AskDefine | Define correlative

Dictionary Definition

correlative adj
1 mutually related [syn: correlate, correlated]
2 expressing a reciprocal or complementary relation; "correlative conjunctions" n : either of two correlated variables [syn: correlate]

User Contributed Dictionary



mutually related
  • Finnish: korreloiva, korrelatiivinen


  1. Either of two correlative things.
  2. A pro-form; a non-personal pronominal, proadjectival, or proadverbal form, in Esperanto regularly formed, indicating which?, that, some, none, and every, as applied to people, things, type, place, manner, reason, time, or quantity, as: kiu ‘who’ (which person?), iu ‘someone’ (some person), tie ‘there’ (that place), ĉie ‘everywhere’ (all places), etc.


correlative thing
  • Finnish: korrelaatti
grammar term
  • Finnish: vaste

Extensive Definition

A pro-form is a type of function word or expression that stands in for (expresses the same content as) another word, phrase, clause, or sentence whose meaning is recoverable from the context. They are used either to avoid repetitive expressions or in quantification (limiting the variables of a proposition).
Pro-forms are divided into several categories according to which part of speech they substitute:
  • A pronoun substitutes a noun or a noun phrase with or without a determiner: it, this.
  • A pro-adjective substitutes an adjective or a phrase functioning as an adjective: so as in "It is less so than we had expected."
  • A pro-adverb substitutes an adverb or a phrase functioning as an adverb: how or this way.
  • A pro-verb substitutes a verb or a verb phrase: do.
  • A pro-sentence substitutes an entire sentence or subsentence: Yes or (some have argued) that as in "That is true."
An interrogative pro-form is a pro-form denoting the (unknown) item questioned in a question, and may itself fall into any of the above categories.
One of the most salient features of many modern Indo-European languages is that relative pro-forms and interrogative pro-forms, as well as demonstrative pro-forms in some languages, have identical forms. Consider the two different functions of who in "Who's the criminal who did this?" or the meanings of that in "That's the movie that you saw back home."
Most other language families do not have this ambiguity, nor do several ancient Indo-European languages. For example, both Latin and Ancient Greek distinguish the relative pro-forms from the interrogative pro-forms.

Table of correlatives

L. L. Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto, called a table of systematic interrogative, demonstrative, and quantifier pro-forms and determiners in a language a table of correlatives. The table of correlatives for English follows.
Some languages may have more categories. See demonstrative.
Note that some categories are regular and some are not. They may be regular or irregular also depending on languages. The following chart shows comparison between English, French (irregular), and Japanese (regular):
(Note that "daremo", "nanimo" and "dokomo" are universal quantifiers with positive verbs. )
Some languages don't distinguish interrogative and indefinite pro-forms. In Mandarin, "Shéi yǒu wèntí?" means either "Who has a question?" or "Does anyone have a question?" depending on context.

See also

correlative in Esperanto: Korelativo
correlative in Dutch: Tabelwoord

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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