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Re: Genitive Relationships again

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 16, 1999, 3:20
FFlores wrote:
> I think Japanese has something like this too, though > not so extensively used.
More extensively, actually, if I understand you correctly. There are a lot of pronouns in Japanese, because they are based, partially, on relative rank, something like Spanish "tu'" and "usted", only more extensive. For instance, "boku" can only be used by males, in informal situations, while "watashi" is a more polite form that can be used by either gender. Same in second-person pronouns. Generally speaking, the pronouns have evolved "downward" in politeness. The first and second person pronouns evolved out of nouns, and were originally humble pronouns, lowering the speaker and exalting the adressee, but were "overused", in politeness, used for less noble people then properly would deserve it, and so new terms had to be invented, eventually the old ones disappear. -- "It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father was hanged." - Irish proverb ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-name: NikTailor