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Re: OT: Spanish pronouns ("usted", etc.)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 12:53
I'm not sure I understand the question?
Spanish "vos" is analogous to English "ye": the archaic nominative
second person plura.  It is certainly related to usted, in form as
well as meaning, since its posessive form is the "vuestra" in "vuestra
merced". I'm not sure what distinction you are trying to draw with the
"cousin" relation.

As detailed in much greater depth earlier in this thread, Spanish
originally had a simple number distinction in the 2p: singular tú,
plural vos.  Paralleling developments in many other languages, the
plural came to be used as a formal singular, and so was repluralized
to "vosotros" when intended as a genuine plural.  It was eventually
replaced by "usted" as singular formal, but still survives in the
Academia dialect today as the object form of the informal 2p pl.

In other dialects it serves as a replacement for tú and/or usted
and/or vosotros and/or ustedes in various combinations.  I don't know
about the "intermediate between tú and usted" business, though.  Are
you saying there are dialects with three formality levels in the 2p?

On 5/21/07, Krista Casada <kcasada@...> wrote:
> Could vos, that lovely intermediate subject pronoun that lies between tu and > Usted in some Spanish dialects, be considered something of a surviving > cousin of Usted? > > Changing usage, by the way, is a wild thing; I vividly remember how it > shocked me the first time I heard someone who was praying address God as > Usted. > > Krista >
-- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>