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Romance demonstratives (WAS: Just a Little Taste of Judean(Part 2))

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Monday, April 12, 1999, 20:31
FFlores wrote:
> What was _ipse_? I was under the impression that it meant "same", > "self-" (Spanish/French _se_?) but I can't figure out how that > could evolve to mean "that".
It originally meant something like "that very", that is, it emphasized the noun. I.e., "ipso facto", "by that very fact". It gradually weakened to just "that". _Se_ is unrelated to it. _Se_ (and _su_) go back to the Latin reflexive forms. Latin had two ways of indicating third person possessive, there were the genetive forms of the demonstratives, especially _is_, with those, the gender depended on the possessor. There was also the genitive form of the reflexive pronoun, this was to indicate that the subject of the sentence was also the possessor, i.e., "he fed his [his own] dog" vs. "he fed his [someone else's] dog". That form was the only one that survived in all (?) the Romance langs. -- "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