Re: OT: Imperatives (Was: Re: OT: German Imperatives)
|From:||Alex Fink <a4pq1injbok_0@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 21:48|
On Wed, 16 May 2007 02:50:54 +0100, Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...> wrote:
>In the last episode, on Tue, 15 May 2007 17:49:39 -0700, "David J.
>Peterson" <dedalvs@...> wrote:
>> Jeff wrote:
>> Depends on your perspective, really. In (Peninsular) Spanish, with
>> formal forms of address (using the polite "2nd person" pronouns
>> "Usted" (sg) and "Ustedes" (pl), you use 3rd person agreement on the
>> verb (since the forms originate in the formula "Vuestra Merced" "Your
>> Grace" and, accordingly, refer obliquely to a second person using a
>> 3rd person term).
>> I always thought it came from Arabic "ustaadh" [?us.'taaD], a
>> way to address someone with respect. It always seemed like
>> far too much of a coincidence that two words pronounced
>> almost identically and with almost the exact same usage should
>> be totally unrelated. Apparently history says it's so, though.
>Well, my explanation is the only one I've heard right now, but that one
>(yours) actually seems more plausible to me.
I recall reading somewhere that the Romance-internal etymology of _Usted_
was indubitably the correct one, since the timing was off for it to be an
Arabic loan. I tried finding the source again, though, and Google is much
less certain than I expected.
Anyway, why the insistence on deriving it from one xor the other? I think
the most likely scenario is that _vuestra merced_ and various contractions
of it were a Romance-internal development, but pressure from Arabic helped
select _Usted_ as the contraction that eventually won out.