See also


Kind Of


Old Chinese Criteria

1. The umarked current first person pronoun most current by Warring States times is wú 吾, and the word is never emphatic in constructions like 吾實 "It was I who...". (Not in OBI. Note the Jinwen variant graphs for the same word 𫊣 and 䱷.) This word does not normally occur in object position and is highly idiomatic in a possessive pre-nominal position. Significantly, this pronoun can never be used emphatically or contrastively. (NB: The word also serves as an impersonal pronoun meaning "we" in the sense close to "one", German man, French on.) 我亦 "I too", versus 予亦 "I shall moreover V".

2. Wǒ 我 (which can be used in the emphatic construction 我實 "It was I who...") is contrastive and emphatic by Warring States times, as in wǒ zé 我則 "I on the other hand...". (In OBI 我 was not yet in opposition to wú 吾 and was the standard unmarked pronoun during earlier stages of the language). The word freely occurs in subject, modifying, and object position and often has an idiomatic meaning like "I for my part" and the formal slightly depersonalised "our party". NB: The word also serves as a derived impersonal pronoun meaning "one", German "man", French "on". 我亦 "I too", versus 予亦 "I shall moreover V".

3. Yú 予/余 is personal and often autobiographical, speaking of the author in the past. It it a preferred pronoun used by poets.

4. Zhèn 朕 is an ordinary southern dialect first person pronoun in CC, but by decree the word came to be limited to use by the emperor alone after the unification of the Chinese Empire in 221 BC.

NB 1: Many official titles - but by no means all - function as quasi pronouns. For example, no king could call himself wáng 王 "king", but all ministers will normally refer to themselves as chén 臣 in the presence of their king, and not by the more assertive pronoun wǒ 我. Thus most quasi-pronouns serve a self-deprecatory function and are not usable in contexts where no self-deprecation is called for. A fascinating exception is fūzǐ 夫子 "the master" which is apparently used in self-reference meaning "I, your master" by Confucius.

For the internal complexity of the notion of the EGO in German see C. Harbsmeier, "Ueber den inneren Schweinehund, das bessere Ich und die rausgelassene Sau" [On lack of will-power and one's better Self???]

Modern Chinese Criteria







































人家 coquettish: "I"

rough draft to BEGIN TO identify synonym group members for analysis, based on CL etc. 18.11.2003. CH /

Old Chinese Contrasts

BHT 2.13.5: 朕、我也。或稱予者,予亦我也。

QIAN ZONGWU 2004: 王力先生认为 " 上古人称代词具有相当整齐的系统,各词都有对应关系 : ‘ 吾 ' 、 ‘ 余 ' 、 ‘ 予 ' 和 ‘ 汝 ' 相配, ‘ 我 '

和 ‘ 尔 ' 相配. " 我 " 多用于表自谦, " 予 " 大致表自尊.

HONG B O: 洪 波


内 容 提 要

上古汉语第一人称代词 “ 余 ( 予 ) ”“ 我 ”“ 朕 ” 之间的分别近人多从形态着眼去考证, 但未

能得到令人满意的结论。本文根据这三个代词在上古文献中的使用情况, 结合古代语文学

家的研究成果, 指出这三个代词的本质区别在于意义上有谦敬功能的不同 “, 余 ( 予 ) ” 是谦称

形式, 表示谦卑的意义;“ 朕 ” 是尊称形式, 表示尊崇的意义;“ 我 ” 是通称形式, 不具有谦卑尊




鄙,修飾社會稱謂 “ 人 ”“ 夫 ”“ 字 ”“??” 等,以表自身。

賤,修飾親屬稱謂 “ 息 ”“ 子 ” ,以表與己有關的人;修飾社會稱謂 “ 臣 ” ,以表自身。









CASSIN 2004 Vocabulaire européen des philosophies. Dictionnaire des intraduisibles 383


CASSIN 2004 Vocabulaire européen des philosophies. Dictionnaire des intraduisibles 646


MAUTHNER WP 1924 Woerterbuch der Philosophie. Neue Beitraege zu einer Kritik der Sprache I.468

RITTER 1971-2007 Historisches Woerterbuch der Philosophie 4.1


SANBAITI 1987 中國文化史三百題 336

WANG FENGYANG 1993 古辭辨 Gu ci bian 371

WANG LI 2000 王力古漢語字典 9

1. WL 9f claims that wo3 我,吾 and 余,予 are synonymous apart from the fact that wu2 吾 cannot occur in object position. In fact, the two groups are totally different from each other semantically in three striking ways:

A. Wo3 我 and wu2 吾 can be used for the plural, the others cannot.

B. Wo3 我 and wu2 吾 have very common and philosophically important impersonal uses like German man, English you, French on, whereas the others can never be used in this way.

C. Wo3 我 is assertive ("I for my part"; "our party in the conflict") whereas all the other words never are.

2. WL claims that zhe4n 朕 and wo3 我 are synonymous in pre-Qin Chinese. But zhe4n 朕 is a dialect word very unlike the colourless wo3 我, and especially, zhe4n 朕 is never used impersonally or contrastively in the way indicated above.

