[b-hebrew] We and us

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Tue Nov 14 12:22:47 EST 2006


Peter makes a good point.  In addition, we may take note of third person 
being substituted for second in BH (and English?), as in 'adoni hammelek 
substituting for 'attah.


Peter Kirk wrote:

> Later, David wrote:
>> ... Helmbrecht demonstrates that the 
>> grammaticalisation of politeness distinctions in the first-person is 
>> from a number of options: nouns denoting "servant" and "slave" etc 
>> (Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese, Turkish); ...
> If the use of nouns denoting "servant" and "slave" for the first person 
> counts here, then certain registers of English must be considered an 
> exception to Helmbrecht's rule and so potentially similar to Hebrew. For 
> in English there is no politeness distinction in second person pronouns, 
> but in some registers "your humble servant" is used consistently as a 
> politeness related substitute for "I". And in fact precisely the same 
> happens in the Turkic language into which I am working on Bible 
> translation; in the register the translators have chosen to use, second 
> person polite forms are not used (as not appropriate in a historical 
> context, for they are known to be a recent innovation), but a form "your 
> slave" similar to the now obsolete Turkish usage is sometimes used in 
> this translation, especially where the Hebrew offers some support. But 
> then that implies that Hebrew is an exception to Helmbrecht's rule for 
> sometimes using `ABDEKA as a first person form, quite apart from 'ANI 
> and 'ANOKI.

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13026
(W): 315.437.6744

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