How come this is not "C'est son ami"? I thought if you have a possesive or an article in the sentence, the construction has to be "C'est..."
So son is a generic 3rd person possesive and I can't tell if it's her, his or its?
Not generic! Son is used with either "ami" or "amie" because the noun starts with a vowel. It is awkward to say "sa ami(e)" so "son" is always used. It can mean either his or her.
Il can mean it and "it is his/her friend" is a reasonable sentence, is there a way to distinguish them other than through context?
No,I don't think so. Remember, English also has enough cases where the meaning can only be deciphered through the context.
All too familiar with English, just wondering if French was any different here. Thank you for the answer.
Translating 'il est son ami' into English : he is your friend - is incorrect. It should be he is her friend - but how do we know translate son to her?!
But couldn't it be he (ami) is her friend? The friend is hers (son) and he is masculine (ami)? I hope someone will answer because I am unsure. Thank you!