YUAN TINGDONG 1994 古人稱謂 Guren chengwei

HONG CHENGYU 2009 古漢語常用詞同義詞詞典

FRANKE 1989 Bibliographisches Handbuch zur Sprachinhaltsforschung. Teil II. Systematischer Teil. B. Ordnung nach Sinnbezirken (mit einem alphabetischen Begriffsschluessel): Der Mensch und seine Welt im Spiegel der Sprachforschung 2a

Attributions by syntactic funtion

  • npro+V{PRED} : 268
  • npro : 230
  • npro.adN : 230
  • npro.postVt : 172
  • NP[post=npro1] : 139
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1] : 83
  • npro=N : 68
  • npro{SUBJ}+V{PRED} : 56
  • NP : 54
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1] : 41
  • v[adN1.][post=npro1:]adN2 : 28
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVt : 27
  • NPpro : 21
  • NP[post=npro1.]adN : 16
  • VP[adN] : 16
  • nab : 15
  • npro{OBJ}+Vt : 12
  • n[post-npro1] : 12
  • v[adN.][post=npro1] : 11
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]postVt : 10
  • npro+Vt : 10
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2] : 9
  • NPpostVtt.+V[0] : 8
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]adN : 7
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]=Npr : 7
  • NPpro.postVt : 7
  • vadN[.post-npro1] : 6
  • Npr(post=npro1) : 5
  • NP{vt{NEG}+V(.adN)} : 5
  • NP[adN.][post=npro_1] : 5
  • : 4
  • npro{SUBJ}adNab.adS : 4
  • npro{PRED} : 4
  • VPadN : 3
  • NPadN : 3
  • NP[post-npro1.]adN : 3
  • NPpost=Npr : 3
  • NP{vadN} : 2
  • NP[adN] : 2
  • npro(.adN) : 2
  • NPpro+V{PRED} : 2
  • NP[post-N] : 2
  • npro[adN] : 2
  • NPab : 2
  • vadN : 2
  • nadN : 2
  • NPpro=Npr : 2
  • NPpostVt : 1
  • NP[post-N.][post=npro1] : 1
  • NP[post-npro1.]postVt : 1
  • npr[post=npro1] : 1
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]adN : 1
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]:adN : 1
  • nab.adN : 1
  • NP=Npr[.post=npro1]:postVt : 1
  • NPadN[.post=npro1] : 1
  • VP{PASS}[adN][.post=npro1] : 1

Attributions by text

  • 尚書 : 356
  • 春秋左傳 : 200
  • 莊子 : 125
  • 韓非子 : 114
  • 孟子 : 102
  • 毛詩 : 100
  • 史記 : 96
  • 楚辭 : 93
  • 說苑 : 83
  • 祖堂集 : 74
  • 戰國策 : 42
  • 論語 : 36
  • 呂氏春秋 : 30
  • 列子 : 24
  • 六祖壇經 : 24
  • 臨濟錄 : 23
  • 賢愚經 : 12
  • 韓詩外傳 : 12
  • 晏子春秋 : 10
  • 百喻經 : 10
  • 論衡 : 9
  • 荀子 : 8
  • 陸機集十一卷 : 8
  • 禮記 : 7
  • 春秋穀梁傳 : 5
  • 淮南子 : 4
  • 阮籍集四卷 : 3
  • 劉義慶世說新語 : 3
  • 管子 : 3
  • 朱子語類 : 3
  • 太平經 : 2
  • 孫子 : 2
  • 文選 : 2
  • 鮑氏集 : 2
  • 類說 : 1
  • 新序 : 1
  • 孝經 : 1
  • 老子 : 1
  • 黃帝內經 : 1


   yú OC: la MC: ji̯ɤ 384 Attributions

Yǔ2 予/余 is personal and often autobiographical, speaking of the author in the past. It became a preferred pronoun used by poets.

  • npro.adNbelonging to me (personally), my (often marked by the genitive particle 之)
  • npro.postVtme (personally, as an experiencer?)
  • npro+Vtme (as preposed object)
  • npro=N予一人, 予小子 "I (personally), the little child"
  • npro+V{PRED}I (personally); I personally; I, as a matter of personal experience or sensibility 予欲 "I wish..."
  • npro{PRED}be me, (personally); was I (personally)
  • npro+V{PRED}subjectiveI (as a responsible agent)
  • npro.postVtpivotme (functioning as the subject of the verb that follows)
  • npro+V{PRED}experientialI (as a non-agential experiencer participant)
  • npro+V{PRED}objectiveI (undergoing a process), I as an inevitable result (in an apodosis)
   zhèn OC: rlɯmʔ MC: ɖim 188 Attributions

Zhèn 朕 is an ordinary southern dialect first person pronoun in CC, is a pronoun of self-assertive authority, but by decree the word came to be limited to use by the emperor alone after the unification of the Chinese Empire in 221 BC..

  • npro.adNauto-honorific ceremonial: my
  • npro.postVtnon-honorific?? me
  • nproCC: I 
  • npro1. person singularauto-honorific ceremonial (by the decision of Qín Shǐhúang, used by emperors only)
  • npro=Nauto-honorific cenremonial: I (followed by an N in apposition)
  • npro.postVtpivotauto-honorific ceremonial: me (in pivotal construction)
  • npro.adNneutralmy (often elevated style)
  • npro.adNmarkedmy, the modification being marked by 之
  • npro.adNN=mentalmy
吾 / 䱷   wú OC: ŋaa MC: ŋuo̝ yú OC:  MC: ŋi̯ɤ 151 Attributions

The umarked current first person pronoun most current by Warring States times is wú 吾. This word does not normally occur in object position and is highly idiomatic in a possessive pre-nominal position. Significantly, this pronoun can never be used emphatically or contrastively. NB: The word also serves as an impersonal pronoun meaning "one", German man, French on. The umarked current first person pronoun most current by Warring States times is wú 吾. This word does not normally occur in object position and is highly idiomatic in a possessive pre-nominal position. Significantly, this pronoun can never be used emphatically or contrastively. NB: The word also serves as an impersonal pronoun meaning "one", German man, French on.

