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The Loom of Language

class of words which have a high correspondence value This is not so.
Translation of English pcisonal pronouns, is complicated by two diffi-
culties One is the fact that correct choice of pionouns of the third
person in most European languages depends on the gender class5 as
opposed to the sex (p 113)* of the nouns they replace. The other is that
many,, including most European, languages hove special forms of the
second person for intimate or for polite, i e formal address There are
thirteen Spanish substitutes LOT you
In languages such as French,, English, or German, there were origin-




before 1

till 61


during tlu t

FIG 24
ally two forms of the pronoun of the second person One, corresponding
to thou of Mayflower English, for use when addressing one person; the
other, corresponding to ye> was for use when addressing more than one
Thou> thecy ye, and you have now fused in the single Anglo-American
word YOU In most European languages, including Finnish which is
not an Aryan language, the thou-foim persists for use among members
of the family and intimate acquaintances. What was originally the plural
form, cited in our tables as you> has persisted in some European lan-
guages, e g. French and Finnish, both as the plural form and as the
singular form when the person addressed is not an intimate friend or
member of the family circle This formal use of the plural you is
comparable to the royal "we,"
In some European languages the equivalent of you has made way
for a pronoun which recalls the oblique idiom of waiters (will the
gentleman take soup?). For polite address a pronoun of the third person,
sometimes plural^ as in German, or both singular md plural, as in
Spanish, has taken over the function of the pronoun of the second