Second person/polite pronouns (fuit Re: Another Ozymandias)
|From:||Benct Philip Jonsson <bpjonsson@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 11:24|
Sally Caves skrev:
> Actually, it was a plural you, since I couldn't remember who corrected
> me. Damn language ambiguity! Shoulda said "y'all."
How about people's a-priori conlangs: are there any that
have this (to me) weird syncretism of numbers in the second
person pronouns -- apart of course from English- speaking
conlangers' newbie relexes, or languages that simply don't
distinguish number, of course. And what about honorific/
polite second person pronouns? AFAIK there are five
possible strategies for these in natlangs:
(1) second person plural for polite second person singular.
(2) third person singular for polite second person singular.
(3) third person plural for polite second person singular.
(4) third person plural for polite second person plural.
(5) a distinct set of polite pronouns -- usually with
distinct forms for different persons and numbers.
Obviously (4) implies simultaneous (2), but not the other
way around. NB not all of these are exotic from a
Eurocentric POV: German has (3)+(4), Italian has (2)
verging on (5), Swedish had (2)+(4) until not so long ago,
and Spanish is sort of (5).
FWIW honorific 1st person pronouns occur in natlangs
-- usually as "deference forms", but are there 'aloofness
forms' too, at least in some conlang?
AFMOCs Mærik is (2)+(4) like older Swedish, Slvanjek is (1),
being a 'typical' Romance language, while Sohlob -- a-
priori, and without the cultural ties to any 'real' language
that Mærik has -- is (2)+(5), there being degrees of
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant!
I'm afraid the current situation in the Eastern
Mediterranean forces me to reinstate this signature...