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm</ref> Today, ''co'' is still used in some communities, such as in the legal policies of Twin Oaks in Virginia, which provides information on the pronoun in its visitor guide web page.<ref>https://www.twinoakscommunity.org/twinoaks-visits-60/visit-tour-intro</ref>
   
 
=== Ve ===
 
=== Ve ===
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Ve
 
|Ve
|''Ve ''went to the store.
+
|''Ve'' went to the store.
 
|/vi/
 
|/vi/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
|Ver or Vir
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|Ver/Vir
|I met ''ver ''today. OR I met ''vir'' today.
+
|I met ''ver''/''vir'' today.
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>/ OR /viɹ/*
+
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>/, /viɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Vis
 
|Vis
|Ve walked ''vis ''dog today.
+
|Ve walked ''vis'' dog today.
 
|/viz/
 
|/viz/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Predicative Possessive
|Vers or Virs
+
|Vers/Virs
|If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ''vers''. OR borrow ''virs''.
+
|If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ''vers''/''virs''.
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>z/ OR /viɹz/*
+
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>z/ OR /viɹz/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Reflexive
 
|Reflexive
|Verself or Virself
+
|Verself/Virself
|Ve has to drive ''verself'' to school. OR Ve has to drive ''virself'' to school.
+
|Ve has to drive ''verself''/''virself'' to school.
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/ OR /viɹsɛlf/*
+
|/və<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/, /viɹsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
<nowiki>*</nowiki>Both spellings can be pronounced either way.
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†Both spellings can be pronounced either way.
   
Ve pronouns were created sometime in the early 1970s. It's unclear who originally invented this pronoun set or when, and it's possible that multiple people created it independently. The most well know usage of ve pronouns comes from Greg Egan, who used them in his books ''Distress (1995)'' and ''Diaspora (1998)''<ref>http://www.urticator.net/essay/0/30.html</ref>. Egan is sometimes credited with having created these pronouns, but this doesn't appear to be the case and he has never claimed to do so. An earlier example is in the novel ''The Bone People (1984)'' by Keri Hulme<ref>https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1580481-gender-neutral-characters-and-pronouns</ref>. The earliest known example of ve pronouns comes from the 1970 May issue of ''Everywoman''<ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20070310130020/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/listing.html</ref>. This set is nearly-identical but is incomplete. It included ve/vir/vis, (predicative possessive and reflexive not recorded).
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The ''ve'' pronoun set was created sometime in the early 1970s. It is unclear who originally invented this pronoun set or when, and it is possible that multiple people created it independently. The most well know usage of ''ve'' comes from Greg Egan, who used it in his books ''Distress (1995)'' and ''Diaspora (1998)''.<ref>http://www.urticator.net/essay/0/30.html</ref> Egan is sometimes credited with having created these pronouns, but this does not appear to be the case and he has never claimed to have done so. An earlier example is in the novel ''The Bone People (1984)'' by Keri Hulme.<ref>https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1580481-gender-neutral-characters-and-pronouns</ref> The earliest known example of ''ve'' comes from the 1970 May issue of ''Everywoman''.<ref>https://web.archive.org/web/20070310130020/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/listing.html</ref> This set is nearly-identical but is incomplete. It included ve/vir/vis, with no predicative possessive and reflexive recorded.
   
 
=== Xe ===
 
=== Xe ===
  +
[[File:Xexem.jpg|thumb|220x220px|The xe/xem pronoun user flag.]]
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Case
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|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Xem
 
|Xem
|I met ''xem ''today.
+
|I met ''xem'' today.
 
|/zɛm/
 
|/zɛm/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Xyr
 
|Xyr
|Xe walked ''xyr ''dog today.
+
|Xe walked ''xyr'' dog today.
 
|/zɪɹ/
 
|/zɪɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Xyrs
 
|Xyrs
|If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ''xyrs''.
+
|If I need a phone, my friend will let me borrow ''xyrs''.
 
|/zɪɹz/
 
|/zɪɹz/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/zɪɹsɛlf/
 
|/zɪɹsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
 
This pronoun set appears to have been first coined by Don Rickter in an issue of ''Unitarian Universalist'' published in May 1973. This coining is affirmed by Mario Pei, who gave Rickter credit in his 1978 book ''Weasel Words''.<ref>https://books.google.com/books/about/Weasel_words.html?id=j9RZAAAAMAAJ</ref> This set has a large amount of variations; alternate spellings include:
[[File:Xexem.jpg|thumb|220x220px|The xe/xem pronoun user flag.]]
 