  • npro.adN1. person singularmy; our (Zhou)
  • npro.adNauthorialmy
  • npro.adNtypemy
  • npro.postVtas object of transitive verb, also as pivot, and particularly as object of coverbs
  • npro{OBJ}+Vtpreposed object [relevant object cases must be moved here]
  • npro1. person singularI (unmarked, non-contrastive, weak)
  • nprome 不吾反也
  • nproauthorialI, the writer of this text
  • nprocontrastiveI (your superior) on the other hand
  • npro.adNplacefrom my place
  • npro.adNmarkedmy
   wǒ OC: ŋaalʔ MC: ŋɑ 150 Attributions

Wǒ 我 is contrastive and emphatic by Warring States times (in OBI it was not yet in opposition to wú 吾 and was the standard unmarked pronoun during earlier stages of the language). The word freely occurs in subject, mofifying, and object position and often has an idiomatic meaning like "I for my part" and the formal slightly depersonalised "our party". NB: The word also serves as an impersonal pronoun meaning "one", German man, French on.

  • npro[adN]singular/pluralmy/our [territory]
  • nab.adNpsychof the (personal) self, of the ego
  • nabmetaphysicalthe Self, the Ego
  • nabpsychthe self, the ego (as composed of its mental activities)
  • npro.adNnon-contrastivemy
  • npro=N我一人
  • nprocontrastiveI (on the other hand), I for my part, I as opposed to others
  • nproauthorialI, the author of this text
  • npro.postVtnon-contrastiveme (non-contrastive)
  • npro(.adN)my place; our state
  • npro1ad.npro2adNmy 我此屐
  • vtoNpsychcall (oneself) "I"
  • npro+V{PRED}V=future.actionI (with future predicate)
  • npro+V{PRED}V=past.actionI (subject of authoritative action in the past)
  • npro+V{PRED}experientialI (at present, or remembering the personal past)
  • npro+Vtpreposed object: me
  • npro.postVtnon-contrastiveme
  • npro.adNmarkedcontrastive: my
  • npro.postVtcontrastiveme
  • npro{PRED}contrastivebe me
   yú OC: la MC: ji̯ɤ 131 Attributions

Yǔ2 予/余 is personal and often autobiographical, speaking of the author in the past. It it a preferred pronoun used by poets.

