Investigation of the Pronoun "We" within the Framework of Enunciation Theory

GÜVEN E., Kiran A. E.

LITERA-JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE LITERATURE AND CULTURE STUDIES, vol.31, no.1, pp.309-327, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/litera2020-839219
  • Page Numbers: pp.309-327


In this paper, the matter of subjectivity, which is of paramount importance in Turkish, yet studied in a limited number of research, was discussed centering on the pronoun "we". In this regard, the pronoun's semantic content was defined, emphasizing its relation to other pronouns. In doing so, the Benveniste' Enunciation Theory was applied. Initially, the definition of the pronoun "we" was resolved, then the conflict between the pronouns"we"/"I" was analyzed further. After observing how the pronoun "weis used with titles, its use in fictional works, theses, scientific research, and group studies was also examined. Additionally, how the pronoun "we" was reached in the inner speech was also investigated, and the process of replacing "we" with "you"; "we"/"you" (plural, polite)/"you" (second person singular)=subordinate parent relationship; we"/"you" (plural, polite)/"you" (second person singular)=equality relationship were revealed. Therefore, it was observed that these uses show a semantic change from both negative to positive and from positive to negative, which are two aspects of inversion. Besides, it was revealed how the pronoun "we" acquires its semantic sense when the third singular person speaks on behalf of multiple persons. Finally, the observed use orwe" referring to uncertain"1"and, the speaker's strategies of avoiding responsibility and getting lost in we were explained. The we as used by spokespersons in political texts/discourses was also mentioned in this context, and the use of "we are" was emphasized.