The Tuvaluan language and many other Polynesian languages have three significant features in the personal pronouns. One is the concept of “dual form.” Dual form only refers to two people in a conversation, while plural refers to three or more people. The Tuvaluan personal pronouns have three concepts to refer to the number of persons in the conversation. For instance, the third person forms go as following: ia (he/she), lāua (they and them two), and lātou (they and them all [3 or more]).
The second feature is the inclusive/exclusive points of view. Tuvaluan splits its pronouns by whether or not it includes the person or people being spoken to. For instance, tāua refers to we, you, and I, and māua refers to we, me, and him/her, not you.
The last feature is alienable (a class)/unalienable (o class) points of view in the possessive pronouns. According to Besnier (2000), whether an object is designated as alienable or unalienable is determined as the following.
The first- and second-person singular forms in the alienable possession form are taku and tau and in the unalienable form toku and tou, respectively.
Interestingly, in spite of the complicated rules we have seen above, there is no distinction of sex in the third person singular form, which English speakers would expect. He and she are both expressed in a single term ia.