  • npro.adNmy
  • npro.postVtOBI: me (personally, normally not physically)
  • npro{OBJ}+Vtme
  • npro{SUBJ}+V{PRED}I (particularly from Warring States onwards: "I personally" rarely physically: "I purely physically (was injured etc) )
  • npro=NI, the N
  • npro.adNN=physicalmy
   chén OC: ɡjiŋ MC: dʑin 105 Attributions
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your servant (not necessarily minister or even official); I your son(!!!)
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]=NprI, NN 臣斯
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]postVtme, your servant
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]adNyour humble servant's
寡人   guǎ rén OC: kʷraaʔ njin MC: kɣɛ ȵin 75 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtme
  • NP[post=npro1.]adNmy
  • NP[post=npro1]we (as used by the ruler to refer to himself)
  • NP[post=npro1]non-rulerI, a senior person
  • NP[adN]figurativetransfered usage: I = my country; my state
某甲   mǒu jiǎ OC: mooʔ kraab MC: mu kɣap 27 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]adNmy (humble)
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtme
  • NP[post=npro1]I (humble), me (Tang, in Buddhist texts)
  • NP{N1=N2}pronominalX -某甲 I, the man for some reason seems to be called X
  • NP=Npr[.post=npro1]:postVtme, the N (humble person pronoun in object position, followed by an apposition which specifies the pronoun)
   zhī OC: kljɯ MC: tɕɨ 24 Attributions
  • npro.postVt1. person singularme 天厭之may Heaven reject me!
不穀   bù gǔ OC: pɯʔ kooɡ MC: pi̯ut kuk 23 Attributions
  • VP[adN]N=humanI (used by a ruler referring to himself)
  • NP{vt{NEG}+V(.adN)}objectme (the king)
  • NPadNpronominalmy
  • NPpostVtme
   qí OC: ɡɯ MC: gɨ 21 Attributions
  • npro.adN1. person singularmy
  • npro{SUBJ}adNab.adSnominalising/subordinating a VERB with a first person subject: "in case of my V-ing", my V-ing
  • npro{TOP}adN. Vpluralof us; from us
予一人   yú yī rén OC: la qliɡ njin MC: ji̯ɤ ʔit ȵin 21 Attributions
  • NPpronominalI, the one person (the king)
  • NPadNpronominalmy
  • NPpro.postVtI, the singular one
弟子   dì zǐ OC: liilʔ sklɯʔ MC: dei tsɨ 17 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your disciple ZHUANG (Zhou)
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]adNI, your student
   bì OC: beds MC: biɛi 15 Attributions
  • v[adN1.][post=npro1:]adN2(my ruler's) humble (N)> my humble
山僧   shān sēng OC: sreen sɯɯŋ MC: ʂɣɛn səŋ 15 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]adNBUDDH: of me, the mountain hermit
  • NP[post=npro1]BUDDH: I the mountain recluse (self-deprecatory CH)
  • NPpost=NprBUDDH: I the mountain monk; I, the mountain hermit
   gū OC: kʷaa MC: kuo̝ 14 Attributions
  • v[adN.][post=npro1]I, the lonely one, I the isolated one (The genitive always, apparently, formed with 之:孤之
  • v[adN1.][post=npro1:]adN2my
下臣   xià chén OC: ɢraaʔ ɡjiŋ MC: ɦɣɛ dʑin 14 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, lowly servant (Warring States)
  • NP=NprpronominalYour Servant Npr
  • NPpostVtt.+V[0]pronominalme, your humble servant (mostly in pivotal constructions:使下臣V
予小子   yú xiǎo zǐ OC: la smewʔ sklɯʔ MC: ji̯ɤ siɛu tsɨ 14 Attributions
  • NPproI, the little one
  • NPpro=NprI, the little child (of the deceased ruler)
專甲   zhuān jiǎ OC: tjon kraab MC: tɕiɛn kɣap 12 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]adNmy
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtme, so and so
  • NP[post=npro1]I, so and so
老僧   lǎo sēng OC: ɡ-ruuʔ sɯɯŋ MC: lɑu səŋ 12 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtBUDDH: me, the old monk
  • NP[post=npro1]BUDDH: I, the old monk (self-deprecatory)
  • NPadN[.post=npro1]of me, the old monk
  • NPpost=NprobjectBUDDH: me, old monk X
   shēn OC: qhjin MC: ɕin 11 Attributions
  • n[post-npro1]my person> (my)self (I)
小人   xiǎo rén OC: smewʔ njin MC: siɛu ȵin 11 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, little man
余一人   yú yī rén OC: la qliɡ njin MC: ji̯ɤ ʔit ȵin 11 Attributions
  • NPpronominalOBI: I the one person, I the king
   guǎ OC: kʷraaʔ MC: kɣɛ 9 Attributions
  • v[adN1.][post=npro1:]adN2our (lord), my (used by a member of his family) 寡君
   qiè OC: skheb MC: tshiɛp 8 Attributions
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2]I, your concubine (Zhou)
   yí OC: lɯ MC: jɨ 7 Attributions
  • npro.adNarchaic: my
  • npro=NI
  • nproI
  • npro.postVtme
老夫   lǎo fū OC: ɡ-ruuʔ pa MC: lɑu pi̯o 7 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the old fellow
   jiàn OC: keens MC: ken 6 Attributions
  • npro{OBJ}+Vtme See DCD meaning 15f
弊邑   bì yì OC: beds qrɯb MC: biɛi ʔip 6 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro1.]adNour (king etc)
  • NP[post-npro1.]postVtus, our party
  • NP{vadN}pronominalmy humble (city), i.e. we, our party
我身   wǒ shēn OC: ŋaalʔ qhjin MC: ŋɑ ɕin 6 Attributions
  • NPI myself; me myself; my personality
朕躬   zhèn gōng OC: rlɯmʔ kʷɯŋ MC: ɖim kuŋ 6 Attributions
  • NPpro.postVtas object: me (many more examples in Sturgeon's Chinese Text Initiative).
  • NPpro+V{PRED}I
陪臣   péi chén OC: bɯɯ ɡjiŋ MC: buo̝i dʑin 6 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]your humble minister
  • NPpluralwe, humble servants
