This paper provides a general analysis of the semantics of person, broadly construed, through a case study of Ojibwe (Central Algonquian). Ojibwe shows person-like distinctions based on whether an entity is living or non-living (i.e. animacy), and, within living things, whether a being is prominent or backgrounded in the discourse (i.e. obviation). The central principle of the account is contrast: The activation and interpretation of a feature is driven by the requirement that it makes a cut to derive the proper categories within a given inventory. With this principle, I show that a small set of bivalent features denoting first-oder predicates can capture Ojibwe as well as a wider typology of person, animacy, obviation, and noun classification distinctions.