This pronoun set appears to be first coined by Don Rickter in an issue of Unitarian Universalist publication in May 1973. This coining is affirmed by Mario Pei, who gave Rickter credit in his 1978 book ''Weasel Words''<ref>https://books.google.com/books/about/Weasel_words.html?id=j9RZAAAAMAAJ</ref>. This set has a large amount of variations.
 
 
Alternate spellings include:
 
 
* Nominative: Xhe, xey
 
* Nominative: Xhe, xey
 
* Accusative: Xer, xim, xym
 
* Accusative: Xer, xim, xym
Line 236: Line 234:
 
* Reflexive: Xirself, xemself, ximself, xymself, or xerself
 
* Reflexive: Xirself, xemself, ximself, xymself, or xerself
   
=== Per (Person Pronouns) ===
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=== Per (person pronouns) ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Case
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Per or Person
 
|Per or Person
|''Per ''went to the store. OR ''Person'' went to the store.
+
|''Per''/''person'' went to the store.
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Per
 
|Per
|I met ''per ''today.
+
|I met ''per'' today.
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Per
 
|Per
|Per walked ''per ''dog today.
+
|Per walked ''per'' dog today.
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/
 
|/pə<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
Known as "person pronouns," these are meant to be used for a person of any gender. John Clark created person pronouns in a 1972 issue of the ''Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association''<ref name=":1" />. These pronouns were notably used in the 1976 novel ''Woman on the Edge of Time'' by Marge Piercy.
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Known as "person pronouns", these are meant to be used for a person of any gender. John Clark created person pronouns in a 1972 issue of the ''Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association''.<ref name=":1" /> These pronouns were notably used in the 1976 novel ''Woman on the Edge of Time'' by Marge Piercy.
   
=== Ey (Elverson Pronouns) ===
+
=== Ey (Elverson pronouns) ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Case
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Ey
 
|Ey
|''Ey ''went to the store.
+
|''Ey'' went to the store.
 
|/eɪ/
 
|/eɪ/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Em
 
|Em
|I met ''em ''today.
+
|I met ''em'' today.
 
|/ɛm/
 
|/ɛm/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Eir
 
|Eir
|Ey walked ''eir ''dog today.
+
|Ey walked ''eir'' dog today.
 
|/ɛɹ/
 
|/ɛɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
The Elverson pronouns were created by Christine M. Elverson of Skokie, Illinois to win a contest to create an alternative to they/them in 1975. They were formed by dropping the first two letters from they/them/their pronouns.
+
The Elverson pronouns were created by Christine M. Elverson of Skokie, Illinois to win a contest to create an alternative to the singular ''they'' in 1975. They were formed by dropping the first two letters from ''they'' and its inflections.
   
It's unclear what sort of lexical agreement these pronouns would take. The pronouns can only be used as singular pronouns, so they could presumably be conjugated the same way as other singular pronoun sets: (ie: "Ey ''was'' eating.") However, since these pronouns were based off the they/them set it may feel more natural for English speakers to say "Ey ''were'' eating." It's unclear which conjugation was intended, so either can be used. The same problem faces most other neopronouns based on "e" or "ey".
+
It is unclear what sort of lexical agreement these pronouns would take. The pronouns can only be used as singular pronouns, so they could presumably be conjugated the same way as other singular pronoun sets (ie: "Ey ''was'' eating.") However, since these pronouns were based off the ''they'' set, it may feel more natural for English speakers to say "Ey ''were'' eating." It is unclear which conjugation was intended, so either can be used. Most other neopronouns based on "e" or "ey" face the same problem.
   
=== Hu (Humanist Pronouns) ===
+
=== Hu (humanist pronouns) ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Case
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Hu
 
|Hu
|''Hu ''went to the store.
+
|''Hu'' went to the store.
|/hju/*
+
|/hju/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Hum
 
|Hum
|I met ''hum ''today.
+
|I met ''hum'' today.
 
|/hjum/
 
|/hjum/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Hus
 
|Hus
|Hu walked ''hus ''dog today.
+
|Hu walked ''hus'' dog today.
 
|/hjuz/
 
|/hjuz/
 
|-
 
|-
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|Reflexive
 
|Reflexive
 
|Huself
 
|Huself
|Hu has to drive ''Huself'' to school.
+
|Hu has to drive ''huself'' to school.
 
|/hjusɛlf/
 
|/hjusɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
<nowiki>*</nowiki>Pronunciation is assumed to match that in 'human' both for the theme and for clarity.
+
†Pronunciation is assumed to match that in 'human' both for the theme and for clarity.
   
Also known as "humanist pronouns", this set was created by Sasha Newborn in 1982, in a college humanities text. They are obviously based on the word “human”.<ref>http://www.hupronoun.org/</ref> This could be considered the first instance of [[Nounself Pronouns|nounself pronouns]].
+
Also known as "humanist pronouns", this set was created by Sasha Newborn in 1982, in a college humanities text. They are obviously based on the word ''human''.<ref>http://www.hupronoun.org/</ref> They could be considered the first instance of [[Nounself Pronouns|nounself pronouns]].
   
