[b-hebrew] We and us
peter at qaya.org
Thu Nov 16 09:04:43 EST 2006
On 15/11/2006 23:03, David Kummerow wrote:
> Sure the grammaticalisation of "you" is irreversible. ... 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).
Your statement betrays a failure to read what I wrote. I wasn't
referring to English "you", but to for example French "vous" and German
"Sie". The time may come when these are no longer used as polite
alternatives to "tu" and "du" respectively, but revert to being second
and third person respectively plural pronouns. This process is already
in progress. It is more advanced in Azerbaijani, where the plural used
to be used for the singular as in French but is becoming quite rare.
Would the loss of such usage, if it happened, be reversal of
grammaticalisation and so falsify anyone's theory?
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
More information about the b-hebrew