[b-hebrew] We and us

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 08:45:13 EST 2006


David:

Thanks for your response.

In other words, as I understand your letter, there has been only one
study made on the phenomenon, and it covered only a small minority of
the data. This is not what I was looking for, an incomplete treatment
of the subject. This is what I mean is too early to make comparisons
with practices in other languages, as we don't know yet what it means
in Hebrew.

I missed your one and only earlier message concerning immediacy vs
non-immediacy, found that you are unsatisfied with his vague
description. In that message it was mentioned that he had analyzed
only Samuel and Kings.

That God uses אנכי for himself is an indication that politeness is not
the function. That men use it shows that it is not a theological term,
i.e. limited to God. I think it is a mistake to call it a
grammatization, as we are trying to find out when to use one term, and
when to use another making this a vocabulary issue.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

On 11/20/06, David Kummerow <farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Karl,
>
> So you spoke prematurely when you said that the "literature displays a
> Eurocentric view" since you haven't necessarily read the literature
> yourself? The typological literature most definitely does not display
> such bias. In part, that is what is helpful with it. Concerning the
> books I reference, yes, I didn't really have access to them
> either---which is why I purchased them! This way, one can be outside the
> academic world but still have the resources. Or, in my case, if I desire
> access to them more than what is allowed on my borrowing rights.
>
> Concerning אני vs. אנכי, Revell's earlier study concluded that the
> distinction was one of politeness. I forget the data sample, but it was
> a few books, maybe Judges and Samuel (I can look it up when I get a
> chance if you want, I'm just a bit busy at the moment marking exams to
> do it right at this moment; perhaps I could scan it for you if you
> wanted?). His later study moved on from this, concluding that the
> distinction was one of immediacy vs non-immediacy (see my earlier posts
> on this). His data sample here was a few books also.
>
>
> Regards,
> David Kummerow,
>
> > David:
> >
> > 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.


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