=== E (Spivak Pronouns) ===
+
=== E (Spivak pronouns) ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Case
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|E
 
|E
|''E ''went to the store.
+
|''E'' went to the store.
 
|/i/
 
|/i/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Em
 
|Em
|I met ''em ''today.
+
|I met ''em'' today.
 
|/ɛm/
 
|/ɛm/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Eir
 
|Eir
|E walked ''eir ''dog today.
+
|E walked ''eir'' dog today.
 
|/ɛɹ/
 
|/ɛɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|/ɛmsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
Spivak pronouns, were created in 1990 by Michael Spivak. They were used in his manual, ''The Joy of TeX,'' so that no person in his examples had a specified gender. The pronouns became somewhat well-known on the internet because they were built into the popular multi-user chat LambdaMOO in 1991. The pronouns then became a common feature of other multi-user chats made throughout the 1990s. In the 2019 Gender Census, 5.2% of participants were happy for people to use Spivak pronouns when being referred to<ref name=":0" />. Spivak is credited with creating this set of pronouns, although his book does not claim that they are his own invention. It's not known if Spivak was inspired by the other "E" pronouns that have existed or by the similar Elverson pronouns.
+
The "Spivak pronouns" were created in 1990 by Michael Spivak. They were used in his manual ''The Joy of TeX'' so that no person in his examples had a specified gender. The pronouns became somewhat well-known on the internet because they were built into the popular multi-user chat LambdaMOO in 1991. The pronouns then became a common feature of other multi-user chats made throughout the 1990s. In the 2019 Gender Census, 5.2% of participants indicated they were happy with Spivak pronouns being used to refer to them.<ref name=":0" /> Spivak is credited with creating this set of pronouns, although his book does not claim that they are his own invention. It is not known whether Spivak was inspired by the other "E" pronouns that have existed or by the similar Elverson pronouns.
   
 
=== Ze ===
 
=== Ze ===
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Ze
 
|Ze
|''Ze ''went to the store.
+
|''Ze'' went to the store.
 
|/zi/
 
|/zi/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Zir
 
|Zir
|I met ''zir ''today.
+
|I met ''zir'' today.
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Zir
 
|Zir
|Ze walked ''zir ''dog today.
+
|Ze walked ''zir'' dog today.
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>/
 
|-
 
|-
Line 408: Line 406:
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/
 
|/zə<sup>ɹ</sup>sɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
Similar to "xe" pronouns there are several different versions of this pronoun set. "Ze" is also pronounced the same way as "xe". It was likely based on the German plural 3rd person pronoun "sie". The first known case of "ze" being used is in 1997, by Richard Creel, who proposed ze/zer/mer (reflexive form is not recorded).
+
Similar to the ''xe'' pronoun set, there are several different versions of this pronoun set. ''Ze'' is also pronounced the same way as ''xe''. It was likely based on the German plural 3rd person pronoun ''sie''. The first known case of ''ze'' being used is in 1997, by Richard Creel, who proposed ze/zer/mer (reflexive form is not recorded).
   
Another version was possibly independently created by Kate Bornstein in the 1998 book ''My Gender Workbook''. This version uses ze (sometimes zie or sie)/hir. The most popular variation of these pronouns are based on this version and were created in 2013.
+
Another version was possibly independently created by Kate Bornstein in the 1998 book ''My Gender Workbook''. This version uses ''ze'' (sometimes ''zie'' or ''sie'') and ''hir''. The most popular variation of these pronouns are based on this version and were created in 2013.
 
=== Fae ===
 
=== Fae ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
{| class="article-table"
Line 420: Line 418:
 
|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|Fae
 
|Fae
|''Fae ''went to the store.
+
|''Fae'' went to the store.
 
|/feɪ/
 
|/feɪ/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|Faer
 
|Faer
|I met ''faer ''today.
+
|I met ''faer'' today.
 
|/fɛɹ/
 
|/fɛɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Faer
 
|Faer
|Fae walked ''faer ''dog today.
+
|Fae walked ''faer'' dog today.
 
|/fɛɹ/
 
|/fɛɹ/
 
|-
 
|-
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|/fɛɹsɛlf/
 
|/fɛɹsɛlf/
 
|}
 
|}
Fae is a fairy themed set of neopronouns created by Tumblr user shadaras in 2014, though it might have been created independently by someone else earlier. It is one of the most commonly used [[Nounself Pronouns|nounself pronoun]] set. As is likely what inspired the trend of nounself pronouns on the internet set moving forward.
+
The ''fae'' pronouns are a pagan-themed set of neopronouns created by Tumblr user shadaras in 2014, though it may have been created independently by someone else earlier. It is one of the most commonly used [[Nounself Pronouns|nounself pronoun]] sets. It likely inspired the trend of using nounself pronouns on the internet.
 