  • NPpronominalyour humble minister N 陪臣盈
貧道   pín dào OC: brɯn ɡ-luuʔ MC: bin dɑu 5 Attributions
  • NP[adN.][post=npro_1]I, the one who is poor in the Way (Tang) (Taoist term of self-reference. See also Shuihuzhuan ch. 1)
   áng OC: ŋaaŋ MC: ŋɑŋ 4 Attributions
  • nprosubjectSHI: I, we
   mǒu OC: mooʔ MC: mu 4 Attributions
  • npro.adNmy
  • npro.postVtpolite: me
  • nproI (whose identity is unworthy of explicit specification)
學人   xué rén OC: ɡruuɡ njin MC: ɦɣɔk ȵin 4 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the student
我躬   wǒ gōng OC: ŋaalʔ kʷɯŋ MC: ŋɑ kuŋ 4 Attributions
  • NPpronominalI; me; us
賤臣   jiàn chén OC: dzens ɡjiŋ MC: dziɛn dʑin 4 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1.]adNI, your humble servant
  • NP[post=npro1]I, your menial servant
   yīng MC: 'jieng OC: qeŋ 4 Attributions
   pú OC: booɡ MC: buk 3 Attributions
  • n[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, mere servant 《史記·滑稽列傳》:“使 張儀 、 蘇秦 與僕並生於今之世,
  • npro.postVtself-effacing and intimate: me
   xiǎo OC: smewʔ MC: siɛu 3 Attributions
  • vadN[.post-npro1]my little; our little
   bì OC: beds MC: biɛi 3 Attributions
  • vadN[.post-npro1]my humble (city) 弊邑 (Zhou)
不腆   bù tiǎn OC: pɯʔ thɯɯnʔ MC: pi̯ut then 3 Attributions
  • VPadNmy impoverished
余身   yú shēn OC: la qhjin MC: ji̯ɤ ɕin 3 Attributions
  • NPpronominalI for myself, "ich fuer meine Person"; obj: my own person
吾身   wú shēn OC: ŋaa qhjin MC: ŋuo̝ ɕin 3 Attributions
  • NP1. person singularmy body > I
小子   xiǎo zǐ OC: smewʔ sklɯʔ MC: siɛu tsɨ 3 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I,little man; German: meine Wenigkeit
老臣   lǎo chén OC: ɡ-ruuʔ ɡjiŋ MC: lɑu dʑin 3 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]your old humble servant
鄙人   bǐ rén OC: prɯʔ njin MC: pi ȵin 3 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the rustic person
  • NPhumble fellow (Han Dynasty)Zhang Heng 鄙夫寡識 ( 東京賦, WX 3/134) [JP]
未亡人   wèi wáng rén OC: mɯds maŋ njin MC: mɨi mi̯ɐŋ ȵin 3 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the person who has not yet died
我士   wǒ shì OC: ŋaalʔ dzrɯʔ MC: ŋɑ ɖʐɨ 3 Attributions
  • NPpro
   yuè MC: -- OC: lod 3 Attributions
  • Npr(post=npro1)I (my name being Npr)
   jué OC: kod MC: ki̯ɐt 2 Attributions
  • nadNpronominalmy (as used by a person construing himself as being in superior position)
   yú OC: ŋo MC: ŋi̯o 2 Attributions
  • v[adN.][post=npro1]the stupid one, I (Han)
  • vadNpronominalmy humble, my inept 愚計
   yān OC: qran MC: ʔiɛn 2 Attributions
  • npro.postVt於+nproto me
亡人   wáng rén OC: maŋ njin MC: mi̯ɐŋ ȵin 2 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, who have left my country
亡臣   wáng chén OC: maŋ ɡjiŋ MC: mi̯ɐŋ dʑin 2 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]your doomed humble servant
使臣   shǐ chén OC: srɯʔ ɡjiŋ MC: ʂɨ dʑin 2 Attributions
  • NP[post-N]pronominalme your envoy servant
官臣   guān chén OC: koon ɡjiŋ MC: kʷɑn dʑin 2 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]your official and humble servant
賤子   jiàn zǐ OC: dzens sklɯʔ MC: dziɛn tsɨ 2 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the vulgar fellow
鄙臣   bǐ chén OC: prɯʔ ɡjiŋ MC: pi dʑin 2 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]vulgar slave
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]:adNI, your rustic servant
   jǐ OC: kɯʔ MC: kɨ 1 Attribution
  • nproI myself
   tú OC: daa MC: duo̝ 1 Attribution
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2]I, the student/ disciple
   shè OC: lʰas MC: ɕɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • npr[post=npro1]abbreviation of Shīshè, here used in pronominal function
   gōng OC: kʷɯŋ MC: kuŋ 1 Attribution
  • n[post-npro1]I (physically); my body/person
   bǐ OC: prɯʔ MC: pi 1 Attribution
  • v[adN1.][post=npro1:]adN2my humble
下妾   xià qiè OC: ɢraaʔ skheb MC: ɦɣɛ tshiɛp 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your humble concubine ZUO
余心   yú xīn OC: la slɯm MC: ji̯ɤ sim 1 Attribution
  • NPpromy heart> I, in my heart
使人   shǐ rén OC: srɯʔ njin MC: ʂɨ ȵin 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-N.][post=npro1]I, the emissary
使者   shǐ zhě OC: srɯʔ kljaʔ MC: ʂɨ tɕɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtme, as an envoy
兄弟   xiōng dì OC: qhʷraŋ liilʔ MC: hɣaŋ dei 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your brother (Qing)
刑臣   xíng chén OC: ɡeeŋ ɡjiŋ MC: ɦeŋ dʑin 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the eunuch
匹夫   pǐ fū OC: phid pa MC: phit pi̯o 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]pronominalI, an ordinary fellow
吾邊   wú biān OC: ŋaa peen MC: ŋuo̝ pen 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1.]postVtmy side> me (here)
君子   jūn zǐ OC: klun sklɯʔ MC: ki̯un tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominal use(I) a nobleman
嗣子   sì zǐ OC: sɢlɯs sklɯʔ MC: zɨ tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]I, my father's heir
執事   zhí shì OC: tjib dzrɯs MC: tɕip ɖʐɨ 1 Attribution
  • VP[adN]I, the person in charge
大師   dà shī OC: daads sril MC: dɑi ʂi 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your grand master
夫子   fū zǐ OC: pa sklɯʔ MC: pi̯o tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your Master
