Re: Bernard Comrie, The World's Major Languages, 2ed (2011)
- On Sun, Sep 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> On 2 September 2012 21:53, taliesin the storyteller <The one I know of is "omae", which AIUI somehow shifted from a sort of
> taliesin-conlang@...> wrote:
>> Ditto for polite pronouns. They are no longer polite. They are AFAIK
>> standard in a court of law, judge to accused. I've overheard them at social
>> services, employee to unemployed man. These days it shows that the speaker
>> is superior. Explicitly showing that you are better than someone else in
>> Norway is a *big* no-no. It's rather unwise to use 'em if in a lively pub!
> Interesting. Similar things have happened with some Old Japanese honorific
> pronouns, that have become downright rude in Modern Japanese.
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.
*For example, when referring to somebody's family: "imōto" (my) little
sister vs. "o-imōtosan" (your/someone else's) little sister
--- 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...