pronouns (from John Hajek)

Wed Oct 14 08:38:38 UTC 1998

>Can I add to Pier Marco Bertinetto's contribution on Italian. I would like
>to mention other politeness pronouns - that can be used by speakers of
>(1) TU - this is not normally considered to be such a pronoun. However, in
>parts of central and southern Italy  (esp. parts of Abruzzo) it is the only
>politeness pronoun (although in some areas it is at least the primary form
>and competes with LEi and VOI - all of which are used in different
>manners). The politeness distinction is maintained by the obligatory use of
>titles: Signore, tu vuoi questo? (polite) v. Tu vuoi questo (informal).
>This usage can however be quite shocking to many other Italians. But I
>certainly have direct experience of it - even here in Australia.
>(2) ELLA - believed to be dead and to have been completely replaced by LEI
>(both meaning 'she' - referring to terms such as maesta`, eminenza - all
>feminine referents). A recent survey I conducted showed that speakers are
>willing to use it in very restricted circumstances - eg in very formal
>contexts, such as in addressing cardinals, presidents, etc.... I have in
>fact heard it being used publicly in such a context. In Florence it
>survives in the reduced form LA and can be used as the primary politeness
>prooun in what speakers consider to be Italian.
>Agreement with ELLA - I suspect that unlike with LEI, speakers are more
>likely to maintain feminine agreement.
>(3) LUI 'he' - the logical next step from LEI 'she' when addressing males.
>This can be found in parts of the north - due to dialect interference. I
>was once the only customer when the shopkeeper asked me 'cosa vorrebbe
>lui?' (lit. what would he like?). I naturally assumed he was asking me
>about someone else in the shop, and only after looking around did I realize
>he was addressing me.
>Dr John Hajek
>School of Languages
>University of Melbourne
>Parkville 3052
>Melbourne, Australia
>+61 3 9344 6919 fax: +3 9347 2489

Dr John Hajek
School of Languages
University of Melbourne
Parkville 3052
Melbourne, Australia
+61 3 9344 6919 fax: +3 9347 2489

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