天子   tiān zǐ OC: lʰiin sklɯʔ MC: then tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominalI, the Son of Heaven; me, the Son of Heaven
婢子   bì zǐ OC: beʔ sklɯʔ MC: biɛ tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]I, your servant
孤遺   gū yí OC: kʷaa k-lul MC: kuo̝ ji 1 Attribution
  • VP{PASS}[adN][.post=npro1]I, the bereaved orphan
小僧   xiǎo sēng OC: smewʔ sɯɯŋ MC: siɛu səŋ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the monk of minor importance; I, the insifnificant monk
愚臣   yú chén OC: ŋo ɡjiŋ MC: ŋi̯o dʑin 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1:]adNyour stupid servant's
我者   wǒ zhě OC: ŋaalʔ kljaʔ MC: ŋɑ tɕɣɛ 1 Attribution
  • NPabmetaphysicalthe Self
朕身   zhèn shēn OC: rlɯmʔ qhjin MC: ɖim ɕin 1 Attribution
  • NPprohonorificmy body > I, the Emperor
真我   zhēn wǒ OC: tjin ŋaalʔ MC: tɕin ŋɑ 1 Attribution
  • NPabmetaphysicaltrue ego
累臣 / 纍臣   lěi chén OC: rolʔ ɡjiŋ MC: liɛ dʑin léi chén OC: rul ɡjiŋ MC: li dʑin 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]léi chén: your fettered humble servant
纍臣   léi chén OC: rul ɡjiŋ MC: li dʑin 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your tied-up slave, prisoner
老師   lǎo shī OC: ɡ-ruuʔ sril MC: lɑu ʂi 1 Attribution
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, the old monk; I, the teacher
老漢   lǎo hàn OC: ɡ-ruuʔ qhlaans MC: lɑu hɑn 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]unmodifiedI, the old fellow
  • NP[post=npro1]semipronoun modified by a demonstrative pronouns: I, this old fellow
台小子   tāi xiǎo zǐ OC: lʰɯɯ smewʔ sklɯʔ MC: thəi siɛu tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominalI, the little child
吾一身   wú yī shēn OC: ŋaa qliɡ qhjin MC: ŋuo̝ ʔit ɕin 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominalI myself (as one person, alone)
吾小人   wú xiǎo rén OC: ŋaa smewʔ njin MC: ŋuo̝ siɛu ȵin 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominalI, a petty man,
愚暗生   yú àn shēng OC: ŋo qɯɯms sraaŋ MC: ŋi̯o ʔəm ʂɣaŋ 1 Attribution
  • NP[post=npro1]I, a stupid and benighted student
我一人   wǒ yī rén OC: ŋaalʔ qliɡ njin MC: ŋɑ ʔit ȵin 1 Attribution
  • NPpronominalI, the king
我寡人   wǒ guǎ rén OC: ŋaalʔ kʷraaʔ njin MC: ŋɑ kɣɛ ȵin 1 Attribution
  • NPproI
予末小子   yú mò xiǎo zǐ OC: la maad smewʔ sklɯʔ MC: ji̯ɤ mʷɑt siɛu tsɨ 1 Attribution
  • NPpro+V{PRED}I, the small child last in line
盲臣   máng chén MC: -- dzyin OC: mraaŋ ɡjiŋ 1 Attribution
  • NP[]I, your blind servant/subject
余膺   yú yīng  MC: yo 'ing  OC: la qɯŋ  1 Attribution
  • NPproI, from my heart
愚生   yú shēng MC: ngju sraeng OC: ŋo sraaŋ 1 Attribution
  • NPproI the stupid one; I the stupid adept
   yóu MC: yuw OC: liw 1 Attribution
  • nproproper nameI, Zilu
鄙夫之子   bǐ fū zhī zǐ MC: pijX pju tsyi tsiX OC: prɯʔ pa kljɯ sklɯʔ 1 Attribution
  • NPproI, son of a humble ordinary man
   chéng OC: ɢjɯŋ MC: ʑɨŋ 0 Attributions
  • npronominalI, whom you control (6th-9th century A.D.)
   fó OC: bɯd MC: bi̯ut 0 Attributions
    OC:  MC:  0 Attributions
  • nproShanxi dialect: I (Ming) read: ǎn
   nóng OC: nuuŋ MC: nuo̝ŋ 0 Attributions
  • nprodialectSouthern dialect: (Six Dynasties)
   ér OC: ŋje MC: ȵiɛ 0 Attributions
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2]I, your son 琵琶記
   nú OC: naa MC: nuo̝ 0 Attributions
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2]I, your slave SSXY
   yīng OC: qraŋ MC: ʔɣaŋ 0 Attributions
  • nprofeminineof ladies: I (SHUOWEN 媖女人自稱我也.)
   dì OC: liilʔ MC: dei 0 Attributions
  • n[post-npro1.][post=npro2]I, younger brother (Tang)
   mín OC: min MC: min 0 Attributions
  • n[post=npro1]I, the humble commoner
相 / 相   xiàng OC: sqaŋs MC: si̯ɐŋ xiāng OC: sqaŋ MC: si̯ɐŋ 0 Attributions
  • npro{OBJ}+Vtme
   yú OC: ŋɡla MC: ŋi̯ɤ 0 Attributions
  • nproI
下官   xià guān OC: ɢraaʔ koon MC: ɦɣɛ kʷɑn 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the person holding low office
下愚   xià yú OC: ɢraaʔ ŋo MC: ɦɣɛ ŋi̯o 0 Attributions
  • NP{v1&v2(.adN)}pronominalI, lowliest of stupid people (7th-9th century A.D. ?)
下走   xià zǒu OC: ɢraaʔ tsooʔ MC: ɦɣɛ tsu 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, lowliest of runners (Han dynasty)
不佞   bù nìng OC: pɯʔ neeŋs MC: pi̯ut neŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP{vt{NEG}+V(.adN)}pronominalI, the tongue-tied one (Tang)
不才   bù cái OC: pɯʔ sɡɯɯ MC: pi̯ut dzəi 0 Attributions
  • NP{vt{NEG}+V(.adN)}pronominalI, talentless person (Tang)
乃公   nǎi gōng OC: nɯɯʔ klooŋ MC: nəi kuŋ 0 Attributions
  • NPpoliteI, your lord (Han dynasty)
予有   yú yǒu OC: la ɢʷɯʔ MC: ji̯ɤ ɦɨu 0 Attributions
  • VPadNmy
人家   rén jiā OC: njin kraa MC: ȵin kɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPpronominalin modern Chinese, read rénjia0 with toneless second syllable: coquettish "I" see GRACE ZHANG 2010 p. 39
   yàn OC: qoms MC: ʔi̯ɐm 0 Attributions
  • NPproread: ǎn zān "I" (宋 周密 《癸辛雜識別集‧物外平章》引無名氏《散經名物外平章》:“姓名標在青史,卻干俺咱甚事?” 金 董解元 《西廂記諸宮調》卷五:“誰知後來遇群賊,子母無計皆受死,難閃避。恁時節,是俺咱可憐見你那裏!”)
儂家   nóng jiā OC: nuuŋ kraa MC: nuo̝ŋ kɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPprodialectthis pronoun originated after the Six Dyn. period and is of Southern origin (Wú 吳 dialect, examples in JINSHU and 樂府 literature)YUPIAN: 儂,吳人稱我是也。
兒子   ér zǐ OC: ŋje sklɯʔ MC: ȵiɛ tsɨ 0 Attributions