A similar fairy themed pronoun set exists that is fey/fey/feys/feys/feyself. This might have been created independently or it may be an alternate spelling of this system.
 
   
 
A similar fairy-themed pronoun set is ''fey''/''fey''/''feys''/''feys''/''feyself''. This may have been created independently or it may be an alternate spelling of this set.<br />
 
== Other Non-Standard Pronouns ==
 
== Other Non-Standard Pronouns ==
 
These pronouns may or may not strictly fall into the category of neopronouns, but do not fall within the standard usage of pronouns in English.
 
These pronouns may or may not strictly fall into the category of neopronouns, but do not fall within the standard usage of pronouns in English.
Line 458: Line 455:
 
|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|It
 
|It
|''It ''went to the store.
+
|''It'' went to the store.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|It
 
|It
|I met ''it ''today.
+
|I met ''it'' today.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Its
 
|Its
|It walked ''its ''dog today.
+
|It walked ''its'' dog today.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Its
 
|Its
|If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ''its''.
+
|If I need a phone, my friend will let me borrow ''its''.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Reflexive
 
|Reflexive
 
|Itself
 
|Itself
|It has to drive ''itself ''to school.
+
|It has to drive ''itself'' to school.
 
|}
 
|}
[[File:It its pronouns.png|thumb|220x220px|It/Its Pronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt]]"It" is the pronoun for inanimate objects in English, though some non-binary people choose to use this as a non-gendered pronoun. Using "it" to refer to a non-binary person is offensive unless one is specifically told to use that pronoun.
+
[[File:It its pronouns.png|thumb|220x220px|It/Its Pronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt]]''It'' is the pronoun for inanimate objects in English, though some non-binary people choose to use this as a non-gendered pronoun. Using ''it'' to refer to a non-binary person is considered offensive unless one is specifically told to use that pronoun.
  +
  +
Some people may consider ''it'' to be a neopronoun when used for people, while others do not. On the one hand ''it"''is a recognized pronoun in English, however, it is typically only used for inanimate objects. Being used to refer to people is not conventionally part of ''it''<nowiki/>'s usage.
   
 
=== One ===
 
=== One ===
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|Nominative
 
|Nominative
 
|One
 
|One
|''One ''went to the store.
+
|''One'' went to the store.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Accusative
 
|One
 
|One
|I met ''one ''today.
+
|I met ''one'' today.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|One's
 
|One's
|One walked ''ones'' dog today.
+
|One walked ''one's'' dog today.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Predicative Possessive
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|Reflexive
 
|Reflexive
 
|Oneself
 
|Oneself
|One has to drive ''oneself ''to school.
+
|One has to drive ''oneself'' to school.
 
|}
 
|}
"One" is a gender neutral pronoun for a generic person in English. It is typically used in formal speech when talking about people in general or a hypothetical person. Some people use "one" as an singular alternative to "they" pronouns.
+
''One'' is a gender neutral pronoun for a generic person in English. It is typically used in formal speech when talking about people in general or a hypothetical person. Some people use ''one'' as a singular alternative to ''they''.
   
 
=== Alternating Pronouns ===
 
=== Alternating Pronouns ===
 
Instead of using an alternative or gender neutral pronoun set, some people prefer an alternation between the binary-gendered sets. For example: "When ''he'' does not get a haircut, ''her'' hair grows long." Alternating pronouns are used in some legal documents to make them gender inclusive.
 
Instead of using an alternative or gender neutral pronoun set, some people prefer an alternation between the binary-gendered sets. For example: "When ''he'' does not get a haircut, ''her'' hair grows long." Alternating pronouns are used in some legal documents to make them gender inclusive.
 
=== De ===
 
{| class="article-table"
 
!Case
 
!Pronoun
 
!Example
 
|-
 
|Nominative
 
|De
 
|''De'' went to the store.
 
|-
 
|Accusative
 
|Dem
 
|I met ''dem ''today.
 
|-
 
|Pronominal Possessive
 
|Der
 
|De walked ''der ''dog today.
 
|-
 
|Predicative Possessive
 
|Ders
 
|If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ''ders''.
 
|-
 
|Reflexive
 
|Demself
 
|De has to drive ''demself ''to school.
 
|}
 
De/dem is a Norwegian set of gender neutral pronouns sometimes used in other language as neopronouns. 
 
