... Mmm... omae can still be used as an informal but not rude pronoun among very close peers. I was more thinking of kisama , which originally meantMessage 1 of 46 , Sep 3, 2012View SourceOn 3 September 2012 09:24, Garth Wallace <gwalla@...> wrote:
> >>Mmm... "omae" can still be used as an informal but not rude pronoun among
> > Interesting. Similar things have happened with some Old Japanese
> > pronouns, that have become downright rude in Modern Japanese.
> The one I know of is "omae", which AIUI somehow shifted from a sort of
> humble first person (honorific "o-" obligatory for non-first person* +
> "mae" front/thing in front of = "your front"/"that thing which is in
> front of you" = "me") to a derogatory second person (the honorific
> "o-" still marks it as referring to non-first person, but it now marks
> the thing that is "mae" itself, not the thing that "mae" is in
> reference to -> "that thing in front of me" = "you (jerk)"). I'm not
> sure about the time frame for this semantic shift, though; it might be
> within modern Japanese.
very close peers. I was more thinking of "kisama", which originally meant
"precious sir" ("-sama" is a very polite version of "-san"), but became
ironic and is nowadays very hostile and rude. Another is "kimi", originally
"lord", and very polite, now a very informal pronoun used mostly by older
people to refer to their subordinates, or by men to refer to younger women.
It can be very rude when used in other contexts.
And don't forget that "otaku" was originally a formal second-person pronoun
(a polite way of saying "your house", again with the honorific "o-"), but
has now become a noun referring to a specific type of geek hobbyist :) (an
example of Japanese's lack of formal distinction between plain nouns and
pronouns: they tend to switch from one use to the other with time).
... I ve read the chapter on Javanese (new in the second edition). A bit scary that it uses the wikipedia (english and malay) and omniglot as sources, butMessage 46 of 46 , Sep 15, 2012View Source
--- On Sat, 9/15/12, taliesin the storyteller <taliesin-conlang@...> wrote:
I've read the chapter on Javanese (new in the second edition). A bit scary that it uses the wikipedia (english and malay) and omniglot as sources, but perhaps there aren't any better sources around?
Javanese has a very interesting politeness system. There are at least three separate sets of words, phrases and constructions used for the politeness levels. If you speak to X, a child, you use one set, if you speak with a colleague you use another and if it's the boss you use the third.
It goes further than that!! IIRC there's, in some cases, even slightly different vocab. if you're talking to the village head vs someone from the Sultan's court-- it's called Kromo Desa 'village kromo' (kromo being the high level). Ngoko is one of the others, I forget the third one. Look in an older Javanese(-Dutch) dictionary (Jansz is one), who marks a lot of the special vocab.
There's at least one predictable processe involved. If a word ends in /r,l/ + V, you substitute -nt@n-- so soré 'afternoon' vs. sonten 'id.'; sari 'essense' vs. santen 'coconut oil'--that shows up in Indo /Ml. as santan, and then borrowed into many other languages. I know soré is < Skt. (surya 'sun'), and suspect sari is too.
I'm told that the introduction of Bah.Indonesia elicited a sigh of relief from a lot of young Javanese, esp. students away from home. It meant they didn't have to worry about maybe using the wrong word and causing offence when writing to parents/grandparents etc.
My understanding is that Japanese has comparable levels...