[Fwd: pronouns]

David Gil gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Wed Oct 14 03:48:07 UTC 1998

I believe Gontzal Aldai intended the following message to be posted to the
list, even though it was apparently sent only to me ...


> I agree with David in separating synchrony from diachrony. And therefore
> the synchronic pronoun system of a language from possible verbal
> agreements, which reflects the diachrony of the language not its synchrony
> (today's morphology = yesterday's syntax).
> An example: Basque. There are two singular and one plural pronouns for the
> 2nd person. "hi" 2nd singular familiar, "zu" 2nd singular formal,
> "zuek" 2nd plural (some Western variaties might have a third form for 2nd
> singular which is not relevant here; some of these varieties might lack
> partially or totally "hi" and have only "zu" for the singular).
> The relevant issue here is that "zu" is documented in XVI century texts as
> plural (and "zuek" is a "double-plural" innovation). BUt currently I
> don't know of any variety that maintains the plural use of "zu".
> "zu" is therefore 2nd SINGULAR. As for agreements on the verb, however,
> "Zu" always "triggers" a PLURAL agreement.
> For instance: ni noa "I go", hi hoa "you-familiar go", hura doa "he
> goes", gu goaz "we go", zu zoaz "you-formal go", zuek zoazte "you-guys
> go", haiek doaz "they go".
> Diachronically ZU was a plural. But currently is only singular. Agreement
> on the verb doesn't tell us anything about its current semantic status.
> Gontzal Aldai
> P.S. David. I'm not sure yet if my messages are posted in the list.
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Subject: Re: pronouns
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 19:37:55 -0700 (PDT)
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