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R: Re: Old Norse (was Re: New to the list)

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 21, 2000, 11:58
> After the war, the new elite captured a position of authority for itself,
> permanently weakened the power of the Monarchy. It was then, and ever > after, in a position to demand respect for itself. It's easy to imagine
in such
> a situation that they would encode their egalitarianism into the language
> precisely the opposite way languages on the continent were encoding the > increasing strength of traditional elites into their own languages.
> for example, during the age of Frederick the Great, had IIRC three or > four distinct pronouns for speaking to people of different social classes > from yourself (I know there were: Du/lowest; Ihr/middling;
Sie/highest). Well, in Italian you have even more (litterary Italian): just three days ago I received a brochure where it was written: 'La S.V. è invitata allo spettacolo', where S.V. stands for Signoria Vostra , something like Your Majesty. No sarcastic style. AFAIR, during the centuries we've had: TU 2s today used almost with everyone you know quite well, not with strangers, old people, teachers, important people. LEI (litterary = she) used with strangers, teachers and work bosses. The gender is female, but it's used even with men (my dialect has somehow reatined 'lüü' for men and 'lée' for women). VOI 2p once upon a time used with parents and relatives, but not grandparents (always addressed with TU, they're too kind : ) And then we've had a lot of kind expressions as 'vostra signoria', 'sua eccellenza' etc. About 30 years ago almost everyone with a tie was called 'commendatore' or 'ingegnere' : ) Luca