I [your child]

  • NP[post-N.][post=npro1]I, your son
兒家   ér jiā OC: ŋje kraa MC: ȵiɛ kɣɛ 0 Attributions

I [your daughter]

  • NP[post=npro1]colloquial first person pronoun (Tang, Five Dyn. periods; examples in YOUXIANKU and BIANWEN)
卑人   bēi rén OC: pe njin MC: piɛ ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the humble person (Han)
卑職   bēi zhí OC: pe kljɯɡ MC: piɛ tɕɨk 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]humble official (Qing)
吾家   wú jiā OC: ŋaa kraa MC: ŋuo̝ kɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPproI for my part
圉臣   yǔ chén OC: ŋaʔ ɡjiŋ MC: ŋi̯ɤ dʑin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, your groom
在下   zài xià OC: sɡɯɯʔ ɢraaʔ MC: dzəi ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]I, the one below (Song)
奴家   nú jiā OC: naa kraa MC: nuo̝ kɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]JINPINGMEI: I, the slavish fellow (Ming)
  • NP{N1adN2}pronominalslave (Tang)
奴才   nú cái OC: naa sɡɯɯ MC: nuo̝ dzəi 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the slave
孩兒   hái ér OC: ɡɯɯ ŋje MC: ɦəi ȵiɛ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the little child (12th-13th century A.D.)
學生   xué shēng OC: ɡruuɡ sraaŋ MC: ɦɣɔk ʂɣaŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, you student (Ming)
小可   xiǎo kě OC: smewʔ khlaalʔ MC: siɛu khɑ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, little ordinary fellow (11th-12th century A.D.)
小奴   xiǎo nú OC: smewʔ naa MC: siɛu nuo̝ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I [the little slave]
小妾   xiǎo qiè OC: smewʔ skheb MC: siɛu tshiɛp 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, little concubine (Song)
小弟   xiǎo dì OC: smewʔ liilʔ MC: siɛu dei 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, little younger brother (Tang)
小我   xiǎo wǒ OC: smewʔ ŋaalʔ MC: siɛu ŋɑ 0 Attributions
  • NPproI, the little one
小才   xiǎo cái OC: smewʔ sɡɯɯ MC: siɛu dzəi 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the talentess person (7th-9th century A.D.)
小民   xiǎo mín OC: smewʔ min MC: siɛu min 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the little fellow
小生   xiǎo shēng OC: smewʔ sraaŋ MC: siɛu ʂɣaŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, little student (Song)
小的   xiǎo dì OC: smewʔ p-leewɡ MC: siɛu tek 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the little one (Yuan)
小老   xiǎo lǎo OC: smewʔ ɡ-ruuʔ MC: siɛu lɑu 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, little old fellow (Ming)
山人   shān rén OC: sreen njin MC: ʂɣɛn ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the mountain-dweller (14th-16 century A.D.)
微臣   wēi chén OC: mɯl ɡjiŋ MC: mɨi dʑin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, humble servant SSXY
愚兄   yú xiōng OC: ŋo qhʷraŋ MC: ŋi̯o hɣaŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your stupid elder brother (Tang)
愚妹   yú mèi OC: ŋo mɯɯds MC: ŋi̯o muo̝i 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]stupid younger sister (Qing)
愚弟   yú dì OC: ŋo liilʔ MC: ŋi̯o dei 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]stupid younger brother (Tang)
我儂   wǒ nóng OC: ŋaalʔ nuuŋ MC: ŋɑ nuo̝ŋ 0 Attributions
  • NPprodialectthis pronoun originated after the Six Dyn. period and is of Southern origin (Wú 吳 dialect, examples in JINSHU and 樂府 literature)YUPIAN: 儂,吳人稱我是也。
新婦   xīn fù OC: siŋ buʔ MC: sin bɨu 0 Attributions
  • NP(post-N.)adVpronominalI, as a new wife
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your new wife
是我   shì wǒ OC: ɡljeʔ ŋaalʔ MC: dʑiɛ ŋɑ 0 Attributions
  • NPprosubjectfirst person pronoun (是 originally giving emphasis to pronoun 我, however during the Tang the phrase seems to be often used as compound and 是 became semantically very weak)
末學   mò xué OC: maad ɡruuɡ MC: mʷɑt ɦɣɔk 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]I, the late-comer to studying (Song)
末將   mò jiàng OC: maad skaŋs MC: mʷɑt tsi̯ɐŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, insignificant general (Tang)
本人   běn rén OC: pɯɯnʔ njin MC: puo̝n ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, this very person (19th cent.)
某乙   mǒu yǐ OC: mooʔ qriɡ MC: mu ʔit 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the second-rate one (7th-9th century A.D.)
洒家   sǎ jiā OC: sqrees kraa MC: ʂɣɛ kɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NPpronominaldialect word: I (Ming)
為父   wéi fù OC: ɢʷal baʔ MC: ɦiɛ bi̯o 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]I, your father
老人   lǎo rén OC: ɡ-ruuʔ njin MC: lɑu ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the old man
老僕   lǎo pú OC: ɡ-ruuʔ booɡ MC: lɑu buk 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, old servant (Song)
   lǎo OC: ɡ-ruuʔ MC: lɑu 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, as an old lady
老娘   lǎo niáng OC: ɡ-ruuʔ mɢraŋ MC: lɑu ɳi̯ɐŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the old woman in the house
老子   lǎo zǐ OC: ɡ-ruuʔ sklɯʔ MC: lɑu tsɨ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I
老拙   lǎo zhuō OC: ɡ-ruuʔ kljod MC: lɑu tɕiɛt 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]I, old stupid one (Song)
老朽   lǎo xiǔ OC: ɡ-ruuʔ qhuʔ MC: lɑu hɨu 0 Attributions