   
 
=== No Pronouns/Pronoun Dropping ===
 
=== No Pronouns/Pronoun Dropping ===
[[File:Nounself Flag.png|thumb|220x220px|Nounself Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt]]Also called non-pronouns, null pronouns, or [[Nullpronoun|pronounless]]. Some non-binary people prefer not to be referred to by pronouns of any kind. Instead of using pronouns, a person can be referred to by name, an epithet, or the sentence can be rephrased to omit pronouns, typically by using the passive voice.
+
Also called non-pronouns, null pronouns, or [[Nullpronoun|pronounless]]. Some non-binary people prefer not to be referred to by pronouns of any kind. Instead of using pronouns, a person may be referred to by name, an epithet, or the sentence can be rephrased to omit pronouns, typically by using the passive voice.
 
=== Nounself Pronouns ===
 
[[Nounself Pronouns|Nounself pronouns]] can be made by adapting any noun into a pronoun. The pronouns can be themed around concepts that have nothing to do with gender.
 
   
 
== Flag ==
 
== Flag ==
 
The purple neopronoun flag was designed by‎ DeviantArt user Geekycorn on April 25, 2020. The stripes, in order, represent agender neopronoun users, neopronoun-using men, neopronoun-using women, nonbinary/genderqueer/other neopronoun users, and multigender neopronoun users.
 
The purple neopronoun flag was designed by‎ DeviantArt user Geekycorn on April 25, 2020. The stripes, in order, represent agender neopronoun users, neopronoun-using men, neopronoun-using women, nonbinary/genderqueer/other neopronoun users, and multigender neopronoun users.
   
The green and orange neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Ferns-Garden/Beanjamoose on or before Jul 1, 2019. The flag is used by the blog yourfave-uses-neopronouns<ref>https://yourfave-uses-neopronouns.tumblr.com/post/185988230593/the-flag-and-meaning</ref>. The color meanings are as follows: Green is for masculine-identifying people who use neopronouns. Blue is for older pronoun sets and the history behind them. White is for non-binary identifying people who use neopronouns. Yellow is for newer pronoun sets and the happiness that comes from them. Orange is for feminine-identifying people who use neopronouns.
+
The green and orange neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Ferns-Garden/Beanjamoose on or before Jul 1, 2019. The flag is used by the blog yourfave-uses-neopronouns.<ref>https://yourfave-uses-neopronouns.tumblr.com/post/185988230593/the-flag-and-meaning</ref> The color meanings are as follows: Green is for masculine-identifying people who use neopronouns. Blue is for older pronoun sets and the history behind them. White is for non-binary identifying people who use neopronouns. Yellow is for newer pronoun sets and the happiness that comes from them. Orange is for feminine-identifying people who use neopronouns.
   
 
The green and purple neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Uncommongenders on June 5, 2018. The meaning is unknown.<ref>https://uncommongenders.tumblr.com/post/174605594564/okay-so-i-wanted-to-make-hq-versions-of</ref>
 
The green and purple neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Uncommongenders on June 5, 2018. The meaning is unknown.<ref>https://uncommongenders.tumblr.com/post/174605594564/okay-so-i-wanted-to-make-hq-versions-of</ref>
Line 553: Line 521:
   
 
== Resources ==
 
== Resources ==
<references />[[Category:Terminology]]
+
<references />
  +
[[Category:Terminology]]
  +
[[Category:Pronouns]]

Latest revision as of 20:38, 21 October 2020

The neopronoun user flag by uncommongenders.

Neopronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt.

Neopronouns are any set of singular third person pronouns that are not officially recognized in the language they are used in, typically created with the intent of being a gender neutral pronoun set. In English, and many other Indo-European languages, third person pronouns can be gendered. In English, she is most often used by women, he most often by men, and singular they by non-binary people. However, some people deviate from this convention.

A neopronoun user flag by ferns-garden.

Some people prefer using neopronouns as an alternative gender neutral pronoun set. This can be because they want to avoid singular they being confused with plural they, because neopronouns express something about them or their gender, or because they feel more comfortable using neopronouns over any of the standard pronoun options.

Regional Nominative Pronouns[edit | edit source]

Some regional dialects of English historically had or still have gender neutral pronouns that were or are not used outside their respective dialects. All of these pronouns have only been recorded in their nominative form. As far as linguists know, there are no other forms of these words (possessive, reflexive, etc.), although more forms could easily be created if desired.

These pronouns do not strictly fit the definition of neopronouns, as they developed naturally in the language and, as far as we know, were not created by a single person with the goal of creating a gender neutral pronoun.

