[b-hebrew] We and us

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 11:56:33 EST 2006


The problem I am having with this discussion is that it is done with
only a minimal reference to Hebrew usages. Further that the literature
displays a Eurocentric view. If after analyzing the many hundreds of
usages of )NY and )NKY that the contexts indicate politeness function,
I'd like to see a statistical analysis of those contexts, but so far
all I have seen is speculation.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 11/17/06, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> We are discussing it in this way because it has been suggested in the
> literature that the choice between the forms is one of politeness. It is
> the main real functional difference that anyone has suggested. This is
> the reason for the discussion of politeness (other proposals in the
> literature have mainly revolved around a diachronics without any
> discussion of function).
> The discussion of the function of pronouns in other languages has
> bearing if one accepts that typology can guide to some extent analysis
> of dead languages. You may not accept the typological argument and
> that's fine. But even if you don't accept it, others do, and those
> others see benefit therefore in discussing it. Comparing with other
> languages, if one accepts typology, does get somewhere; I disagree with you.
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
> > Why are you all so hung up on the 'politeness' function in the
> > difference between )NY / )NKY ? I suspect that it is a grammatization
> > of another function, but what it is I don't know yet. Both words are
> > used hundreds of times, and by comparing all their usages the
> > functional differences may become apparent. But just arguing and
> > comparing with other languages gets nowhere.
> >
> > This would be a good subject for a Master's thesis. Professors, assign
> > a grad student to get working. If there is a functional difference,
> > many contexts may find both uses interchangeable. But if a common
> > action can be found in which only one of the terms is used, and
> > another where only the other is used, we have started on the road to
> > understanding.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list