Y'all and No?
flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Mar 29 21:19:59 UTC 2001
At 02:36 PM 3/29/01 +0800, you wrote:
>At 2:08 PM -0500 3/29/01, David Bergdahl wrote:
>>Laurence Horn wrote:>
>>> I think you mean "thou"/"thee", the 2d singular. "Ye" was just the
>>> accusative of "you", the 2d person plural, IIRC. I'm pretty sure the 2d
>>> plural (with case leveled) was used enough as the "polite" 2d
>>> singular that the latter was just swallowed up, except among Quakers
>>> and in archaic diction.
>>I think you misspoke, Larry: "ye" was the nominative and "you" the accusative
>>as in John 8: 32 "AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU
>thanks, Dave. That was my motivation for the first "I" in "IIRC".
>The main point is that retaining "ye" as distinct from "you" wouldn't
>have helped with the singular/plural problem. I guess I was thinking
>that if "thou" was nominative and "thee" accusative, "you" and "ye"
>OUGHT to be parallel, but nooooo. No wonder our ancestors went in
>for neutralization; can't hardly blame 'em.
And to make matters more complex, the Quakers leveled 'thou' and 'thee',
using (at least today) accusative 'thee' only for both nominative and
accusative ("Dost thee want..." and (in the song) "thee I love"). Which
is the same as in the leveling of 'ye' and 'you', of course, where
accusative 'you' survived for both cases.
Beverly Olson Flanigan Department of Linguistics
Ohio University Athens, OH 45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568 Fax: (740) 593-2967
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