[b-hebrew] We and us

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 15 15:37:36 EST 2006

Hi Peter,

If were are talking about grammaticalisation here, we should not need to 
EXPECT grammatical agreement. If `abdeka were a grammaticalised polite 
pronoun, it should be analysable pretty much solely as a polite pronoun, 
i.e. [`abdeka] = polite 1st person polite pronoun, rather than [[`ebed] 
= "servant" + [ka] = 2ms] = polite 1st person noun phrase reference. Do 
you see the difference? The question is: to what extent is `abdeka 
grammaticalised, or, put another way, synchronically analysable? I think 
in the minds of speakers it was still thought of in its constituent parts.

David Kummerow

> On 15/11/2006 12:49, B. M. Rocine wrote:
> >/ Hi David,
> />/
> />/ Thank you for your helpful clarifications.
> />/
> />/ One minor clarification on my side:  in my post (quoted below) I 
> />/ purposely avoided discussing 'adoni hammelek for the very reasons you 
> />/ mention.  I focused on only the transformation from 2nd person notion 
> />/ (e.g. tishma') to 3rd person surface (yishma`) and `ebed + pronominal 
> />/ suffix, which has wide application.
> />/
> />/ I do accept that grammaticalization may be more rigorous than I had 
> />/ realized. I am still not sure why tishma` -> yishma` would not qualify.
> />/
> />/   
> /We should certainly expect forms like plural pronouns and "your slave" 
> to continue to agree in person and number with their original literal 
> meanings even when they are fully grammaticalised as pronouns, whatever 
> that might mean. Thus French "vous" and German "Sie" take second person 
> plural and third person plural verb forms even when used as polite 
> second person singular pronouns, and I am almost sure that Turkish 
> "bendeniz" continues to take third person pronouns. Thus this is not a 
> test of grammaticalisation. It would indeed be strange if Hebrew 'adoni 
> hammelek took second person singular agreement.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org <http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew>
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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