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From:Daniel Feûchard <yl-ruil@...>
Date:Saturday, June 24, 2000, 12:20
Mangiat wrote:

> >> > Luca, where did this form come from? IIRC, Bruno Migliorini's > book "Storia > della lingua italiana" claims that the use of LEI was calqued on Spanish > "usted," but I don't buy it. It seems awfully like German to me > (or perhaps > the German is calqued on the Italian? I dunno). > >> > > I don't know where's it from. My mother teaches Italian and literary > subjects (history, latin) in a Junior High School, so my house is full of > grammars, but they don't give such explanations. Anyway I can't believe it > from Spanish 'usted' for two reasons: AFAIR, usted means something like > 'you', 2nd plural person, while 'lei' is 'she', 3rd singular female; then > there is the historical reason: I think 'lei' was common even before the > Spanish dominations (even if I'm not sure).
Isn't "lei" referring to such locutions as "signoria vostra", where "signoria" is feminine, so the pronoun used for it is also feminine? I heard that all such polite locutions were feminine and "she/it" became the pronoun used. I also remember from my Italian GCSE that we were referred to as voi. Odd, the SEG is a group of fascists.... Dan ------------------------------------------------------------- Lo deu nu preca êl'aisún necoui. God prays at noone's altar. Dan Jones: -------------------------------------------------------------