Re: German 'duzen' and 'siezen' etymology?
|From:||Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, October 12, 2006, 18:55|
Quoting "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" <helicula@...>:
> On 10/11/06, Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> wrote:
> > Recently having written a brief paper for my German
> > Composition class on the usage of the German
> > second-person pronouns 'du' and 'Sie', I've been
> > curious as of late as to the etymology of the verbs
> > 'duzen' and 'siezen'.
> > At first, I thought they were worn-down compounds with
> > 'tun' something like *du tun and *Sie tun, but for a
> > number of reasons, I realized that was probably wrong
> > for one, a couple of German sound laws would have to
> > be violated to make this work; and two, *du tun and
> > *Sie tun sound _really_ stupid in German.
> Yes, the "tun" forms do sound stupid, but since when has *that* ever
> stopped anyone? ;-)
> > Can anyone shed some light on this?
> According to Kluge's etymological dictionary, the verbs _duzen_ and
> _siezen_ (as well as _erzen_ und _ihrzen_, which I'd never encountered
> before, probably because _Er_ and _Ihr_ are rarely used as forms of
> address nowadays) contain a suffix _-zen_, which had the three
> variants _-azzen_, _-ezzen_, and _-izzen_ in Old High German and may
> or may not have been formed under the influence of Latin _tuisare_
> ("duzen"). So, it's somewhat mysterious even to the experts, but at
> least there's a theory...
I wasn't aware _Er_ had been used as a form of address at all, but I've heard
_ihrzen_ in the sense of addressing multiple people as _ihr_ rather than _Sie_.
Oh, and I saw this little "poem" somewhere:
Ich ichze mich,
ich duze dich,
ich erze ihn,
ich wirze uns,
ich ihrze euch,
ich sieze sie.
The Swedish _dua_ "duzen" and _nia_ "siezen" are just the relevant pronomina
with an all-purpose verbal ending attached.