[b-hebrew] We and us

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 15 18:03:01 EST 2006

Sure the grammaticalisation of "you" is irreversible. It has hardly 
reverted back to being a polite pronoun, even less to the earlier status 
of an accusative! Rather, the form has undergone further 
grammaticalisation and reduction of meaning, loosing its politeness 
value through overusage. This is actually the expected pathway for the 
grammaticalisation to progress (again, see Helmbrecht), and does not 
point to the reversibility of the process. Your statement betrays an 
ignorance of these things which further reading could help to alleviate 
(again, I can supply you with the references if you don't personally 
have access to such things).

David Kummerow.

> It certainly is a cline, or perhaps a slippery slope; maybe an 
> irreversible one, although given the decline in use of the polite form 
> of "you" in many European languages might suggest otherwise, with the 
> polite form reverting to exclusive use in its previous form e.g. second 
> or third person plural.
> -- 
> 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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