Re: Ethical Dative, was Re: Polysynthetic Languages
|From:||Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 16:38|
> > Certainly a distinction has developped - I think
> > based on readily available Bibles - of normal you
> > and thou to address god.
>Of course, mostly, no-one uses 'thou' anymore, to God or otherwise.
Mostly no one, but all of our prayers and extensive liturgical texts in my
Church (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), when they are in English,
use "thee" and "thou" (the plurals of which are "you") to refer to
*anyone*, not just God, in the 2nd person, and the old inflectional endings
are used on the verb. So even whenever I improvise a prayer rather than
reading it out of a book, I still use a slightly altered "King James"
style, and I expect that most other people in my situation do this, as
well. (For example, I will say, "Do Thou grant..." instead of "Please give
me..." when improvising a prayer.) Using the liturgical language on your
own becomes quite natural after a year or two, although I will still
misinflect a verb for person on occasion when I am not paying close enough
attention. It's not completely automatic for me, even now.