I, old and rotting away as I am

  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]I, old rotten one (Song)
老爺   lǎo yé OC: ɡ-ruuʔ la MC: lɑu jɣɛ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the old man in the house
老衲   lǎo nà OC: ɡ-ruuʔ nuub MC: lɑu nəp 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the old wearer of rags
老身   lǎo shēn OC: ɡ-ruuʔ qhjin MC: lɑu ɕin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, your old hag of a woman (12th-13th A.D.)
而公   ér gōng OC: njɯ klooŋ MC: ȵɨ kuŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, your lord (Han)
草民   cǎo mín OC: tshuuʔ min MC: tshɑu min 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the weed-like person (12th-13th century A.D.)
貧僧   pín sēng OC: brɯn sɯɯŋ MC: bin səŋ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the poor monk (Tang)
貧賤   pín jiàn OC: brɯn dzens MC: bin dziɛn 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]my impoverished and humble person
賤人   jiàn rén OC: dzens njin MC: dziɛn ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NPproI, the vulgar person (Tang)
賤妾   jiàn qiè OC: dzens skheb MC: dziɛn tshiɛp 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your vulgar concubine (2nd cent. B.C. - 2nd cent. A.D.)
賤民   jiàn mín OC: dzens min MC: dziɛn min 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I SSXY
邊人   biān rén OC: peen njin MC: pen ȵin 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the border guard
鄙夫   bǐ fū OC: prɯʔ pa MC: pi pi̯o 0 Attributions
  • NP[post=npro1]I, the vulgar fellow
鄙老   bǐ lǎo OC: prɯʔ ɡ-ruuʔ MC: pi lɑu 0 Attributions
  • VP[adN.][post=npro1]vulgar old man (??)
阿奴   ā nú OC: qlaal naa MC: ʔɑ nuo̝ 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]male of femaleyour slave
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, the female slave (self-effacing pronoun used by women from Song times onwards; note that during the Tang the pronoun was used by men and women, e.g. in BIANWEN)
阿母   ā mǔ OC: qlaal mɯʔ MC: ʔɑ mu 0 Attributions
  • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, your mother
   shēng OC: sraaŋ MC: ʂɣaŋ 0 Attributions

zōu shēng

  • NP[post=npro1]book-boy (??)
你兒子   nǐ ér zǐ OC: m-lɯʔ ŋje sklɯʔ MC: ɳɨ ȵiɛ tsɨ 0 Attributions
  • NPpost=npropronominal你兒子我一定能考上的 (in 歷史折轉中的鄧小平)
君之臣   jūn zhī chén OC: klun kljɯ ɡjiŋ MC: ki̯un tɕɨ dʑin 0 Attributions
    孽海花   niè hǎi huā OC: ŋred hmlɯɯʔ hŋʷraal MC: ŋiɛt həi hɣɛ 0 Attributions
      小可人   xiǎo kě rén OC: smewʔ khlaalʔ njin MC: siɛu khɑ ȵin 0 Attributions
      • NP[post=npro1]I, the good-for-little
      小婦人   xiǎo fù rén OC: smewʔ buʔ njin MC: siɛu bɨu ȵin 0 Attributions
      • NP[post-npro2.][post=npro1]I, little wife (Yuan)
      小老兒   xiǎo lǎo ér OC: smewʔ ɡ-ruuʔ ŋje MC: siɛu lɑu ȵiɛ 0 Attributions
      • NP[post=npro1]I [insignificant old person]
      父皇我   fù huáng wǒ OC: baʔ ɡʷaaŋ ŋaalʔ MC: bi̯o ɦɑŋ ŋɑ 0 Attributions
      • NPpronominalI, your father, the emperor
      為人臣者   wéi rén chén zhě OC: ɢʷal njin ɡjiŋ kljaʔ MC: ɦiɛ ȵin dʑin tɕɣɛ 0 Attributions
      • NPpronominalas a minister, I
         xià OC: ɢraaʔ MC: ɦɣɛ 0 Attributions
      • v[adN]N=speakerI, the humble one
         hán OC: ɡaan MC: ɦɑn 0 Attributions
      • vadNmy 寒舍
         guān OC: koon MC: kʷɑn 0 Attributions
      • npronominalnon-Chinese pseudo-pronoun used in Three Kingdoms period
          MC:  OC:  0 Attributions
      • Npr(post=npro1)I (my name being Npr)
          MC:  OC:  0 Attributions
      • NP[]I, your blind servant/subject
          MC:  OC:  0 Attributions
          MC:  OC:  0 Attributions
      • NPproI, from my heart

      Existing SW for

      Here are Syntactic Words already defined in the database: