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German 'duzen' and 'siezen' — etymology?

From:Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 6:00

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... Come to think of it: Finnish _sinutella_ "duzen" looks like a regular verbal derivation of the oblique stem of the 2sg pronoun (_sinä_ -> _sinu-_ + _-tellA_, familiar from other verbs such as _ajatella_ "to think" or _opetella_ "to learn, study"). But _teititellä_ "siezen" isn't quite so straightforward... It, too, contains the suffix _-tellA_, and the first syllable looks like the oblique stem of the 2pl pronoun (_te_ -> _tei-_), but where does that _ti_ in the middle come from? :-/ Regards, Julia 8-) -- Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst _@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_ si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil (M. Tullius Cicero)


Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>German 'duzen' and 'siezen' — etymology =3F?=
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>German 'duzen' and 'siezen' — etymology?