I'm writing a function (for a game) which converts a sentence with Spivak pronouns into one with pronouns as specified by a user-selected template.

For example, the following input sentence:

"E casts eir spell on emself."

Could be transformed into any of the following (among others), depending on the selected template:

  • "She casts her spell on herself." (feminine pronoun)
  • "They cast their spell on themself." (singular they)
  • "<Name> casts <Name>'s spell on themself." (Name, with "themself")

Most declensions can occur at the start of a sentence, requiring me to consider the possibility of each with an initial uppercase:

  • "She won."
  • "His efforts were futile."
  • "Hers was the only character able to use magic."

I'm unsure about the following scenarios:

  • "Him too."
  • "Herself to blame, her team lost the match."

So, my questions are as follows:

  1. Do I need to consider a capitalised "Em" (i.e. Can a grammatically-correct sentence ever begin with an object)?

  2. Do I need to consider a capatilised "Emself" (i.e. Can a grammatically-correct sentence ever begin with a reflexive noun)?

I'm only concerned with grammatically-correct sentences at this time. The user will not be providing the input sentences to this function, only the pronoun template by which to convert each sentence for display.

Thank you for your time and assistance!

  • Yes. Yes. ("My questions are ..."), there are two. :)
    – Kris
    Oct 30, 2014 at 9:21
  • Isn't 'herself' here the emphatic rather than the reflexive usage? Not an easy analysis with no obvious subject. Dec 26, 2022 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


Objects often move to the start of a sentence to emphasize their importance and distinction.

I hate him. You I like.

Reflexive pronouns can be treated the same way, although I think that would often create inelegant or even confusing English.




Her I didn't see; him, I'm almost certain I did.

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