A (nominative only)[edit | edit source]

In 1789, William H. Marshall documented the use of a, used by 14th century English writer John of Trevisa. Both the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of a in place of he, she, it, they, and even I. It is a reduced form of the Old English pronouns he meaning "he" and heo meaning "she".[1] Some living British dialects still use this pronoun.[2]

Ou (nominative only)[edit | edit source]

Ou was first recorded in a native English dialect in the 16th century. In 1789, William H. Marshall recorded the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular ou: '"Ou will" expresses either he will, she will, or it will.' Marshall traces ou as possibly deriving from Middle English a.

Yo (nominative only)[edit | edit source]

In addition to an interjection and greeting, yo is a gender-neutral pronoun in a dialect of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) spoken by middle school students in Baltimore, Maryland, the student body of which is 97% African-American. These students had spontaneously created the pronoun as early as 2004, and commonly used it. A study by Stotko and Troyer in 2007 examined this pronoun. The speakers used yo only for same-age peers, not adults or authorities. The speakers thought of it as a slang word that was informal, but they also thought if it as just as acceptable as he or she. Yo was used for people whose gender was unknown, as well as for specific people whose gender was known, often while using a pointing gesture at the person in question. The researchers only collected examples of yo used in the nominative form, finding no possessive forms such as *yo's and no reflexive forms such as *yoself.[3]

List of Neopronouns[edit | edit source]

There have been many instances of people creating new pronouns to refer to a singular gender neutral person over the past 200 years. Particularly, several neopronouns showed up in the mid-late 20th century. Many new neopronouns were created in the age of the internet, as the existence of non-binary people becomes more widely known. While there is no way to list all possible neopronouns, this page attempts to list some of the most notable and most popular examples. Pronouns are listed in order of oldest to newest.

Thon[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Thon Thon went to the store. /ðɑn/
Accusative Thon I met thon today. /ðɑn/
Pronominal Possessive Thons Thon walked thons dog today. /ðɑnz/
Predicative Possessive Thon's If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow thon's. /ðɑnz/
Reflexive Thonself Thon has to drive thonself to school. /ðɑnsɛlf/

One of the first known instances of someone purposely creating a new gender neutral pronoun set in English is that of American composer Charles Crozat Converse who proposed the pronoun set thon/thons/thonself in 1858.[4] It was based on a contraction of "that one". The thon pronoun was included in some dictionaries such as Webster's International Dictionary (1910), Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary (1913), and Webster's Second International (1959). The pronouns are not widely used in the present day. In the 2019 Gender Census, 18 (0.2%) people said that they were happy to be referred to by thon.[5]

E[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative E E went to the store. /i/
Accusative Em I met em today. /ɛm/
Pronominal Possessive Es E walked es dog today. /iz/
Predicative Possessive Ems If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow ems. /ɛmz/
Reflexive Emself E has to drive emself to school. /ɛmsɛlf/

There are several very similar sets of pronouns with the nominative form e which have been independently proposed over the last hundred years. The earliest known example may be created in 1890 by James Rogers of Crestview, Florida.[6][7] It was made in response to the thon set, and was derived from the he and them pronoun sets. This version does not have a recorded predicative possessive or reflexive form.

In 1977, a version in which all forms starts with capital letters was independently created by psychologist Donald G. MacKay of the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1989 an identical version it was independently created by Victor J. Stone, Professor of Law.

Ae[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Ae Ae went to the store. /ei/
Accusative Aer I met aer today. /ɛɹ/
Pronominal Possessive Aer Ae walked aer dog today. /ɛɹ/
Predicative Possessive Aers If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow aers. /ɛɹz/
Reflexive Aerself Ae has to drive aerself to school. /ɛɹsɛlf/

In his 1920 novel A Voyage to Arcturus, David Lindsay invented the ae pronoun set for an alien race, which were born from air and of a third sex. These pronouns are still somewhat well known on the internet.

Co[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Co Co went to the store. /ko/
Accusative Co I met co today. /ko/
Pronominal Possessive Cos/Co's Co walked cos/co's dog today. /koz/
Predicative Possessive Co's If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow co's. /koz/
Reflexive Coself Co has to drive coself to school. /kosɛlf/

Co was created by Mary Orovan in 1970. It is derived from the Indo-European *ko, as an inclusive alternative to he or she.[8] Today, co is still used in some communities, such as in the legal policies of Twin Oaks in Virginia, which provides information on the pronoun in its visitor guide web page.[9]

Ve[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Ve Ve went to the store. /vi/
Accusative Ver/Vir I met ver/vir today. /vəɹ/, /viɹ/†
Pronominal Possessive Vis Ve walked vis dog today. /viz/
Predicative Possessive Vers/Virs If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow vers/virs. /vəɹz/ OR /viɹz/†
Reflexive Verself/Virself Ve has to drive verself/virself to school. /vəɹsɛlf/, /viɹsɛlf/†

†Both spellings can be pronounced either way.

