[b-hebrew] We and us

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 21:51:32 EST 2006


As a person outside the academic world, I don't have access to the
books that you reference. I am only able to respond to what I observed
in this discussion.

Now concerning אני vs. אנכי, is there a usage variance that is
observable? For example, do speakers use אנכי usually when they speak
as a subordinate to a superior, whereas אני as a superior to an
inferior? If so, then we have an example of politeness. If not, then
look for other patterns. Whoever does the study will have to do a
careful analysis of the contexts of hundreds of occurrences of both
אני and אנכי to come to an answer. Looking at other languages will
only result in a lot of hot air. Such a study would make a good
research topic for a master's degree.

I think such a study should be done before comparisons with other
languages, not after as it appears from the discussion.

Has such a study been done? What were its results? Is it available to
the general public?

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

On 11/20/06, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Karl,
> The discussion was sparked by my pointing out that typology would raise
> questions concerning the grammaticalisation of a politeness distinction
> with the BH 1st person singular independent personal pronouns, the main
> functional distinction posited in the literature. Sure, OUR discussion
> may have been Eurocentric, but this cannot be raised concerning
> Helmbrecht: he uses typological sampling to minimise such bias and his
> language sample includes over 200 languages. So I disagree with you very
> strongly that the "literature displays a Eurocentric view". What
> literature are you referring to?
> Further, Revell's study is not completely a "statistical analysis", but
> it is not wholly "speculation", either. What's your opinion of it?
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
> >
> > David:
> >
> > 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.
> >

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