There's a thing I'd like to ask, it's something you might know.
When we say "bring me that thing over there" or "it's with my things", how do we grammatically classify this use of thing in English? In neurology it is thought of as a symptom of anomic aphasia, but I'm searching for a grammatical category.
I've looked up filler word, but that seems to be for things like um and ah. A placeholder seems to be for Joe Bloggs and widgets. Cambridge Dictionary classifies it as a vague expression, but that seems a bit vague. Circumlocution is too broad a category as well. A substitution, as I understand it, is a term from discourse analysis that explains use of one, so and do to avoid repetition. Ellipsis is substitution with a null expression. So where does that leave us with this use of thing? Of all these, I'd probably opt for substitution, but that seems to be not quite correct. Maybe 'substitute noun' or 'noun substitution'? But this doesn't seem quite elegant. Is there a generally accepted term to describe this occurrence?