Address in West and South Slavonic languages in the 18/19th century: Grammars and textbooks as sources [Contribution to the panel: Towards a Diachrony of Relational Work: Factors behind Sociopragmatic Change in 18th and 19th Century Europe, organized by Annick Paternoster & Marcel Bax]

  • Michael Betsch (Redner*in)

Aktivität: VortragWissenschaftlicher Vortrag (Science-to-Science)


Most modern Slavonic languages (with Polish as an exception) have a system of address pronouns consisting of the pronouns of the 2nd Person Sg and Pl (corresponding to Brown and Gilman's [1960] prototype of T and V). However, different languages came to this stage by different ways. The development of pronominal address varies by regions, and neighbouring languages can be grouped together. The patterns of evolution in different languages were the result of language contact, and of zones of power and influence, such as the Habsburg territories, or the Ottoman empire. Within such greater territorial complexes, elites such as nobles or clergy had a degree of mobility and would use shared linguistic markers as symbols of status. Several Slavonic languages within the Habsburg territories (Czech, Slovene, Slovak, Croatian) show a path of development which follows more or less closely that of High German, where by the 18th century a hierarchy of address pronouns had developed - 2.Sg, 3.Sg, 2.Pl, 3.Pl - which was later reduced to two address pronouns by eliminating the middle levels (3.Sg, 2.Pl) (cf. Listen, 1999). In all of these Slavonic languages, by the end of the 18th century address with the pronoun of the 3.Pl is attested in at least some sources. However, during the National Revival in the 19th century, it was all but eliminated in all of them, as patriotic activists sought to distance themselves from German influence; instead, a preference for universal 2.Pl address was put forward as an alleged Slavonic and democratic form; this resulted eventually in the establishing of the contemporary pronominal address system (see above).
Zeitraum26 Juli 201531 Juli 2015
Ereignistitel14th International Pragmatics Conference
VeranstaltungstypKeine Angaben

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