[b-hebrew] We and us
B. M. Rocine
brocine at twcny.rr.com
Wed Nov 15 07:49:38 EST 2006
Interesting. Does "May *he* (the king) hear his slave" also exist?
I am sure you are right about the avoidance issue (which is btw,
politeness). We're not really searching for politeness at this point in
David has informed us that the 'ani/'anoki contrast is not best
understood as a politeness thing. His evidence is that such a contrast
needs, if cross-linguistic types have anything to say about it, 3rd and
2nd person contrasts as a priority to the 1st person. I have just been
wandering around in the BH corpus looking for 2nd and/or 3rd person
Vadim Cherny wrote:
> That usage is common in old Russian, something like, Hear, o king, his
> It's not really politeness in the modrn sense, but close to superstitious
> fear of directly addressing a superior; thus 3rd person instead of the 2nd.
> Similarly, in many cultures a slave or vassal was not supposed to look
> directly at king or master.
> Vadim Cherny
>> Begging your patience.
>> Take 1 Sam 26:19 for an example:
>> yishma` na' 'adoni hammelek 'et dibrey `abdo
>> We have a 3rd person subject prefix on the verb. Surely this is a
>> transformation from the second person notion "you" (2nd person) as in
>> "you listen."
>> We have a third person pronominal suffix on `abdo. Surely this is a
>> transformation from the first person possessive notion, "The words are
>> The question is not whether the notions surface as noun clauses or
>> independent pronouns. The question is whether the transformation from a
>> notion in one person to a surface structure in another person is driven
>> by politeness.
>> Am I thinking correctly?
>> If yes, why wouldn't the surface structure qualify as grammaticalization
>> since it requires third person reference?
>> David Kummerow wrote:
>>> Dear Bryan,
>>> See me earlier response to Peter. I take it that Peter's point does not
>>> invalidate my questioning of the supposed link between politeness and
>>> the two BH first-person independent pronouns. That English "your humble
>>> servant" HASN'T grammaticalised into a first-person pronoun could even
>>> be taken in support of my claims. Why hasn't it grammaticalised? The
>>> answer from typological research is that English would need polite
>>> second- and third-person pronouns before such a grammaticalisation could
>>> occur (again, see Helmbrecht's work).
>>> This is the same with 'adoni hammelek substituting for 'attah. The
>>> phrase is hardly a polite pronoun. Sure, the phrase functions to express
>>> politeness, but I don't think it is a grammaticalised polite pronoun; it
>>> is still a noun phrase.
>>> David Kummerow.
>>>> Peter makes a good point. In addition, we may take note of third
>>>> being substituted for second in BH (and English?), as in 'adoni
>>>> substituting for 'attah.
>>>> Peter Kirk wrote:
>>>> />/ Later, David wrote:
>>>> />>/ ... Helmbrecht demonstrates that the
>>>> />>/ grammaticalisation of politeness distinctions in the first-person
>>>> />>/ 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
>>>> />/ counts here, then certain registers of English must be considered
>>>> />/ exception to Helmbrecht's rule and so potentially similar to
> Hebrew. For
>>>> />/ in English there is no politeness distinction in second person
>>>> />/ but in some registers "your humble servant" is used consistently as
>>>> />/ politeness related substitute for "I". And in fact precisely the
>>>> />/ happens in the Turkic language into which I am working on Bible
>>>> />/ translation; in the register the translators have chosen to use,
>>>> />/ person polite forms are not used (as not appropriate in a
>>>> />/ context, for they are known to be a recent innovation), but a form
>>>> />/ slave" similar to the now obsolete Turkish usage is sometimes used
>>>> />/ this translation, especially where the Hebrew offers some support.
>>>> />/ then that implies that Hebrew is an exception to Helmbrecht's rule
>>>> />/ sometimes using `ABDEKA as a first person form, quite apart from
>>>> />/ and 'ANOKI.
>>>> B. M. Rocine
>>>> Living Word Church
>>>> 6101 Court St. Rd.
>>>> Syracuse, NY 13026
>>>> (W): 315.437.6744
>>> b-hebrew mailing list
>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> B. M. Rocine
>> Living Word Church
>> 6101 Court St. Rd.
>> Syracuse, NY 13026
>> (W): 315.437.6744
B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13026
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