Re: "Register" a grammatical term
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Friday, August 22, 2008, 18:47|
Jim Henry wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 5:16 AM, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
>> Jim Henry wrote:
>>> ....... It was in a context, I think, where
>>> he was arguing against revival of the obsolete-almost-as-soon-as-
>>> the-language-was-born intimate pronoun "ci".
>> It came across it in a book I came across in 1949 or thereabouts. I have no
>> idea whether any Esperantists still used it or not. But in text books it
>> seems to lived on for some time, if not in actual use.
> I wasn't around in 1949, but my impression is that it had long since
> dropped out of actual use by then.
The book was older - I think it was almost certainly pre-WWII. I found
it one day when I was rummaging around in my grandparents' attic. It had
a great influence on the conlangs I churned out in my teens ;)
>>> (He argues, IIRC,
>>> that Zamenhof put the intimate pronoun in to satisfy certain speakers
>>> of languages with formal/informal pronouns who would complain
>>> if it were absent, but deliberately gave it an unpleasant sound
>>> so no one would actually us it for very long.)
>> What's unpleasant about _ci_ [tsi]? To me it sounds no more or less
>> unpleasant than _vi_ or any of the other personal pronouns.
> Piron's lamatyave, I reckon. /t_s/ sounds to me a bit less
> pleasant than some other affricates, but not as unpleasant
> as a lot of other phonemes.
Indeed not. When one considers that Esperanto has _scii_ [stsi.i] "to
know", I find _ci_ by contrast easy and inoffensive. In any case, what
else would Zamenhof have chosen? I guess the most obvious would have
been _ti_ (like Welsh :)
But _ti-_ was already employed as a demonstrative stem. I assume
Zamenhof turned to his native Polish where in the oblique cases of _ty_
(thou), the initial _t_ becomes _c_ [ts] before _i_, so for example the
genitive is _ciebie_ (cf, dative: tobie). It seems a sensible enough
solution to me if one wants such a pronoun.
I would guess _ci_ fell out of use simple because the egalitarian spirit
among early Esperantists.
> I can't quote Piron exactly because I loaned the book
> out some years ago and never got it back.
I've lost a few books that way too :)
> So it's possible I'm misremembering exactly what he said.
Frustra fit per plura quod potest
fieri per pauciora.
[William of Ockham]