The ve pronoun set was created sometime in the early 1970s. It is unclear who originally invented this pronoun set or when, and it is possible that multiple people created it independently. The most well know usage of ve comes from Greg Egan, who used it in his books Distress (1995) and Diaspora (1998).[10] Egan is sometimes credited with having created these pronouns, but this does not appear to be the case and he has never claimed to have done so. An earlier example is in the novel The Bone People (1984) by Keri Hulme.[11] The earliest known example of ve comes from the 1970 May issue of Everywoman.[12] This set is nearly-identical but is incomplete. It included ve/vir/vis, with no predicative possessive and reflexive recorded.

Xe[edit | edit source]

The xe/xem pronoun user flag.

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Xe Xe went to the store. /zi/
Accusative Xem I met xem today. /zɛm/
Pronominal Possessive Xyr Xe walked xyr dog today. /zɪɹ/
Predicative Possessive Xyrs If I need a phone, my friend will let me borrow xyrs. /zɪɹz/
Reflexive Xyrself Xe has to drive xyrself to school. /zɪɹsɛlf/

This pronoun set appears to have been first coined by Don Rickter in an issue of Unitarian Universalist published in May 1973. This coining is affirmed by Mario Pei, who gave Rickter credit in his 1978 book Weasel Words.[13] This set has a large amount of variations; alternate spellings include:

  • Nominative: Xhe, xey
  • Accusative: Xer, xim, xym
  • Pronominal possessive: Xir, xis, xer, or xeir
  • Predicative possessive: Xirs, xis, xers, or xeirs
  • Reflexive: Xirself, xemself, ximself, xymself, or xerself

Per (person pronouns)[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Per or Person Per/person went to the store. /pəɹ/
Accusative Per I met per today. /pəɹ/
Pronominal Possessive Per Per walked per dog today. /pəɹ/
Predicative Possessive Pers If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow pers. /pəɹz/
Reflexive Perself Per has to drive perself to school. /pəɹsɛlf/

Known as "person pronouns", these are meant to be used for a person of any gender. John Clark created person pronouns in a 1972 issue of the Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association.[6] These pronouns were notably used in the 1976 novel Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy.

Ey (Elverson pronouns)[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Ey Ey went to the store. /eɪ/
Accusative Em I met em today. /ɛm/
Pronominal Possessive Eir Ey walked eir dog today. /ɛɹ/
Predicative Possessive Eirs If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow eirs. /ɛɹz/
Reflexive Emself Ey has to drive emself to school. /ɛmsɛlf/

The Elverson pronouns were created by Christine M. Elverson of Skokie, Illinois to win a contest to create an alternative to the singular they in 1975. They were formed by dropping the first two letters from they and its inflections.

It is unclear what sort of lexical agreement these pronouns would take. The pronouns can only be used as singular pronouns, so they could presumably be conjugated the same way as other singular pronoun sets (ie: "Ey was eating.") However, since these pronouns were based off the they set, it may feel more natural for English speakers to say "Ey were eating." It is unclear which conjugation was intended, so either can be used. Most other neopronouns based on "e" or "ey" face the same problem.

Hu (humanist pronouns)[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Hu Hu went to the store. /hju/†
Accusative Hum I met hum today. /hjum/
Pronominal Possessive Hus Hu walked hus dog today. /hjuz/
Predicative Possessive Hus If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow hus. /hjuz/
Reflexive Huself Hu has to drive huself to school. /hjusɛlf/

†Pronunciation is assumed to match that in 'human' both for the theme and for clarity.

Also known as "humanist pronouns", this set was created by Sasha Newborn in 1982, in a college humanities text. They are obviously based on the word human.[14] They could be considered the first instance of nounself pronouns.

E (Spivak pronouns)[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative E E went to the store. /i/
Accusative Em I met em today. /ɛm/
Pronominal Possessive Eir E walked eir dog today. /ɛɹ/
Predicative Possessive Eirs If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow eirs. /ɛɹz/
Reflexive Emself E has to drive emself to school. /ɛmsɛlf/

The "Spivak pronouns" were created in 1990 by Michael Spivak. They were used in his manual The Joy of TeX so that no person in his examples had a specified gender. The pronouns became somewhat well-known on the internet because they were built into the popular multi-user chat LambdaMOO in 1991. The pronouns then became a common feature of other multi-user chats made throughout the 1990s. In the 2019 Gender Census, 5.2% of participants indicated they were happy with Spivak pronouns being used to refer to them.[5] Spivak is credited with creating this set of pronouns, although his book does not claim that they are his own invention. It is not known whether Spivak was inspired by the other "E" pronouns that have existed or by the similar Elverson pronouns.

Ze[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Ze Ze went to the store. /zi/
Accusative Zir I met zir today. /zəɹ/
Pronominal Possessive Zir Ze walked zir dog today. /zəɹ/
Predicative Possessive Zirs If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow zirs. /zəɹz/
Reflexive Zirself Ze has to drive zirself to school. /zəɹsɛlf/

Similar to the xe pronoun set, there are several different versions of this pronoun set. Ze is also pronounced the same way as xe. It was likely based on the German plural 3rd person pronoun sie. The first known case of ze being used is in 1997, by Richard Creel, who proposed ze/zer/mer (reflexive form is not recorded).

Another version was possibly independently created by Kate Bornstein in the 1998 book My Gender Workbook. This version uses ze (sometimes zie or sie) and hir. The most popular variation of these pronouns are based on this version and were created in 2013.

Fae[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example Pronunciation
Nominative Fae Fae went to the store. /feɪ/
Accusative Faer I met faer today. /fɛɹ/
Pronominal Possessive Faer Fae walked faer dog today. /fɛɹ/
Predicative Possessive Faers If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow faers. /fɛɹz/
Reflexive Faerself Fae has to drive faerself to school. /fɛɹsɛlf/

The fae pronouns are a pagan-themed set of neopronouns created by Tumblr user shadaras in 2014, though it may have been created independently by someone else earlier. It is one of the most commonly used nounself pronoun sets. It likely inspired the trend of using nounself pronouns on the internet.

A similar fairy-themed pronoun set is fey/fey/feys/feys/feyself. This may have been created independently or it may be an alternate spelling of this set.

Other Non-Standard Pronouns[edit | edit source]

These pronouns may or may not strictly fall into the category of neopronouns, but do not fall within the standard usage of pronouns in English.

The it/its pronoun user flag.

It[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example
Nominative It It went to the store.
Accusative It I met it today.
Pronominal Possessive Its It walked its dog today.
Predicative Possessive Its If I need a phone, my friend will let me borrow its.
Reflexive Itself It has to drive itself to school.

It/Its Pronouns Flag by Geekycorn on DeviantArt

It is the pronoun for inanimate objects in English, though some non-binary people choose to use this as a non-gendered pronoun. Using it to refer to a non-binary person is considered offensive unless one is specifically told to use that pronoun.

Some people may consider it to be a neopronoun when used for people, while others do not. On the one hand it"is a recognized pronoun in English, however, it is typically only used for inanimate objects. Being used to refer to people is not conventionally part of it's usage.

One[edit | edit source]

Case Pronoun Example
Nominative One One went to the store.
Accusative One I met one today.
Pronominal Possessive One's One walked one's dog today.
Predicative Possessive One's If I need a phone my friend will let me borrow one's.
Reflexive Oneself One has to drive oneself to school.

One is a gender neutral pronoun for a generic person in English. It is typically used in formal speech when talking about people in general or a hypothetical person. Some people use one as a singular alternative to they.

Alternating Pronouns[edit | edit source]

Instead of using an alternative or gender neutral pronoun set, some people prefer an alternation between the binary-gendered sets. For example: "When he does not get a haircut, her hair grows long." Alternating pronouns are used in some legal documents to make them gender inclusive.

No Pronouns/Pronoun Dropping[edit | edit source]

Also called non-pronouns, null pronouns, or pronounless. Some non-binary people prefer not to be referred to by pronouns of any kind. Instead of using pronouns, a person may be referred to by name, an epithet, or the sentence can be rephrased to omit pronouns, typically by using the passive voice.

Flag[edit | edit source]

The purple neopronoun flag was designed by‎ DeviantArt user Geekycorn on April 25, 2020. The stripes, in order, represent agender neopronoun users, neopronoun-using men, neopronoun-using women, nonbinary/genderqueer/other neopronoun users, and multigender neopronoun users.

The green and orange neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Ferns-Garden/Beanjamoose on or before Jul 1, 2019. The flag is used by the blog yourfave-uses-neopronouns.[15] The color meanings are as follows: Green is for masculine-identifying people who use neopronouns. Blue is for older pronoun sets and the history behind them. White is for non-binary identifying people who use neopronouns. Yellow is for newer pronoun sets and the happiness that comes from them. Orange is for feminine-identifying people who use neopronouns.

The green and purple neopronoun flag was designed by Tumblr user Uncommongenders on June 5, 2018. The meaning is unknown.[16]

The xe/xem flag and the it/its flag were designed by Tumblr user love-all-around1223 on April 14th, and April 15th, 2018 respectively.[17][18]

Resources[edit | edit source]

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